Planned Parenthood of the Heartland yesterday announced their lawsuit against Nebraska politicians who passed the a law requiring all women seeking abortion be screened for mental health issues. Planned Parenthood claims that the requirements are vague, unenforceable, and include false or misleading science, creating a law that is completely unenforceable.
From Channel 7 News:
Planned Parenthood, which runs one of two abortion clinics in Nebraska, has been critical of the measure, saying it could be difficult to comply with and could give women irrelevant information.
“This act is an attack on our patients. It is an attack on providers. And it is an attack on the ethics and integrity of the medical profession. It is about intimidation and not health care,” the lawsuit read.Under the law, doctors would have to screen for risk factors for post-abortion complications based on an almost limitless rang of information published in medical studies, even studies with contested and ambiguous conclusions. The law also doesn’t provide doctors any guidance about how to evaluate which of the findings to include when they screen patients.
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“Many of them are decades old; some of them — a century old. Many, of course, are out of date. Many have been debunked. Many are irrelevant to the patient’s care,” said Planned Parenthood’s CEO Jill June.
The Omaha World Herald reports a few of the tidbits of information doctors are supposed to provide to women before the procedure.
A study in Nigeria that concluded Protestant women ran a higher risk of heavy bleeding after abortion.
A 1970s study of cervical lacerations and other complications from abortions done before current methods were adopted.
Studies linking psychological problems and abortion that rely on faulty and unreliable reporting of past behavior.
And, of course, you mustn’t forget the old “abortion causes breast cancer” meme.
But anti-choice activists say the rule is not unclear or hard to implement. From the same article:
Greg Schleppenbach, a lobbyist for the Nebraska Catholic Conference, disputed the claim about the difficulty of complying with the law.
He said the law requires simply that abortion doctors meet the same standard as all other physicians regarding informed consent.
Abortion doctors can use their own judgment about providing information to patients as long as they can justify their decisions in court, he said.
“They’re worried about the fact they’re going to have to live up to a reasonable standard that’s going to take a little more time and cost a little bit more money,” Schleppenbach said.
Use your own judgement? That sounds like a fine, specific legal standard that should have no court challenges.
Mimi Liu of Planned Parenthood Federation of America states that the lack of definable standard leaves a doctor incapable of complying fully to the new law. Via the Lincoln Journal Star:
“Since it is impossible to comply, there is one way, and only one way, that a physician can be certain he or she is not violating LB594: Cease providing abortion care,” Liu said by phone from Washington, D.C., during a Monday morning news conference in Lincoln.
“That amounts to a ban on a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy.”
The bill is currently scheduled to go into effect on July 15th.
June 28th, 2010
What Kind of Justice Would Kagan Be? – National Catholic Register
Promising Steps Toward International Women’s Health – Huffington Post
Anti-abortion activists protest Kagan confirmation hearings – Boston Globe
Planned Parenthood Challenges Neb. Abortion Law – KETV Omaha
New abortion law challenged – Omaha World-Herald
Kagan Promises Impartiality as Hearings Open – New York Times
Can fetuses feel pain? – The Week Magazine
Planned Parenthood sues over Neb. abortion law – msnbc.com
Crist veto blocks Fla. abortion opt-out – BP News
Abortion of Foetus Up to 24 Weeks, Can They Feel Pain – Pattaya Daily News
Planned Parenthood files suit over Nebraska abortion law – Lincoln Journal Star
More find it harder to afford abortion services – Irish Times
A viewer’s guide to the Kagan confirmation hearing – San Francisco Chronicle
Bench Memos – National Review Online
The New Contraceptive Order Can Only Kill Itself – National Catholic Register
Portuguese bishop urges ‘realism’ on homosexual unions, birth control – Catholic Culture
Blood test will tell women when they will hit menopause – Tech Jackal
HIV in America: Why You Should Get Tested – Huffington Post
June 29th, 2010
Why a New Study on Fetal Pain Matters – New York Magazine
Bumpers the new billboards – Attleboro Sun Chronicle
G8 Pledges For Maternal, Child Health Efforts Fall Short Of $10B Goal – Medical News Today
Peaceful protest achieves more – Calgary Herald
Summits short on substance – Hamilton Spectator
NJ Assembly restores $7.5M for family planning clinics serving uninsured women – The Star-Ledger – NJ.com
2 sides seek vote on abortion bill – The Journal News | LoHud.com