The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has given South Dakota the green light to force abortion providers to tell their patients that by seeking abortions, they face an increased risk of suicide. There might be a case to be made for “informed consent” if the “science” behind this increased risk weren’t a transparent case of correlation-not-causation. This is the part that chaps my ass, as Erin Gloria Ryan quotes from the majority opinion:
“On its face, the suicide advisory presents neither an undue burden on abortion rights nor a violation of physicians’ free speech rights.”
What is that I don’t even.
The law requires all physicians offering abortion care to read a script to their patients, including some word salad about how the woman has an “existing relationship” with a “human being” who will be terminated in the procedure, as if they haven’t figured out what’s actually going on. In this script is also the “suicide advisory,” which compels doctors to tell their patients that having abortions will make them more likely to off themselves, all scientific evidence to the contrary. IOW, it forces doctors to tell their patients what the state wants them to hear.
This is an infringement on their right to free speech.
NPR has a report up about the prevalence of Native children in South Dakota being placed in foster care, mostly outside their tribes. This is in violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which mandates exactly the opposite for all states.
State officials say they have to do what’s in the best interest of the child, but the state does have a financial incentive to remove the children. The state receives thousands of dollars from the federal government for every child it takes from a family, and in some cases the state gets even more money if the child is Native American. The result is that South Dakota is now removing children at a rate higher than the vast majority of other states in the country.
Native American families feel the brunt of this. Their children make up less than 15 percent of the child population, yet they make up more than half of the children in foster care.
Critics say foster care in South Dakota has become a powerhouse for private group home providers who bring in millions of dollars in state contracts to care for kids. Among them is Children’s Home Society, the state’s largest foster care provider, which has close ties with top government officials. It used to be run by South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugard. An NPR investigation has found that Daugard was on the group’s payroll while he was lieutenant governor — and while the group received tens of millions of dollars in no-bid state contracts. It’s an unusual relationship highlighting the powerful role money and politics play in South Dakota’s foster care system.
If that sounds like a perfect storm for driving a wrecking ball through Native families, that’s because it is.
It gets worse.
Jodi Jacobson gives us two articles at RH Reality Check about two judges who’ve blocked two laws in two states intended effectively to eliminate abortion access altogether.
We have Judge Schreier in South Dakota:
In finding that the “pregnancy help center” requirement is likely unconstitutional, the Court said: “Forcing a woman to divulge to a stranger at a pregnancy help center the fact that she has chosen to undergo an abortion humiliates and degrades her as a human being. The woman will feel degraded by the compulsive nature of the Pregnancy Help Center requirements, which suggest that she has made the ‘wrong’ decision, has not really ‘thought’ about her decision to undergo an abortion, or is ‘not intelligent enough’ to make the decision with the advice of a physician. Furthermore, these women are forced into a hostile environment.”
U.S. District Judge Marguia is having none of this bullshit in Kansas:
The regulations, an example of what are known as Targeted Regulations for Abortion Providers or TRAP laws, would require clinics to meet medically unnecessary conditions to maintain their operating licences, by for example mandating specific sizes for a janitorial closet.
The new law would require hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices to obtain an annual license from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to perform more than five non-emergency abortions in a month. The regulations tell abortion providers what drugs and equipment they must stock and, among other things, establish minimum sizes and acceptable temperatures for procedure and recovery rooms.
The injunction will remain in effect until a trial is held in a lawsuit challenging the Kansas rules. The new law and regulations would otherwise have taken effect on Friday and would have resulted in closure of two out of three clinics offering abortion in Kansas for failure to meet what were hastily crafted and changing regulations. The lawsuit was filed was filed earlier this week by Drs. Hodes and Nauser of the Center for Women’s Health, Aid for Women in Kansas City, and Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. PPKM withdrew from the suit yesterday when it was able to prove it met even the most unreasonable criteria and received a license from the state board.
Meanwhile, I just know the legislators who passed the Kansas law are now tearing their hair out over PPKM being able to meet the licensing requirements.
In the latest round of Satire Is No Longer Possible, there is a law under consideration in the South Dakota legislature that says abortion providers’ lives are forfeit. Kate Sheppard reports at Mother Jones:
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.
Let’s spell this out here: if you are the parent, spouse/partner, or child of a woman who is planning an abortion, you may kill the abortion provider before the procedure, and get away with it.