Archive for Saturday, March 24, 2012

Abortion rights advocates dispute so-called ‘wrongful birth’ provision in bill

March 24, 2012


— Could a bill that the Kansas Legislature is considering protect a doctor who lies to a pregnant woman about the condition of her unborn child in order to prevent that woman from having an abortion?

Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, and other abortion rights advocates, says that is exactly what the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would do.

The provision they are concerned about bans civil actions for a claim of so-called “wrongful life” or “wrongful birth.” They say this would legally shield a doctor who discovers a prenatal problem and withholds that information from the pregnant woman.

Dalven wrote in her blog that until she read House Bill 2598, she thought she had seen it all when it comes to proposals to restrict abortion.

“But as a mother who has been through those ultrasounds myself, the thought that my doctor could choose to withhold this information from me and take this decision away from me and my husband … well, let’s just say that it really touched a nerve,” she wrote.

But Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, who is the main sponsor of the bill, said Dalven is incorrect.

Kinzer said language in the bill is consistent with Kansas case law and was put in the legislation because “courts change and some states are reaching different conclusions.”

He said doctors who lie to patients would still be liable for medical malpractice and possible violations of standards set by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

He said the purpose of the provision is to limit monetary damages. Nine states have approved similar legislation, and Arizona is considering the measure, too.

Recently an Oregon couple was awarded $2.9 million. They had said they would have terminated their pregnancy if they had known their daughter would have Down syndrome. They were continually told the child would not. The parents said they sought the damages to be able to provide for their child’s care.

The “wrongful birth” issue is one of many that has caused controversy in the 68-page bill.

A major dispute deals with medical residents training as obstetrics-gynecologists at the Kansas University Medical Center. Anti-abortion legislators don’t want them being trained in abortion procedures, but KU says the training must be offered to maintain accreditation. The training is done in facilities in Colorado, KU has said.

During a recent debate in the Senate, Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said the training was necessary for emergency situations during pregnancies.

“If you don’t have doctors trained in that, you put women’s lives at risk,” she said.

The bill also requires physicians to inform women seeking an abortion about the risk of breast cancer. A large body of research says there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.


Christine Anderson 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh my. I can feel my b/p skyrocketing. I do not believe a dr. should be allowed to lie to a patient. I believe in only non-violent forms of protest. My anger is over the Az. parents awarded nearly 3 mil because their daughter was not perfect. If they are so upset she was born with Downs, why not give her up for adoption? That way they would not have needed to worry about winning the lawsuit or not. Let me guess, someone will say the parents could not bear to give her up, as she is their child. Well, they would have terminated had they known she had Downs before birth, so why should they want her after? And yes, I have direct personal experience with having a child born with a severe, very cruel disease called autism. As he gets older, the more difficult it becomes for his teachers, for his dad whom he lives with, for his siblings, and for me, as I have to realize I was unable to care for him. Some of his behaviors are just plain hellish. Then there are the moments he smiles, gives hugs, and says, "I love you, Mommy". He recently, at the age of 13, learned to tie his shoes. I was 35 when I had him. During the pregnancy, I was exposed to mononucleosis. There is a nephew who has a much milder form of the disease. Had there been a test to determine he would struggle so in life, would knowing he is autistic give me the right to take his life? No. no, and no, in that order. Depending on how high or low functioning this girl is, she may one day look her parents in the eye and ask them, "Why didn't you want me the way I am? Why are you angry I was born?" What on earth will they say?

deec 6 years, 1 month ago

The parents were lied to and told the baby did not have Down's. Whether to abort or not was their decision to make, but they didn't have the information to make an informed decision. The dr should pay to support the child, since it is his responsibility that the pregnancy wasn't ended.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

Interesting that you use the plural word when referring to the parents and then say it was their decision, plural again. I believe you've argued in the past that it is her decision and her decision alone to make. Have you changed your mind? If the outcome is different, such as a child that needs extra care, where his help is needed, is that cause for some exception, in your mind? Is that why you've included him in the decision making process? Is it because whatever she decides, he will suffer the consequences, and reap the rewards? Or does a lying doctor negate her right, transforming it into their right?

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 1 month ago

A lying doctor pretty much negates the entire "abortion or not" argument in all of this. They should sue his pants off for lying, period.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 1 month ago

Why did "he" have standing to sue, if the decision was "hers" and "hers" alone? Maybe I'm reading more into this than you would like, but I get the impression that as much as all the advocates say it's the woman's choice, deep down we think "his" voice needs to be heard, somehow, somewhere.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

jsf---you are comparing two unlikes here and I think you are smart enough to know the answer to your question.

