To the editor:
H Sub SB 62, known as the Birth Control Refusal and Referral Denial bill, was passed Wednesday and is on its way to Gov. Brownback’s desk to become law. This bill was NEVER introduced, given a hearing or debated in the Senate. It was queued up into a “gut and go” bill by anti-choice leaders in the Legislature to bypass the standard democratic process as they ran out of time.
If this bill becomes law, it would mean:
• A hospital treating a woman who has survived sexual assault could refuse to give that woman emergency contraception or even tell her about it.
• A pharmacist could refuse to dispense birth control pills based on his or her personal belief.
• A woman with a condition that significantly increases her health risks during pregnancy — such as cancer, phlebitis, sickle cell anemia or heart disease — could be denied treatment for her condition and/or an abortion to preserve her health. The doctor or pharmacist could also refuse to refer the woman to a clinician who could provide her medically necessary treatment.
This bill and its path to a vote in the Senate was so outrageous that anti-choice Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, voted against it, saying, “This bill carries with it opportunities for unintended consequences where a person with medical skills and training could be in a situation to deny help resulting in the death of a mother. I do not accept that as a pro-life choice.”
Clearly this is a form of war designed to harm women and families all across our state with full support of our distinguished governor!