New Kansas abortion bill lets doctors lie to patients, withhold cancer treatment

The Kansas House of Reps passed one of the most draconian and awful abortion bills imaginable last week. Among other things, it allows doctors to lie to their patients to keep them from getting abortions, even if the mother's health demands it, and mandates that doctors lie about health risks from abortion. It also allows doctors and pharmacists to withhold cancer treatment from pregnant women if they believe it might harm the foetus's health. From Amanda Peterson Beadle's writeup in ThinkProgress:

– EXPANDED ‘CONSCIENCE MEASURE: Earlier this week, the state Senate aproved a bill that offers additional legal protection to Kansas health care providers who refuse to participate in abortions. The House had already approved the measure, and it is likely that Gov. Sam Brownback (R) will sign it. But critics of the bill worry the “conscience” measure goes too far, and that it would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control “allow a doctor to refuse to provide chemotherapy to a pregnant cancer patient because it might end her pregnancy,” according to the Associated Press.

– PREVENTING LICENSES FOR PROVIDERS: Last year, the legislature approved licensing regulations that specifically targeted the state’s three abortion providers, potentially making Kansas the first state where a woman could not access abortion services. But when a judge temporarily blocked the regulations from going into effect, Brownback’s administration planned to enact the exact same regulations to skirt around the court’s ruling.

– DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Lawmakers signed off on a law last year to ban Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas from receiving federal funds, endangering health care for at least 5,700 patients. A judge blocked the law from going into effect, but the state has spent hundreds of thousands continuing to defend the law.

Kansas Anti-Abortion Bill Would Force Doctors To Warn Women Of False Cancer Risk


  1. Yet once the kid’s out it’s on your own head for things like care, raising, and no don’t ask for help from us since only pinko faschists commie traitors want things like healthcare and education.

    1. You’re assuming the kid survives the tragic pregnancy instead of just dying along with the worthless womb-sack that has the audacity to consider itself a person too.

      1. You forget, they’ll keep the incubator on life support, til the kid is born, and then, the incubator will be turned off.

      1.  What are you talking about? You can get what from a church? Education and healthcare? Really?

        I suppose you might get half-hearted help from a church so long as you joined that church and agreed to embrace whatever dogma they sell.

        1. Education via church: homeschooling
          Healthcare via church: prayer

          I suppose you might get half-hearted help from a church so long as you joined that church and agreed to embrace whatever dogma they sell.

          Yep, that’s the HINT HINT part.

        2. And some folks can’t turn to most churches even if they do believe the same things. People who are lesbian or gay, people who are autistic, people who are trans or intersex, people who are living with ptsd…

  2. Not surprised. Kansan’s do tend to be republican and it was only a matter of time before the “War on Women” came to Kansas. Well, guess it’s time to see if my Rep in the State House voted for it and if so, start trying to get him/her out.

    1. Remember this is Kansas we are talking about.  Seems not much has changed since the “Bloody Kansas” days. Plus this is the home of the Westboro Baptist Church terrorists.

      1. Kansas is backwards as crap, one of the nation’s leaders in teen preggos (44 in 1000) but even they take offense to the Westboro inbred nuthouse.

  3. It’s a sorry thing to live in Kansas under Pope Sam. I recently realized we’ve got two more years of this assclown to go. Seems like he’s been around forever already. And this is the place Thomas Frank wrote about so well, where the people insist upon voting against their best interests.

      1.  No chance of a recall. They have fixed it so its almost impossible to get enough signatures to have a recall triggered.

    1. Of course these people are worried about atheist. These people tend to decide on rational reasons and not on a 2000 year old book. 

    2.  Yes, follow your nick. Turn yourself off. Believe it or not the world doesn’t revolve around your faith or the lack there of.

      1. The self in the nick was about turning my sense of self off. It is from a depressive period i had, where i wished for the ability to turn off my self awareness as if i gave a command to a computer.

        As for my earlier comment, it is a reference to polls showing that more US voters worry about the potential for a atheist as president than a muslim at the height of the al-qaeda fear.

  4. Question: what is the best way to slap people upside the head and get them to vote for their own interests? Anyone with a psychology or sociology background want to take this on?

    1. That would be acting selfishly. Voting against your interests is selfless. 

      What, don’t you want millionaires to vote for higher taxes?

