Roundup: Texas Makes Abortion Access More Cumbersome and Other News

Robin Marty

The Texas A.G. has decided a phone call is no longer good enough when it comes to informed consent, and other reproductive news.

In another example of an attorney general using his office to attempt to push an anti-choice agenda, the Texas A.G. has just announced that pre-recorded messages and conference calls prior to a woman’s appointment for an abortion no longer acts as informed consent. 

Via the Dallas News:

Attorney General Greg Abbott in one of two opinions released Friday said that prerecorded announcements used by some abortion clinics to tell women about the dangers of the procedure are probably insufficient under Texas’ informed consent law.

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Rep. Frank Corte, an anti-abortion Republican from San Antonio, who requested both opinions in January, asked the attorney general whether the Texas Department of State Health Services had properly interpreted “a key provision” of informed consent law. Corte spokeswoman Kathi Seay said the majority of abortion clinics have prerecorded messages that give information to women who are seeking abortions, which was not the original intent of the law.

An abortion rights advocate said even in places where prerecorded messages were used, a doctor still met with all patients to discuss the procedure.

The law requires a woman seeking an abortion to be given written information about the facility, the doctor and the procedure and alternative pregnancy support.

Seay said that the opinion disallowing informational prerecorded messages will help women be adequately informed about their decision to have an abortion.

“We are delighted with the results of that request because that was the legislative intent,” Seay said. “The abortion providers, rather than giving informed intent in person, do not allow a girl to have an interaction beforehand.”

The mandate that women must listen to a doctor in person prior to a waiting period for an abortion shows that the true intent of the law isn’t to make sure a woman is properly “informed,” but to be sure that she has to spend more time in pursuit of accessing her abortion, including loss of wages and other costs associated with two separate visits.  And the use of the term “girl” in the spokeswoman’s response proves exactly how paternalistic these regulations truly are intended to be.

In Michigan, a local Health Agency Board has voted to not renew leases on four Planned Parenthood locations, based on “resident concerns.”

From the Sturgis Journal:

Before voting at Thursday’s meeting, the board listened for two hours to comments both for and against the presence of Planned Parenthood.

It was standing-room-only for the crowd of more than 100.

County deputies and a state police officer were in both the conference room and the hall, where some of the audience members waited.

Mary Collins of Sturgis spoke first and offered commissioners a letter of interest from InterCare, a health service provider.

She had contacted other providers as well.

“I had hoped to have all their letters of intent with me this morning,” Collins said.

“But while I was unable to meet that deadline and did not receive everyone’s letter, this does not mean there is no interest. As soon as I have their letters, I will forward them on to you.”

Renee Davis of Kalamazoo, director of operations for Planned Parenthood, told commissioners that without offices in the four locations, women will have no other option for the health care and family planning services.

Nearly 20 people, addressed the commissioners with 75 percent being against Planned Parenthood’s presence because the company is also an abortion provider.

Finally, are you anxiously waiting to see if your birth control will be covered by the new health care reform bill?  Slate says keep waiting.

Finally, the day has come when all new insurance plans are required to cover preventive health care without any co-payments or deductibles. But despite reassurances from Congress and the White House that birth control would be covered under health reform, it didn’t make the list of essential preventive services. Instead, all anyone could promise was a future “study.”

Comissioned by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the study is supposed to determine whether contraception is, in fact, a preventive health service. Allowing a year for the research, which is due next August, then additional time to issue new regulations, and, after that, a year in which insurers will have to comply with new regulations, it’ll be at least 2012 before women can get birth control without a hefty co-pay. 2013 is more likely.

Mini-Roundup: The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck says she uses extra large tshirts as birth control.  As Sify writes: “You know shirts can come off, right?”

September 27, 2010

September 24, 2010

Topics and Tags:

Healthcare reform, Michigan, Texas

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