Thursday, February 10, 2011

South Dakota Intruding on Women's Rights with Mandated Medically Inaccurate Information

Conservatives claim they are passionate about defending our freedom, adamant about keeping government small and not intrusive.  They consistently act in direct contradiction to those claims.  I have a particular objection, a passionately stubborn problem, with conservative efforts to provide false, misleading medically inaccurate information.  I object to it being included in abstinence only sex ed curriculum's where false information is provided about contraception, such as wrong information about condom usage and success.  I object to false information being mandated by state governments to women that abortions cause breast cancer and sterility.

Women, and their families, deserve honest medical information.  Women who are making decisions about their reproductive health deserve an accurate and factual basis on which to decide.
  The Right likes to complain about a nanny state promoted by liberals.  There is no more insulting, 'nanny state' scenario than when our government, at any level, mandates lying to us to deceive us into a decision we would not make if we had fair, objective, factually accurate information available to us.  There is no more offensive over-reach of government than this kind of intrusion and insertion into the medical decisions of a woman and her CHOSEN medical professional by unqualified and highly biased propagandists for an extremist culture war on women.

This is a petition originated by Pro-Choice South Dakota in cooperation with  opposing HB 1217; if you choose to sign this petition, you can do so at the linked site.

Pregnancy Care Centers, otherwise known as Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are often referred to as the “clinic arm” of the anti-abortion movement because, posing as comprehensive reproductive-health care clinics, they disseminate medically inaccurate information designed to hijack women’s right to choose. HB 1217 recently proposed by anti-choice legislators in South Dakota, among other things, requires pregnant women to visit a CPC prior to an abortion procedure.

While some CPCs may provide appropriate support and information to women facing unintended pregnancies, report after report indicates that many of these centers intentionally mislead and even coerce women who go to them seeking comprehensive pregnancy-related services.

Many CPCs are not licensed medical facilities and are staffed by unlicensed individuals. All individuals seeking health-care services should receive comprehensive, unbiased, medically and factually accurate information. This information is best obtained from the doctor that person chooses to consult. Expectant mothers should make decisions about their pregnancy with their doctors, determining what is best for themselves and their families.

HB 1217 does not create any duties or liability for CPCs, and has no mechanisms in place to ensure that the information provided at those facilities will be accurate. Requiring a woman to receive counsel from someone other than her chosen medical provider regarding her medical decisions is the worst kind of government intrusion. A woman’s decisions on who to consult regarding her pregnancy should be hers alone and not the government’s.  I hope our readers will consider opposing SD 1217, an excerpt of which states:
"(5) It is a necessary and proper exercise of the state’s authority to give precedence to the
      mother’s fundamental interest in her relationship with her child over the irrevocable
      method of termination of that relationship by induced abortion, ".
Taking out the sanitized language, that paragraph asserts, effectively, the state has the right to use its authority to intrude in her medical decisions about her reproductive life to keep a woman pregnant even if she chooses an abortion.

Here is the petition:
Don't Intrude on the Private Medical Decisions of Women in South Dakota


As legislators during these difficult economic times, I recognize you are faced with many challenges in order to help see the residents of South Dakota through. HB 1217 will not do anything to improve the lives of South Dakotans, however. This bill mandates that pregnant women must provide a written statement that they've visited a pregnancy center in order to access a legal abortion and as such is simply the kind of government intrusion into the private, personal medical decisions of South Dakotans which has been rejected many times over. Please ensure that HB 1217 does not make it any further in the House.

We all want to make sure that pregnant women receive access to the most comprehensive information, resources and high-quality care, regardless of what legal, safe option they chose to access. Numerous reports commissioned by policy makers, providers and advocates over the years have shown that pregnancy centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers, provide consistently false or misleading information to women seeking care. These centers are predicated on the position that legal abortion is wrong; which is their right. However, pregnancy centers do not generally employ medical professionals or health care providers. It's imperative that pregnant women needing honest, timely information and care receive that care from an actual health care provider.

Please oppose HB 1217. It does not regulate pregnancy centers, and has no mechanisms in place to ensure that the information provided at those facilities will be accurate. Requiring a woman to receive counsel from someone other than her chosen medical provider regarding her medical decisions is the worst kind of government intrusion. A woman’s decisions on who to consult regarding her pregnancy should be hers alone and not the government’s.

Thank you for your attention to this!
If you missed the link above and would like to sign this petition, you can also do so here.


  1. Let's see, the right claim to be pro-life, yet support proliferation of firearms in society.

    Spot the inconsistency.

    If one believes in the sanctity of life, one does not stop at birth. This is a topic. that I've blogged about.

    The truly pro-life crowd spot the contradiction.

    The idiots who are manipulated by the right do not.

  2. Could you post the actual URL for the petition you mention.

    Not that it mattered too much to me, I signed a few petitions to end this ridiculous practise of using a woman's right to choose as a wedge issue.

    It is the supreme hypocracy to say that government intrudes too much in people's lives, yet support government intrusion in people's reproductive choice.

  3. You have a very bad widget on your blog homepage, Pen. It says that you are someplace in Toronto and I am some place in Kea'au, Hawaii.
    Also it is not positioned correctly.

  4. You're right Laci. Some of them also like capital punishment.

  5. Laci, here is the url for the petition; I'll double check the link to it is working as well. Thanks for asking!

    Thanks also for your comments, and for the link too. After visiting your blog, I added it to our blog roll. Perhaps you would add ours to your blog roll as well?

    Terry, while the widget is fun, (and adding it was my doing, can't blame Pen) it is not as accurate all the time as it could be. Sometimes I don't show up at all, sometimes I show up as being in Iowa when I'm in MN. However whatever is the cause for that error - the same one that put you in a different location in Hawaii - it shows up on our entirely separate stat counter as well the same wrong way. And it is not showing some of our regular readers either - like the one in Dakar Senegal for example, or many of those who are in South America, Asia or Africa, orAustralia and New Zealand. Some of those ARE picked up on our stat counter, some are picked up on the blogger software stats.

    Even if it isn't perfect, it's still a fun widget.

    Now if I could just figure out how the heck to embed wav or other sounds in a blogger post without it playing incessently every time the blog is opened (making it post specific). (any help from a reader would be much appreciated) I have to admit that the mini-movie efforts of 'the fast draw' have gotten me interested in doing our own graphics with sound features.

    But I have to learn how to master a program or two. Fortunately animation was included in my college art classes.... no promises on when, it will be as time and my patience permit.