      1. You know, this might be the fundamental flaw in democracy that we all secretly felt was there.

    1. The Hippocratic Oath is no longer required for HCPs. However, they are usually required to take some kind of oath that reminds them to put their patients first. This law clearly flies in the face of those oaths, and I am sincerely hoping that no HCP would exercise the “rights” bestowed upon them by this law.

      1.  Some people believe that if they are treating a pregnant woman, that means they have two patients and ethical obligations to both. You can disagree if you think a fetus is not a person. That is a valid opinion. But caring about the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society (what most anti-abortion people consider a fetus or zygote to be) is not a character flaw. They may or may not be mistaken about when personhood begins, but to call them mean and uncaring doesn’t fit when they are going out on a limb to protect tiny helpless entities that they consider to be people. As far as they are concerned, they are Horton who hears a Who and they are taking great political risk to keep that “dust speck” from getting boiled. “A person’s a person, no matter how small” the story goes and attempts to villify them will only make them dig their heels in harder like an elephant being dragged toward a boiling cauldron.

        1. I am one of their many victims.  Calling them “mean and uncaring” doesn’t fit because it is too kind to describe their actions.

          Torturers and murderers is my usual nickname for people like them/you.

        2. I’m more concerned about the provisions allowing (or even forcing) doctors to lie to their patients. That sounds like a fairly clear violation of medical ethics, in whatever form they come in.

        3. Ah, right – The classic “They’re just misunderstood people of conscience” argument.

          Yeah, right – So, when a gang of busybody bigots whom you agree with choose to ignore laws, to defy and deny scientific fact and to rewrite the law of the land to suit their beliefs, n0 matter what the cost to somebody else – They’re HEROES, making a “principled” (Read: “Self-Justifying Rationalization”) stand against something that they disagree with.

          Please, come back and remind us of that when your daughter is denied her day in court after some scumbag exploits the watered-down laws defining rape, laws that were diluted by  the same woman-hating assholes who are re-writing these anti-abortion statutes.

          Remember, as long as they do it in the name of THEIR beliefs, then your beliefs, the consequences for your daughter and the problems created for thousands of innocent women don’t matter a fucking whit. So just keep your fucking mouth shut when it happens, because you pissed away a chance to step up and stop ’em, in the name of a “principle” that you never thought might turn around and bite YOU in the ass – But did.

        4.  I reread my post and I see nowhere that I called HCPs (nor anyone else) “mean and uncaring”. Please do not reply to me and base your response on something that was never said.

          Whether or not the zygote/embryo/fetus is “a person” is irrelevant. I am a person. You are a person. Yet I cannot demand that you donate so much as a drop of blood to me, even if in doing so, you would save my life. That’s because everyone has the right to make medical decisions for and about their own bodies, including what risks they are willing to take.

          People (including children) on the UNOS list die every day because they do not receive a donor organ in time. However, just because these people will die without a donated organ does not mean that they can demand or require another person to donate that organ. Again, that is because each of us has the right to make medical decisions for and about our own bodies, and to decide what risks we are willing to take. We cannot even be required to donate any part of our body after our deaths. This is called bodily autonomy. Each individual is allowed to make their decisions based on their own personal code of ethics and beliefs. I don’t want someone else having the right to make decisions about MY body and MY health based on THEIR personal code of ethics and beliefs. Do you?

          So why should a woman be required to donate the whole of her body for nine months, especially if in doing so, she endangers her own life? Even in the US, pregnancy and childbirth represent very real risk to the woman. If she CHOOSES to continue the pregnancy, that’s her right. If she CHOOSES not to do so, that is also her right. As no PERSON can require any other PERSON to risk their health/life in order to save their own life, why should a fetus – which some people insist is “a person” – have that right?

          And of course, the fetus wouldn’t really be the one making the demands; rather, the demands would come from people who have absolutely ZERO risk or responsibility in the pregnancy and ZERO risk or responsibility once the pregnancy comes to term. Would you want a stranger making medical decisions about YOUR body? About YOUR health? I know I wouldn’t. In fact, we have many laws that protect the right to bodily autonomy in relation to medical decisions. Would you want to see those laws struck down? Would you want someone else to have the right to insist that you donate your blood; or part of your liver; or a kidney? Would you want someone else to decide that one of your loved ones should be required to do so?

