Kansas Bill Permits Doctors to Refuse to Administer Chemotherapy to Pregnant Cancer Patients

The Kansas Senate has approved a bill that literally prioritizes a doctor’s personal beliefs over women — currently alive, breathing women — by permitting doctors and other healthcare providers to refuse medical care to a pregnant woman if such care might end her pregnancy.  And here’s the kicker: the healthcare provider would not be under any obligation to refer the patient elsewhere.

So, if a woman develops breast cancer while pregnant, or if a woman with breast cancer becomes pregnant, her doctor could refuse to provide chemotherapy treatment to her, and the doctor would not have to tell her why she was being refused treatment and would not have to refer the patient to another doctor who would provide chemo.

We’re familiar with abortion laws that prioritize the lives of the unborn over the lives of women.  This bill now prioritizes a doctor’s personal beliefs over the life of a human.

THIS IS MADNESS.

TOPEKA — A bill giving more legal protection to Kansas health care providers who refuse to participate in abortions was on its way Wednesday to Gov. Sam Brownback, despite concerns it would limit access to birth control and allow some professionals to block life-saving care.

The Senate approved the “conscience” measure, 23-16. The House passed the bill last month, and Brownback is expected to sign it. The new law would take effect July 1.

Abortion opponents argued that the legislation merely updates decades-old state laws preventing doctors and hospitals from being forced to participate in abortions or sterilizations. They said changes are needed because women seeking abortions can now use drugs to induce them, and health care professionals who oppose abortion shouldn’t face the threat of losing their jobs or being sued if they follow their consciences.

“This is about respecting the rights to conscience and others’ beliefs,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, who opposes abortion. “Let’s protect people’s beliefs.”

The measure extends “conscience” protections to clinics, doctor’s offices and other facilities other than hospitals. People are protected not only from being forced to participate in abortions but from referring patients for abortion services or participating in the prescription or administration of any drug that terminates a pregnancy.

The legal protections extend to any individual or institution that “reasonably believes” that the use of a drug terminates a pregnancy. Some critics said that provision will allow doctors and pharmacists to refuse to prescribe or dispense birth control.

They also said it could allow a doctor to refuse to provide chemotherapy to a pregnant cancer patient because it might end her pregnancy.

Furthermore, critics said, patients wouldn’t know about a provider’s moral objections until the provider refused to provide treatment or dispense a drug – and the provider wouldn’t have to refer the patient elsewhere.

“This is outrageous,” Sen. Kelly Kultala, D-Kansas City, said after the vote.

Federal and state lawsuits are challenging Kansas laws enacted last year to impose health and safety rules specifically for abortion providers, restrict private health insurance coverage of elective abortions and prevent the state from paying Planned Parenthood to provide non-abortion services.

Those measures helped vault Kansas to the forefront of a national trend in which abortion foes capitalized on the election of new, sympathetic Republican governors like Brownback. Kansas lawmakers also tightened limits on late-term abortions and required parental consent in writing before a minor’s abortion.

Julie Burkhart, founder of the abortion-rights political action committee Trust Women, said the latest measure further erodes health care for women.

I’m stunned. I shouldn’t be, but I am.  This is just outrageous.

The full text of the bill is here.

This bill is not the bill about which I wrote earlier (HB 2598). This is a separate “Right of Conscience” bill (SB62) that has already passed the Senate and is on Brownback’s desk.






86 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    So much for being pro-life…

  2. 2

    That is just downright depressing. What the hell.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    Which lawmakers are writing these bills? Are there no women Republican lawmakers in the state?

  4. 4
    piratedan says:

    and I suppose if Jared Loughner believed that State Senator Cook needed to die in order to get right with his belief system she would be okay with that… oops, forgot, he’s not a doctor, so his rights only extend to beating his wife. Gadzooks I wish people would understand that just because you have a belief it isn’t the same as a right.

  5. 5
    r€nato says:

    I look forward to someone passing a law that allows me to follow my conscience and sincerely-held belief that these fuckers need a punch in the face.

  6. 6
    Svensker says:

    THERE IS NO WAR ON WOMEN! ! !

    I mean, this is just about religious liberty. Or something.

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    Okay, this is VERY FUCKING PERSONAL to me because, as I have mentioned before, this is the exact choice that my mother made. She found out while she was pregnant with me that she had had a recurrence of breast cancer and she was advised by her doctors to terminate the pregnancy. Instead, she chose to continue it, had me, and died when I was seven.

    It’s been hard enough living my life knowing that my mother freely made the choice to have me. I can’t even fucking IMAGINE how horrible it would be to know that your mother was FORCED into that by motherfucking government busybodies who basically murdered her for your supposed benefit.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    gaz says:

    Fuck kansas. There’s a reason we call it flyover country.

    I feel bad for the ones that can’t move. The rest have no excuse.

    Save yourselves and GTFO

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    It’d be a shame to lose a good brood-woman to cancer, but you could always pick up another at the next livestock auction.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    “This is about respecting the rights to conscience and others’ beliefs,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, who opposes abortion. “Let’s protect people’s beliefs.”

    What about the beliefs of the pregnant woman? That doesn’t fucking count? The person with the medical need. None of that matters? The beliefs that we are supposed to be protecting here, whose beliefs are they? Conservative assholes beliefs that whose.
    I’m ashamed that I served in the military, supposedly protecting conservatives, when they don’t give two shits about anyone or anything but themselves.

