On April 22, Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the Senate Bill 67, a bill that will prohibit a physician from providing, inducing, or attempting to provide or induce a medication abortion that uses mifepristone without informing the woman that it “may be possible” to reverse the intended effects of a medication abortion that uses mifepristone.
The bill also creates both criminal and civil charges should the physician fail to notify patients in specific ways set forth in the bill.
In other words, this bill would turn doctors into potential criminals for refusing to perform malpractice. If it is considered malpractice to give a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness or injury, it should remain illegal to provide inaccurate information for medication abortion. The AMA and the ACOG have voiced strong concerns about this legislation, stating there is “no credible evidence to support the argument for abortion reversal.”
The goal of both physicians and policy makers should be to dispel misinformation, especially when it comes to women’s health care.
It is vital for our legislators to sustain the governor’s veto when they return on May 1. Sadly, even “moderate” Republicans voted for this horrible piece of public policy, hoping it will save them from facing a far-right primary contender in 2020. News flash: It won’t keep them from having a far-right primary contender in 2020! It will, however, make access to abortion care more difficult for all women in Kansas.
I have never met anyone who isn’t pro-life. But I do know women who have had to terminate a pregnancy. And, I for one am grateful that Gov. Kelly understands that this bill interferes with doctor/patient relationship by providing inaccurate information about medication abortion.
This bill is also a form of subtle coercion wrapped in the false narrative of “abortion regret” from the anti-choice lawmakers, portraying women as incapable of making decisions about their bodies, their health and their future.
Women are quite capable decision makers who know what is best for their own lives and they deserve to be given only medically accurate information. I trust women to make these very private and difficult decisions with guidance from their physicians, faith leaders and families.
Our lawmakers should trust women, too, and they should vote to sustain the governor’s veto on SB 67.
Joy has blogged extensively about her experience and activities in the legislature and beyond.