They call it death by a thousand cuts. The assault on reproductive freedom continues, at the state government level, and unfortunately, it is not just about whether a woman should have the freedom to get an abortion.
Indiana has enacted a new law that cuts off federal money to Planned Parenthood in the state, although as we all know, that money does not go to pay for abortions. Instead, it pays for medical exams and treatment for women who can’t pay for these things. If you have ever been prescribed birth control, you know you cannot have the prescription without the exam, and if the exam comes back abnormal the doctor generally still won’t give you the prescription until the abnormal test result is checked out and taken care of – all very expensive if you don’t have insurance.
The Indiana law has an exception for hospitals, so this law is very specifically targeted at Planned Parenthood. That organization challenged the law in court, but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt allowed the cuts to go into effect immediately, denying the request for a stay.
The new law also bans abortions after 20 weeks, 4 weeks earlier than the previous law. It is thought that Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are likely to quickly follow Indiana’s lead.
Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood Indiana, said:
The court’s ruling today means that 9,300 Medicaid patients at our 28 locations have lost services from their preferred provider.
Over 30 anti-abortion laws were enacted just in April.
Abortion banned at or after 20 weeks: Kansas, Idaho, Oklahoma.
Required counseling that included inaccurate information about links between abortion and breast cancer risks: North Dakota.
Required counseling women that abortion ends “the Life of a Whole, Separate, Unique, Living Human Being”: Kansas.
Requires an ultrasound before an abortion: Arizona, North Dakota.
Abortion coverage limited in health care exchanges: Idaho, Virginia, Oklahoma.
Amended legislation to further restrict minors’ abortion access: Kansas, North Dakota.
Amended abortion reporting requirements: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma
I read a story (read the comments at the salon.com story with caution) recently about a woman who experienced a placental abruption, and was bleeding out at a hospital where the doctor refused to perform an “abortion” although the fetus was either dead or not able to be saved, and the woman was dying. There is some confusion in the comments over whether the problem was no one else knowing how to perform the procedure, or whether ordinary medical procedures used to care for women after natural miscarriages just weren’t applied. In any case, another line of attack is the education of doctors: if they believe it is okay to let women die in an emergency room rather than refuse to hurry the dying of a non viable fetus or remove a dead one, if, as one medical doctor states, medical schools don’t talk about applying the procedures to these situations because they are afraid and the first time the idea occurs is in the emergency, and if the government limits funding for medical schools on the basis of whether they train doctors to perform abortions.
From the woman herself:
You shouldn’t need to know the details of why a woman aborts to trust her to make the best decision for herself.