Robin Marty shows us the latest round of surely-you-jest absurdity in the battle over abortion rights in Kansas. It appears of AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, are filing to appeal the federal injunction against the enforcement of TRAP laws, which would effectively shut down most abortion clinics. In short, their lawsuit says, “Oh yes they CAN shut down the abortion clinics in Kansas!” What is their legal standing in the case, you ask? I’ll give you the full quote from NECN:
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed a motion to intervene in the case Monday, along with a notice of its appeal of the injunction. The group claims it has legal standing in the case because its members in Kansas are losing childbirth-related business to abortion clinics. It also says its members are placed at a competitive disadvantage because abortion providers pass along the costs of any complications or medical care after abortions to other doctors.
Is this an argument against abortion rights now? “We need to force women to have babies because baby-catching docs need to make a living”?
Fine, this is just their foot-in-the-door argument to get their case into court. They want to see the TRAP laws enforced because they’re against abortion, full stop. There are plenty of OB/GYNs who do mostly maternity care, don’t provide abortions, and are pro-choice. They seem to be more concerned with how they’re already working a ridiculous number of hours per week with the patients they already have, rather than whining about how they’d have so much more business if only women didn’t have the right to choose.
In order to get their case into court, however, they will need to convince a judge of this “taking away our business” malarkey. This “competitive disadvantage” idea is also quite bizarre. Abortion providers do follow-up appointments with their patients to see how they’re recovering. Now, if a woman has a hemorrhage or a sudden life-threatening infection after an abortion, she will need to go to the emergency room. A woman who suffers major complications after giving birth will also go to the emergency room and will be cared for by doctors other than the OB/GYN who provided her L&D care. We could just as easily say that abortion providers are at a competitive disadvantage to L&D care providers because the latter group don’t have to deal with hordes of protesters terrorizing their clinics.
Does AAPLOG also try to shut down midwifery practices on the grounds that—no, scratch that thought, I don’t want to give them ideas.
Seriously, though, the idea that abortion providers are in competition with maternity care providers assumes that society is obligated to provide the maternity docs with as much business as possible. It assumes that women not only are not allowed to decide how to plan their families, they’re also not allowed to decide how to spend their money. An abortion costs a few hundred dollars. Having a baby at a hospital can run you into the $10k-20k-and-up range, but that’s not why women have abortions. The reason that women have abortions is because they have unwanted pregnancies. We’re not just talking about a product that’s cheaper than the alternative. This is about women making decisions for their lives. The ability of certain doctors to maintain their customer base does not come into that decision.