          An egg is not a chicken. An acorn is not a tree. A fetus is not an autonomous person. Certainly all of these things have the POTENTIAL to become an egg, a tree, an autonomous person, but POTENTIAL is not the same thing as REALIZATION.

          I would NOT want a HCP to make the decision whether or not to tell me I have cancer if s/he is doing so based on his/her personally code of ethics and beliefs. They should not have that right. I do not want a pharmacist to have the “right” to refuse to fill a legally written Rx from a licensed HCP based solely upon their personally CHOSEN code of ethics or beliefs.

          Where would this stop? Would firefighters and cops have the right to deny help to people if the beliefs of the people that needed their help were against their personal code of ethics or beliefs? Would teachers have the right to decline to educate people who did not share their beliefs? Would we have to have separate buses, planes, etc., each driven or piloted by people of certain beliefs solely for the people who shared their beliefs? Separate dining establishments, supermarkets, etc., so no one would have to serve people they didn’t agree with?

          Do you see how this could get very ridiculous very quickly?

          I lived during the 60s and well remember the civil unrest, based on the belief of some that people with different colored skin were unequal. I do not want to see a return to those times, and I worry about anyone who does.

          Just keep in mind that while you might agree with those that want to curtail the rights of others, you may not always be immune to this discrimination.

          First they came for the communists,

          and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists,

          and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
          Then they came for the Jews,

          and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
          Then they came for me

          and there was no one left to speak out for me.

          1.  you did, however, refer to me and anyone with a uterus as a “speck of dust.” why don’t we get to be human, since we’re the ones wandering into the doctor’s office?

    2. To be fair, the original Hippocratic Oath doesn’t permit abortions. It also doesn’t permit euthanasia or surgical removal of kidney stones by doctors (there was a separate trade for that).

      I have immense respect for the Hippocratic Oath and how it defined medical ethics in the Bronze Age. Do no harm, keep your patient’s secrets, respect your teachers and train your students, and don’t form sexual relationships with your patients still define the key items in medical ethics today.

      Don’t flame me. I’m pro-choice. It should just be noted that the Hippocratic Oath is not the only way to define medical ethics. It is just a good start (much like how Kant used the Golden Rule as a good start to define Kantian ethics).

    1. True, even when both sides are bad, one side can be essentially ‘evil’. I am finding it harder and harder to be rational with that side of the aisle, as they desperately insist on being aggressively malicious. The reasonable conservatives that would be offended by this assertion, should not, for they no longer have a party representing them.

    2. If the coin is “someone I cannot vote for” then yes, the Demolicans and Repuglicrats are indeed just two of the sides.

      A lesser evil is not a good, Cow, and you know that.  The Democrats are incompetent and corrupt, the Republicans are corrupt and evil.

      1. Not all democrats are the same, Charlie. Not all democrats are bluedogs. Some of them are busting their asses for you as we speak whether you’re an ingrate about it or not. You’d know that if you looked at their records:

        On the other hand, it’s a complete, utter lost cause with the republicans. That’s a huge difference. And, the more control we cede to the republicans, the longer it’ll take to get a third party candidate on board. The republicans do FAR more to disenfranchise voters than democrats do… you’d know that if you looked at the voting records.

        Voting records… look at ’em.

  5. I escaped from Kansas 12 years ago.  To be honest, I didn’t realize it would continue its slide into the Dark Ages, but I also would not have dreamed Sam Brownback would still be able to find enough narrow-minded bigots to keep him in office.

    1. When they say that, they mean, “keep big gubbermint regulations out of our corporate business, unless we’ve managed to keep the door revolving between us and the regulators. oh, and go take some rights away from poor people while you’re at it…”

    2. I suspect their issues in Kansas with big government don’t include crop subsidies.

  6. “Among other things, it allows doctors to lie to their patients to keep them from getting abortions, even if the mother’s health demands it…. It also allows doctors and pharmacists to withhold cancer treatment from pregnant women if they believe it might harm the foetus’s health.”

    My thoughts:

    “First, Do No Harm.”

  7. Kansas seems to be conducting their own experiment in evolution…create conditions where anyone who isn’t a religious luddite will leave, and see what the resulting gene pool will produce. Someone should do a cohort study.

    1.  Quite frankly, I believe it would be best for the US if some of these more reactionary states – Kansas, Arizona, most of the South – seceded from the Union. It would be interesting to see who would go with them. And who would beg to come back once they realized that their tax base doesn’t support their dystopian ideas.