Nobody has ever said that the man couldn't be part of the decision a woman makes to have an abortion. Any number of people may be part of any personal decision that anybody makes, but in the end, it is the individual person that is responsible for the decision. I could go on about why making it a law that the father has to give permission would be a very bad idea, but that's a discussion for another day.

The father in this case will also be part of the child's life and partly responsible for supporting and caring for the child. Of course, he has standing.

deec 6 years, 1 month ago

Yup. She chose to include him in the decision, but ultimately, had she wanted to abort and he didn't, it would be her choice. I think people own their own bodies and get to choose what to do with them.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Really??? You mean you're going to kill your own child because it has Down Syndrome? Why would adoption be necessary? They were trying for a child and wanted to kill it because it's not perfect. That is murder pure and simple. Killing of an innocent. These are the situations where abortion should be outlawed. Rape...incest...I get it. This is just simple murder. If that makes me a religious nutcase...then so be it. This nutcase will continue to fight you and your twisted, self centered, liberal cronies the rest of my life.

The Dr shouldn't be able to lie though and there should be a cap on damages. imo

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

  1. See your number 4 hypocrite.
  2. Read the last sentence of my prev reply.
  3. Let's get the opinion of the person in the womb. Funny how you want it to be a child when you're trying for kids but it's a fetus when you want to kill it.
  4. True...some have obviously do not. Mine are not relative to the whims of personal choice. Finally...The Dr will not pay anything. His insurance will. Meaning you and I. Those costs must be capped or else insurance rates will continue to skyrocket. Get it!!! Good of the whole right leftie??

hujiko 6 years, 1 month ago

observant: "Your moral values are not the same as evryone else's"

Pork_Ribs: "See your number 4 hypocrite."

Hey Pork_Ribs, you called observant a hypocrite, but in reality their moral values are not being imposed on anyone. Having an abortion is a choice and not compulsory, nobody is being forced to terminate a pregnancy.

However, you wish to impose your belief upon everyone by eliminating the choice to abort. That infringes on someone's own choice, whereas allowing abortion does not limit anyone's free exercise.

Unless you believe some drivel that a developing fetus is a sentient being, in which case there is no point in further debating this because you will never place an actual human life above your bible.


Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Protecting the life of an innocent should be the value of everyone. I am against, and will stand in the way of anyone killing you or anyone else though it doesn't impose on me. A fish is still a fish even if you throw it on land. You can justify the killing in any way that makes you feel better about it. Bottom is a human living in it's own environment and I believe we should make every effort to save that life. " will never place an actual human life above your bible." What Bible? I have never justified my beliefs or positions based on the Bible or any other religious text. Prejudice much? Pretty funny...defending abortion out of one corner of your mouth and talking about the value of human life out of the other. What a joke.

kochmoney 6 years, 1 month ago

Your situations aren't the same. You didn't have a doctor lie to you during your pregnancy. You made the choices you made, and they made the choices they made, but they were their choices to make. Please take the nails out of your palms and climb off of that cross. You're making a scene.

angie497 6 years, 1 month ago

"Let me guess, someone will say the parents could not bear to give her up, as she is their child."

Actually, I was going to point out that there are thousands of children with disabilities already living in foster care, and a decided lack of families willing to accept them.

While it's great that you would still have chosen to carry the pregnancy to term even if you knew your son would be autistic, it is not up to you to make that decision for other families. Not all mothers have the option of letting the father care for the child when they can't.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

Kansas to Pregnant Women: "A Little Lie from Your Doctor Won't Hurt You"

 We may not all agree about abortion, but we can all agree that these decisions ought to be made by a woman and her family, not a politician.

So, whether you are a man or a woman; whether you are already a parent or think you might become one in the future; whether you are blissfully pregnant or unhappily so, if you care about your right to make your own decisions,

I ask that you help get the word out. Share this blog on Facebook and Twitter. Send an email with this link to the President of the Kansas Senate. Tell the politicians all over the country to stop interfering in a family's personal and private decisions.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

Ask Dr. Brownback... Women (and Men) Ask the Governor for Reproductive Health Advice

Kansas Governor Brownback may soon have the chance to sign into law one of if not the most onerous anti-choice, anti-woman bill in the nation, including explicit directives for doctors to lie to women, amnesty from medical malpractice for doctors who do lie to women, forced utrasounds, additional taxes on women and prohibitions of what insurance they can buy with their own money.

The law is, in sum, a mandate for forced pregnancy.

