Oklahoma encourages doctors to lie to you
By Rachel Manteuffel
The big news out of Oklahoma is that a judge has put on hold a new state law requiring show-and-tell ultrasounds before abortions. What has received less attention, however, is its companion measure, which encourages your doctor to lie to you. This is evidently such a good thing that both houses were able to override a veto with no trouble.
The law bars patients from seeking damages from physicians who don’t tell mothers about problems with their fetuses -- and, even then, only if there is nothing that can be done to help short of abortion. It’s genius: less information, fewer abortions!
So say your baby is perfectly healthy; ordinarily, this news is cause for celebration. But in Oklahoma, your doctor might be lying when he tells you that. You could get a second opinion, of course, which, in Oklahoma, might also be a lie.
There are complicated decisions to be made about a very sick fetus. Maybe he will never be able to breathe air. Maybe she will live for three painful, scream-filled days that cost so much you won't be able to afford college for the children you already have. Deciding whether to get an abortion under those circumstances might be a very difficult choice. Perhaps that's why Oklahoma stepped in here, to help you. That's why the doctor, the one who benefits financially if you deliver a dying baby, is the person the state encourages to manipulate the decision.
This law is, in fact, about choice. Just not the mother's.
| May 4, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
Categories: Manteuffel | Tags: Rachel Manteuffel
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