Kansas’s war on women marches on.
SB62 immunizes doctors and medical care facilities from liability for refusing to provide any care or prescribe any drug that might lead to abortion if those doctors or medical facilities have a moral objection to abortion or birth control:
TOPEKA, Kan. (WTW) — A bill designed to give Kansas health care providers greater legal protections if they refuse any involvement in abortion moved Wednesday toward passage in the state House, despite concerns that it could lessen access to birth control.
Kansas already has laws that say no person or hospital can be forced to participate in abortions or sterilizations or be penalized for refusing. This year’s measure extends “conscience” protections to health care facilities other than hospitals and says providers couldn’t be required to refer patients for abortion care or to prescribe or dispense abortion-inducing drugs.
The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life is pushing the measure, and Kathy Ostrowski, its legislative director, said the bill is written so that doctors or pharmacists couldn’t be penalized for refusing to provide birth control if they had a reasonable belief that it terminates pregnancies. The proposed protection is broad enough to cover moral objections, she said.
“We have professionals who have religious concerns that are not covered in state law,” Ostrowski said. “They would have some protections from losing their jobs.”
Still, during the House’s debate Wednesday, supporters of the bill suggested that fears of women not being able to obtain birth control bills or other widely used contraceptives were unfounded.
The House Judiciary Committee sponsored the bill; Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, said he wanted to go further to specifically cover birth control and didn’t. Rep. Jan. Pauls, a Hutchinson Democrat who opposes abortion, said even if some doctors and pharmacists wouldn’t dispense birth control, patients have plenty of choices, including mail-order and Internet pharmacy services.
But Sarah Gillooly, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said doctors could not only refuse to prescribe birth control, but refuse to help patients find providers who would. Abortion rights advocates also suggested the bill could prevent sexual assault victims from receiving emergency medications to block pregnancies.
We must protect the “religious concerns” of doctors who believe the Hippocratic Oath was less an oath and more a set of guiding principles to be ignored when it is convenient. And if women need birth control, they should just buy it on the internet. Because that’s safe and makes sense. Who cares about the needs of women in Kansas. They shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place.
[cross-posted at Balloon Juice]