  8. Seems like it’s time for conscientious Americans to start blacklisting individual states for this kind of bullshit. Don’t visit them, don’t do business with companies based in them, visibly pour all our attention and dollars into positive, progressive states instead. Let the ones that want to spiral back into the stone age continue to do so until they are uninhabitable, then welcome their refugees with open arms.

  9. Whoa. Is Kansas trying to dethrone Arizona as “Worst place in the Universe”?

  10. I really don’t understand why fundamentalist Christians and the Taliban don’t get along, because if they sat down I think they’d realise just how much they have in common.

    1.  Both revere the merger of El and YHWH, the chief deity of the Arameans  and and his son, a Bedouin war god. 
      Everything else falls into place. 

    2. Dominionists go out of their way to scream about “Sharia law” being imposed on Americans (it isn’t) while they then turn around and try to impose their version of religious law on America. Two sides of one coin, really.

      1. For some reason I continually have to point out that American far-right religious conservatives are masters of projection.  (And they’re no slouches at the game of transference, either.)

  11. Look, this is only the latest skirmish. The republican war on poor women been going on for decades.

    Think about the 24-hour waiting period rule. Sounds “sensible”, right? (Well, after, you buy in to the idea that someone might come to the drastic alternative of abortion capriciously; but OK.) The 24-hour waiting period is nothing but a draconian abortion tax. And here’s why. In most states, you must, by law, show up in person to the clinic to start the 24-hour clock; you cannot call the clinic.

    Consider the impact the abortion alone has, financially, and on your work schedule. You need to take off a day of work. You need to travel to the clinic (in red states, where clinics are few, you might have to take a bus 100-200 miles or more to your clinic.) Now: double those costs. That’s what the law is, a punitive tax that doubles the financial burden of an abortion.  (Of course, on the provider’s side, it’s also designed to drain the clinic’s resources, since the clinic must have space and personnel for that initial, vestigial visit.)

    The 24-hour waiting period has been around for decades, and is almost standard in red states.  Some are more “enlightened.”  In Michigan, you don’t have to show up in person, but you have to go through an Orwellian web site to get your permission slip.

    I really wish women would start a counter-offensive in this war: by ratcheting up the regulations on getting Viagra.  Why should these old men have free and easy access to these priapic pills whenever and where ever they want, without some oversight?

    1. There was one Congresswoman (can’t remember her name or where she is in Congress at) who put forth a bill to make condoms illegal or something of that nature. Of course, I doubt it ever made it to vote though.

    2. “I really wish women would start a counter-offensive in this war: by ratcheting up the regulations on getting Viagra.”

      I like the spirit of your suggestion, but many women take Viagra for heart conditions. That’s the original reason it was developed (except Pfizer realized they could make way more money marketing it as a boner catalyst).

    3. The 24 hour “waiting period” is ridiculous. By the time a woman makes the initial visit to the clinic, she either already knows she is pregnant, or is finding out that  she is pregnant. A woman cannot simply walk into a clinic and have an abortion upon demand. It doesn’t work that way. So the 24 hour “waiting period” is simply another onus being imposed on a woman who has made the difficult decision to end her pregnancy. It serves no one except to delight those that want to punish women for having the audacity to have sex.

      Same with the required vaginal ultrasound. Not only could the procedure possibly cause problems, it serves no purpose other than making anti-choicers cackle with glee. Women are not stupid. They know what a pregnancy is, and they know what an abortion is. Forcing them to have an ultrasound (that they must pay for) is nothing less than a violation of the right to bodily sovereignty when it comes to medical decisions. This is a right that should be inviolate for ALL individuals (and it is, for everyone except pregnant women).

  12. I thought the rule was “when you’re in a hole, stop digging.”  Apparently the Republicans are still trying to dig their way out.  

  13. The fools! They laughed and said that time machines weren’t possible. BUT LOOK – another whole state moved back to the 19th century! And soon the doctors will stop prescribing antibiotics because they kill BABY bacteria! Ahhhh, the good old days.

                                                                                                       Signed – Death 

  14. How can they block PP from receiving federal funds?  How are they involved in the transaction that they would be able to do that?

