Proposed Kansas Law Would Allow Doctors to Withhold Information from Women to Prevent Abortion

The main argument that anti-abortion activists and legislators tend to give in justifying the increasingly strict requirements like ultrasounds and face-to-face visits with a doctor and waiting periods is that women should be given access to as much information as possible to allow them to make informed decisions. 

But that does not appear to be a motivation behind legislation in Kansas, which would protect doctors who refuse to provide women with information that, were they informed, might lead them to choose an abortion:

A Kansas House committee is scheduled to take up a bill Wednesday that would exempt doctors from malpractice suits if they withheld medical information to prevent an abortion. The measure would also take away tax credits for abortion providers, remove tax deductions for the purchase of abortion-related insurance coverage and require women to hear the fetal heartbeat. The bill includes several provisions, which passed in other states and now face federal lawsuits. The bill would also require women be told about potential breast cancer risks from abortions, even though medical experts discount such a connection.

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Among the most contested provisions of the bill is the section that would exempt a doctor from a medical malpractice suit if a woman claims the physician withheld information about potential birth defects to prevent her from having an abortion. In addition, a woman would not be able to sue if she suffers health damage from a pregnancy as a result of information withheld from her to prevent an abortion. A wrongful death suit could still be filed, however, if the mother died.

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