I have a piece at MSNBC’s Voices today, about a new Kansas abortion restriction bill that, among other things, requires doctors to lie to their patients:
The Kansas law would make it almost impossible for people seeking abortions to use their health insurance to cover the procedure, meaning they would have to pay between $500 and $775 out of pocket. Once they have found a way to pay for the abortion, their doctor will be legally required to read them a script that explains that abortion ends the life of “a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” whether or not the doctor believes that. Doctors will also be required to warn patients of a causal link between abortion and breast cancer, which no one who has read the relevant fact-based literature on the matter believes.
This bill is a travesty on multiple fronts. Through the bill, Kansas is enshrining sex discrimination into law by prohibiting the use of insurance funds for a medical procedure that is only required by female Kansans. That provision also will disproportionately harm low-income patients who are far less able to come up with out-of-pocket funds to cover an abortion.
Next, the bill compromises the integrity of doctors by forcing them read from a script they may not agree with and that defies accepted medical facts. Like so many other anti-abortion bills, this one chips away at access to a right that is constitutionally guaranteed. That is precisely the intent and the effect of the bill’s final provision, which also aims to harm the reputations of doctors by barring health professional who work at a clinic that provides abortions from speaking in schools.
You can read the rest here.