  15. The gop and christians – they really want to kill all those who will not “bend the knee” just like during the Spanish Inquisition.
    Sick, sick group.
    The earth needs thę death of god to save it.

    1. Don’t confuse politico fundies with Faith.

      Then again I”m finding it harder and harder to find people of faith that can also be rational minded. I think most have gone into hiding for fear of being lumped in with this drek.

      1. I’m wondering how anyone can remain rational-minded.

        It’s as if some are destroying the world, with warfare, global-warming-denial, peak-oil-denial, overfishing, etc. … And the rest of us are left with no rational response.

  16. This from the people who are trying to convince everyone that government run healthcare is a nightmare you can’t wake up from.

    Hmm. I think I see what they did there.

  17. And there’s the real problem: it’s not just Kansas. It’s not just Oklahoma. It’s not just Arizona. It’s not just Mississippi. There are too damn many states (notably occupied by the Menckenesque booboisie of the Bible Belt) pulling this sort of crap with the waiting periods and protections for lying, malpracticing doctors and personhood amendments and unfunding clinics and waging a general war on the Golden Rule. Where is it safe to live? Which state gets to claim it is governed by a sane governor, legislature, and populace?

  18.  What if as many women as possible simply left the state of Kansas for a week?  Maybe sympathetic hotel chains or some such provide free rooms in neighboring states… Maybe theme parks hand out free admission to women  with KS drivers licenses or some such for a week.  Give Kansas a tiny taste of the white plague and make the assholes think twice about their War on Women.

  19. One of the things I remember fondly from living in the mountains of Idaho, was the tobacco-shop at the local indian reservation, such variety, so cheap.
    AFAIK they could do that, because their land is designated federal/sovereign nation?
    And AFAIK abortion is legal on the federal level.
    So why not put up clinics on reservations? Sure, it’s a silly solution to a stupid problem, but still, it’s gotta be better than nothing. Plus it might bring some income and maybe some native americans would get a kick out of sticking it to the man.
    Of course, for all I know, they might all be pro-lifers. It wouldn’t hurt to ask though.
    Wait a minute, aren’t military bases and federal offices on federal land? At least there, there would be less of a security issue.. although I’m pretty sure the army is pro-life, at least to begin with..
    Are federal prisons on federal land?

  20. Two things, closely related:

    One, I’ve been saying for a lot of years that people who say “a fetus is a person with full human rights” mostly don’t mean it, and you can tell, because they don’t act like it.

    Two, on the other hand, some of them actually do believe it, and you can tell, because this IS how you act if you believe that anything that kills a fetus is murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide. If you truly believe “abortion is murder!” then you don’t say “abortion is murder! but murder is okay in this circumstance, or in that circumstance, or …”

    What we’re reaping here is the consequences of our failure to engage the religious right on a false scientific assertion of theirs: the decades out of date assertion that once the sperm cell fuses with the egg cell, what you have right there and then is a fully formed human being that just needs to grow up. It’s a scientific assertion that grows out of Watson and Crick’s misleading and downright false claim that the DNA molecule is “the blueprint for life.”

    It is, in fact, no such thing, which is why you can’t fertilize an embryo in vitro and grow a person in a petri dish. If you try it, as soon as the embryo reaches the point where cell differentiation should begin, it dies, for lack of the chemical signals that tell it how to grow into a human being. Look up “epigenetics.” DNA is not a blueprint for life, it is a random-number seed, or at best the #include file that defines a couple of variables, leaving out all of the constants and the code.

    But we let them have that point, and now we have a steadily increasing number of voters who think that IUDs and hormonal birth control kill babies, because they think that an unimplanted fertilized egg is a baby. And we do not have time to educate them out of it. Which leaves us looking, to them, like we are arguing just what I said above, that sometimes killing babies is better than not killing babies, an argument so repulsive that it practically invites the comparison to 19th century African-American slavery. And that’s why we’re going to lose.

    1. I’m from Kansas (too) and lived just south of Wichita during the Summer of Mercy. This *is*, I’m sorry to say, the Kansas I know – though it’s not the fine freak state tradition that my whole family, still there, upholds. Me and my earning potential and my tax money and my human capital and my womb, well, we don’t live there anymore.

  21. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences in Kansas, particularly Lawrence. I can’t hold a grudge against an entire state just because I disagree with some of their politicians. Every state has or has had political creeps at some point. Hang in there, KS.

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