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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.

By Rachel Manteuffel  | May 4, 2010; 2:31 PM ET
Categories:  Manteuffel  | Tags:  Rachel Manteuffel  
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Comments

Just the idea that doctors are encouraged to LIE is unbelievable. And yet there are people out there that think this is okay.

Here's to their doctor telling them they are perfectly healthy and they die of cancer in nine months.

Posted by: racerdoc | May 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oklahoma and Kansas. The lands time forgot. Welcome back to the Inquisition American style.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The truly remarkable thing is how many of the supporters of this law will loudly complain about the "nanny state" if the government, say, tries to regulate pollution or to prevent health insurers from denying coverage. To me, intrusions in private life like this--"we're going to protect these poor women from facts that might cause them to make a decision we think they will regret later" --are more paternalistic and nannying than just about anything that could be done in the economic realm.

Posted by: CharlesHoogstraten | May 4, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm completely appalled. How can this possibly be legal? I hope someone sues not only their doctor, but their Congressman, too!

Posted by: 1toughlady | May 4, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

While this law seems very poorly written, Rachel's hysterical post is also very one-sided.

If this law forbade telling a pregnant woman that her fetus has Downs syndrome, I would strongly support it.

Let Rachel defend abortion not on her hypothetical terms--a baby in pain and bound to die anyway--but on less favorable terms--a baby with Downs syndrome.

This isn't as simple a question as her biased, knee-jerk post suggests.

Posted by: uh_huhh | May 4, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I would ordinarily say, "unbelievable" but today in Obama's America, nothing is unbelievable.

To keep pertinent facts from a pregnant woman about her baby is criminal and their state legislature should be drummed out of office. In fact they should be put in jail for getting between a patient and his/her doctor.

Our country is not what our founders meant it to be. I think every incumbent in every state and federal political postion should be voted out. No exclusions.

And I also believe that the Tea Party should get their own, inexperienced politician and vote them into office. After all, one rotten apple.......

In out case today, all of our legislatures are rotten to the core and should be sent to prison.

Posted by: aaniko | May 4, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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