Now that the governor has decided to control everyone's reproductive and sexual health lives from his office, the the women and men of the state are seeking his advice. We've taken some screenshots in case the office of the governor, which you will remember once went after a little girl for asking questions he did not like, decides to scrub them all.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

To me, the most compelling sentence in the article you link to is:

"Lie to you so that you won't have information that might lead you to decide to end your pregnancy...OR THAT MIGHT LEAD YOU TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR CHILD'S CONDITION SO THAT YOU ARE PREPARED TO BE THE BEST PARENT YOU CAN BE TO YOUR CHILD."

(The caps are mine.)

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

Whoops...I forgot to put the ** around the caps for the J-W :-) One guess what part I wanted to emphasize, though :-)

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

The law is, in sum, a mandate for forced pregnancy.

Teapublicans make me sick, the party of koch strongly defend individual freedom, but that freedom doesn’t include a woman’s right to decide her own healthcare needs.

question4u 6 years, 1 month ago

Even a woman who would never consider having an abortion, regardless of the circumstances, might be told by her doctor that her unborn child is healthy, when in fact he has severe myelomeningocele. In such a case, Lance Kinzer believes that the woman and her husband should not be allowed to sue the doctor, regardless of the trauma that they might experience when the baby is born and the doctor's lie becomes evident.

Lying to a patient constitutes malpractice, but Kinzer believes that some victims of lies should have no recourse in a civil court in Kansas. If you want justice, you'll have to plan ahead and have your baby in another state.

Is it any wonder that Kansas has a national reputation for backwardness?

Brock Masters 6 years, 1 month ago

A doctor, under no circumstance, should lie to their patient. Patients need honest accurate information to make informed decisions regarding their health and the health of their unborn child; even if it means aborting the child. While many may not agree with abortion it is legal and for argument's sake, let's say it is wrong, another wrong won't make it right.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

I was screaming about this provision in the bill practically from the moment of it's inception. Not only was I upset about this provision, I was also upset about the lack of reporting on it. I'm guessing it's finally garnered enough national attention that the press can no longer afford to ignore it. By the way, this provision not only allows a layer of protection to a physician that lies about the health of the fetus, it also affords protection if that physician lies to a woman about her own health. As a nurse, I have cared for women that had life long disabilities from strokes suffered during pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia. The fact that a doctor could lie to a woman about that condition and get away with it is unconscionable. However, bottom line, these laws have nothing to do with fetal health or abortion, they have to do with controlling women.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

To repeat something I wrote earlier: Mitt Romney's wife had a "preterm induced delivery" and the "baby died". This is a euphemistic way of saying she had an abortion. It was done to save her life. And yet she and Mitt will deny to their dying breath that it was what it was. Women in Kansas would not be given even that chance. "How can we control you? Let me count the ways." 1. We will take away your job if you use birth control. 2. We will take away your job if you don't use birth control and get pregnant. 3. If you get raped, tough. You shouldn't have been "wearing that", been "where you weren't supposed to be" or been "out in the world without a male escort". 4. If you get pregnant because of that rape, count it as a "blessing from God". Abort it? Oh no no no. This is your punishment for "wearing that", being "where you weren't supposed to be" or being "out in the world without a male escort" 5. If you're in an abusive marriage we won't lift a finger to help you. You are your husband's property and you should have made a better choice. 6. If you are unmarried/divorced and have children we will deny you and them access to health care, food and education. Your children are fatherless b*ds and you should have kept your legs shut and shouldn't have brought them into the world. If their father abandoned them then you shouldn't have made such a bad choice in a man. 7. If you have something wrong with your lady parts, don't talk to us about it. We don't want to hear about that icky stuff and we certainly don't intend to help you take care of it. Unless it's boobs. We like boobs. We especially like white, upper class lady like boobs. 8. No abortion. Not no way or no how. If it means you could die, tough. If you have the money to have a doctor that will tell you the truth and the money to travel, you can go to Oregon or California or one of those other atheistic, god forsaken states and have a "preterm induced delivery". But understand that's a privilege reserved to us. You can go die. What's one less woman to the world? 9. This is all "God's Plan". See, it says so right here in the Bible. Men are demi gods and women are the objects we own. Get used to it.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

I am very disappointed. That was the stupidest thing I have ever read from you. I usually disagree with you on everything, but am impressed with your information. (knowledge does not equal wisdom though) This is a mindless, antagonistic, intolerant rant and an example of the very reason there is such a bitter divide on these issues. "Controlling Women"...war on women...That's how you're selling the executions now? Pitiful and not worthy of time. You reveal your complete ignorance on so many levels here it is impossible to address them all.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

I have sources for every single thing I said. Interpretation is in the eye of the beholder. But to blanket assume that there isn't a "war on women" is a very very dangerous thing. Here's hoping you aren't a woman because if you are, you may end up regretting you didn't see it, and accept it, soon enough.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Alyosha 6 years, 1 month ago

Pot, meet Kettle. "Executions" is your term for abortion? I'd suggest your hyperbolic term is exactly what you state: a mindless, antagonistic, intolerant rant and an example of the very reason there is such a bitter divide on these issues.

