I’d say I’m at a loss for words for how to express my extreme discontent over Ohio House Bill 200 but I’m going to save it for a steady and increasingly louder drumbeat of arguments against it starting tonight. Make no mistake, to defeat this absolute and absolutely invasive set of provisions that completely contradict the charades of conservatives who say they want to keep government out of our lives, we will need to be as adamant, sharp, specific, relentless and vocal as ever, if not more so.
Your education on HB 200 can start with these links but I have no doubt this is just the beginning of the battle:
The bill itself – it has no fiscal notes or bill analysis yet
Among other things, the bill would:
• Require doctors to give women a verbal description of the ultrasound, including an audible heartbeat, if available. (The bill notes, however, that a woman can refuse to view ultrasound images or listen to the sounds detected by a fetal heart monitor.)
• Compel abortion providers to tell patients that fetuses and embryos can feel pain, and that a woman who has an abortion increases her risk of breast cancer.
• Extend the waiting period for abortions to 48 hours instead of 24.
• Require doctors to tell patients seeking abortions in writing how much money they earn and how much income they would lose by not performing abortions.
• Eliminate “medical necessity” as a reason to waive the waiting period. Medical necessity had been defined as a medical condition that complicates the pregnancy so that it warrants an immediate abortion.
• Allow a waiver for a “medical emergency,” which is redefined in the bill as a condition that would result in the woman’s death without an abortion, as opposed to one that presents a serious risk to her life or physical health.
Doctors who do not follow the rules could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.
Look at all those job-creation proposals, eh? Exactly what Ohio needs – you smart drafters, you.
For some commentary:
From Think Progress, “Ohio Republicans Introduce One Of The Nation’s All-Time Worst Abortion Bills”
From Anastasia Pantsios at Ohio Daily Blog, “Ohio Legislature Escalates Its War on Women — Again”
And, you know, just in case any of the legislators who are sponsoring this bill would like to know what the medical professionals who practice in the area of reproductive health think? “Ob-Gyns Issue Policy Opposing Legislative Interference” – in pertinent part:
Government should not interfere with the patient-physician relationship without a substantial public health justification, according to The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In a new Statement of Policy approved by its Executive Board, ACOG states its objections to laws forcing physicians to give or withhold specific information when counseling patients or that mandate specific treatments, tests, and procedures.
“Given the relentless legislative assault on the patient-physician relationship that we’ve seen in the past few years—and unfortunately continue to see—we were compelled to issue a formal Statement of Policy,” said ACOG President Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD. “A disproportionate number of these types of laws are aimed at women’s reproductive rights and the physicians that provide women’s health care services.”
“We are speaking out not just on behalf of ob-gyns, but for all physicians and patients,” said Dr. Conry. “Many of these laws are dangerous to patients’ health and safety. As physicians, we are obligated to offer the best evidence-based care to our patients. Government should stay out of imposing its political agenda on medical practice.”
Anyone listening down there in Columbus?