Elevate them guns a little lower, Pork_Ribs. If you can't, then you have insight into why those who you rail against use terms like "war on women."

tomatogrower 6 years, 1 month ago

+1 10. You are pregnant with a child that will cost a lot of money, but you have other children to support? Who cares. We will cut the funding to help you, and ridicule you as a worthless, welfare mom. But you better not think about aborting that baby so you can support your other children.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Damn straight. Murder them then. Why don't we just let them do it at their home? It's all about the money. Who cares?...what's another murder in this country anyway? I'm with you...just kill it. Why don't we develop a home abortion kit with all sorts of fun gadgets? It's coming. Ridiculous you say? Think about it.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

"...what's another murder in this country anyway?" Just ask the family of Trayvon Williams. So, let me get this straight. Aborting pre birth is wrong. But post birth abortion by denying children access to adequate food, health care and education is ok. I get it.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Ahhhh the age old liberal switch. Can't address the foundational issue, that this is cold blooded you produce a couple rabbit trails as bait. Not gonna work. I agree with you...aborting pre birth is wrong. So why do you advocate the systematic execution of innocent children strictly for financial gain?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

How is your support of post birth abortion for "financial gain" any different? At least the position I take isn't nearly as lingering, cruel or conducive to suffering.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

What are you talking about? My support for post birth abortion? Nice try on the spin though. are trying to be are not. Spin like this is only clever to those who are high. Just more rabbit trails to disguise your advocacy for murdering children. No different than if they were abducted from their home by a psychopath. I hope your justification feels good. Oh...and that cold, empty, guilty feeling you have is not a sign that it is good.

Sylvie Rueff 6 years, 1 month ago

Unfortunately, too much of this issue is all about money. If women/families had access to all the money they needed to raise the children they want to have, they would have a far different basis to make decisions about planning their families. Actually, if women had all the money they needed in all cases, and the access they need to the birth control which is right for them, there would be far fewer unwanted pregnancies. So, how can we fix that? Then we can have a high level conversation about when life begins, and whose idea in that regard can be the standard.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, I have many people I love.I have a very large and very close extended family, including some people who are part of that family by choice. I have four children and six grandchildren. Three of those children are adult daughters. Four of those grandchildren are granddaughters. I have no intention of permitting this country to abridge their rights based solely on their gender without screaming about it. I love them that much. Get used to it.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

"I have many people I love". You say. Prove it. If you can't prove it is not true.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

The point is that just because we can't prove something scientifically doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Cait loves...I trust that even though she can't prove it. We cannot prove when human is a human. If it receives a soul or not (no matter how loud each side proof).
I just think we err on the side of life instead of death. Grow up? That you're line when you can't defend a position? Or is it just used when you interrupt a conversation with nothing?

question4u 6 years, 1 month ago

Doctor to Lawyer: "I'm in trouble. A few months ago I had four martinis at lunch. Later that day I mixed up some quadruple screen test results and told a woman that her unborn baby was healthy. In fact, the baby had spina bifuda."

Lawyer to Doctor: "Well, that's bad all right, but at least this is Kansas and they can't touch you in a civil court. Just tell them that you deliberately lied about the test results. Oh...and you might send a thank you note to Lance Kinzer."

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

Why in the world would anyone vote republican again? There are so many right wing fundamentalists hiding behind the name "republican" that it is simply not safe to vote republican.

Gov Sam Brownback and Kobach are but two examples.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Ummm...because they are right on pretty much every issue. Because people like you vote for Democrats....and there is no possible way I could align myself with someone who spews such ignorance.

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

Good luck with that. Obama needs takers to fuel the system.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month ago

GOP Wants To Be Sure Women/Idiot Children Understand What Rape Is and Get Permission Slips For Pretty Much Everything

by Abby Zimet

The surreally awful news in the war on lady parts just keeps coming. An Idaho legislator wants women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and "counselling;" if she was raped, her doctor should make sure she was really raped and not just a participant in "normal relations in a marriage."

Alaska's State Rep. Alan Dick (really) wants women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound and a written permission slip from the guy who, you know.

Arizona wants to make it nigh on impossible to get an abortion, but if you make it through all the legislative hurdles you should have to watch an abortion.

Then again, the author of the Arizona bill requiring women to prove to their bosses they are using birth control pills for non-slutty reasons, or get fired, is rewriting the bill because apparently, bewilderingly, some people got upset.

Funny: Why don't we feel better?

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

Force the mother to have the child and then it dies in poverty or lack of accesible healthcare. Yeah that makes sense!

Joe Hyde 6 years, 1 month ago

Any Kansas physician who would deliberately lie to a pregnant woman about development problems threatening the fetus inside her body should be not simply convicted of malpractice but sentenced to 20 years in Lansing without chance of parole.

tglenno 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree!

It should already be understood that a lying doctor is a fraudulent doctor with no integrity and should be held accountable to such unprofessional behavior. In that regard, as unfamiliar as I am with state regulations already in place, if this is true... "[Kinzer] said doctors who lie to patients would still be liable for medical malpractice and possible violations of standards set by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts," then its clear Mrs. Dalven's argument is like trying to squeeze orange juice out of apples!

voevoda 6 years, 1 month ago

The State Legislature is planning to enact a law that requires doctors to lie to women patients, telling them that they will be a much greater risk for breast cancer if they have an abortion. That being the case, is it any surprise that the State Legislature wants to allow, even encourage, doctors to tell women additional lies. Such as , "no, your life isn't at risk if you carry through with this pregnancy." Maybe the State Legislature should enact analogous laws that pertain to men's reproductive capabilities. Such as requiring doctors to warn men who want Viagra about the increased dangers of heart attack and stroke. Or encouraging doctors not to tell men that they have prostate cancer, lest they decide on surgery that could result in impotence and keep them from being able to fulfill their natural role in reproduction. If you don't think such laws are right and proper, then you ought to rethink any support for the pending legislation concerning women's reproduction.

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

If this whole issue was only about making abortion illegal, I might buy that it's not a war on women. The fact that it has come to include access to birth control for women and other health care issues that involve women and not men, forcing women to have invasive and unnecessary procedures which are meant only to harass and intimidate, and allowing and even forcing doctors to lie to woman makes it real clear exactly what it is.

You can ridicule us all you want, but we are angry and we're not going away quietly. Your ridicule only makes us stronger and more determined.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

My body is MINE! My daughter's body is HERS! My granddaughers' bodies are THEIRS! And now I'm a great-grandmother!

For God's many times do we have to fight for control of our own frickin' bodies??

verity 6 years, 1 month ago

Do we have another "phoenix" risen from the dead?

It seems that in the last few months the level of discourse on these boards has lowered considerably due in large part to a few "new" commenters.

Would it help if we just ignored, oh, let's see, maybe four or five (or more, I haven't bothered to count exactly) posters who only come on to annoy and upset people who want to actually have intelligent conversation?

I find myself skipping over large hunks of comments when I see certain names. I am adding another name to that list today.

Jimo 6 years, 1 month ago

A) This, and so many other recent anti-women proposals, are signs of the wholesale failure of the radical extremists to convince people of the merits of their belief. It is anti-democratic. It is a sign of weakness. It is of the same cloth as this fascistic Santorum-like approach of forcing others to accept a narrow and unpopular set of values. (And it builds the roadbed for political backlash.)

B) Query: would Jesus -- he who never uttered a syllable in support of this belief in the sanctity of the fetus -- lie? This is what these zealots are in the end claiming: Jesus would lie to save a life. I submit these "Christians" know not Christ, and in practice are anti-Christian in their heresy. A theology, unmoored from millennia of Christian doctrine, belief, and practice; an invented 21st century religion masquerading as an established religion.

C) I find it no accident that the loudest proponents of these laws are also the same persons who parrot Ayn Rand on other matters. Ayn Rand: the anti-Christian atheist who proudly proclaimed the Morality of Selfishness and mocked Christ and his gospel. The same Rand who is the foundation of the modern GOP.

pace 6 years, 1 month ago

Spending tax payers money and legislative time to create funny law to restrict a woman's rights. Funny and unsound laws do a disservice to all law and rights.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 1 month ago

Sounds to me that pork ribs wants to pay more in taxes if he believes in unwanted pregancies.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 1 month ago

No. Just wants women to suck it up and...what? Consider it a blessing from God?? Whatever happened to so-called "free will"?

Paul Wilson 6 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

I dunno, BAA. When did you stop beating your wife?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.