  12. 12
    ABL says:

    @Brachiator: The 68-pager is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs. It’s almost as if they don’t want to attach their names to this shit. Then again, I’m not quite sure how the Kansas legislature works. Still, it strikes me as odd that it has no author or nominal sponsor.

  13. 13
    gaz says:

    Kansas is not an appropriate venue for child rearing.

    In fact I’d say at this point that even considering starting a family in Kansas amounts to child abuse. Get out. Leave. We’ve got better weather on the coasts anyway.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I’m trying to picture what constituency exists out there that says, “Yes, we should let cancer patients die rather than save their lives because BAYBEEZ!”

  15. 15
    Ruckus says:

    @r€nato:
    I’m not sure that’s even close to enough.
    Are you trying to stun them or just get their attention?
    I think they need retroactive abortions.
    Fuckers.

  16. 16
    mai naem says:

    Well, I hope this extends to males and viagra – that is the provider can choose to tell the guy that he cannot have viagra because its against the providers beliefs and then also tell the guy that its because it would not be advised. Also too, it should extend to every masturbating male because all that “seed’ should not be wasted. It should be going somewhere productive so all mastrubating males should be charged with killing precious widdle bay-beeez.

  17. 17
    Martin says:

    Man, Lugar is getting wrecked in the IN Senate primary. This might turn into a Dem pickup.

  18. 18
    David Koch says:

    This Just In: Lugar loses

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Jesus. Hugs FWIW. That post made me cry.

  20. 20
    Arclite says:

    WOW.

    I’m jaded and used to wingnut bullshit, but this shocks me.

  21. 21
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s an amazing story. What a turmoil of feelings you must still have over it. To have a bunch of people with contempt for women to try to stomp all over such a painful situation is so horrifying.

    I am appalled at the callousness the Republicans feel free to show at this point. It’s classic “doubling down” when their beliefs were challenged; it was never a tenet of Protestantism that the mother should be sacrificed; where did this obsession come from?

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Rhoda says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am so sorry for your loss.

  24. 24
    gaz says:

    We’ve never been at war with women.
    We’ve always been at war with women.

  25. 25
    Arclite says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, your mother made an incredibly brave choice. My condolences.

  26. 26
    karen says:

    If the Democratic party was smart, the new ad would be on TV with emergency room footage and the beep of life machines with a woman’s voice saying if you’re pregnant, don’t get cancer in Kansas because the doctor won’t even offer chemo if they think the life of the baby is more important than the life of the mother. You. Your doctor won’t even tell you if you have cancer if they think that might lead you to get chemo. And not just chemo. They can deny you all treatment, even pain killer if they feel that it would hurt the baby.

    Thank you Kansas, for creating more motherless children.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    Thanks, everybody. This was something I found out as a teenager and it took me years (and some therapy) to work through it. You never quite get over that feeling of being responsible, so it makes me sick to think that someone would have that burden laid on them not because their mother made a conscious choice to make that sacrifice, but because the government took that choice away.

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    The new law would take effect July 1.

    Probably not. This is why God created the preliminary injunction.

  29. 29
    gaz says:

    @karen: The Kansas GOP must be in the pocket of the orphanage lobby.

  30. 30

    The states are where the wing-nut action is.

    Our governor, Paul ‘37%’ LePage, needs to eliminate Medicaid coverage for 19- and 20-year-olds, eliminate the Drugs for the Elderly and Medicare Savings Program and eliminate state funding for Head Start, because it’s the only way to give tax cuts to commercial greenhouses and wood harvesters.

    These are cuts he couldn’t get through his own GOP-majority legislature’s budget process last time.

    I admire the inclusion of tax cuts for active-duty service personnel. Why don’t you respect the troops?

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That is an amazing story.

    The key thing in it is that your mother decided, FOR HERSELF, without the assistance of shitstain Rethuglican assholes, what she would do.

    Obviously, that fact is in the craw of Rethuglican assholes, everywhere.

    She exercised agency.

    She was a human being who decided her own fate.

    The horror.

    Your mother was a brave and noble woman. And she gave us…you. We owe her for that. The only way to repay that debt is to fight to make sure that every woman has the chance to make that choice.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    Women are just so uppity nowadays, thinking that whole right to life actually applies to them.

  33. 33
    schrodinger's cat says:

    How are these people different than the Taliban?

  34. 34
    karen says:

    Is there any way that Team Uterati or a network of people can bring women across the border if need be? Surely that’s not against the law. Yet.

  35. 35

    Please, we all know that once a woman is pregnant she is merely an incubator for the fetus

  36. 36
  37. 37
    AuroraDarc says:

    @Ash Can: This. Of course.

  38. 38

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    They aren’t, which is the bottom line. And it needs to be broadcast far and wide.

  39. 39
    AnnaN says:

    However awful this is and I do truly believe that these people who put it out there are sociopaths, but there is no way that this will NOT be nullified in court. Talk about wrongful death and malpractice suits. Frankly, I don’t see how ANY doctor would be insurable in the state if this law passes.

  40. 40
    AnnaN says:

    However awful this is and I do truly believe that these people who put it out there are sociopaths, but there is no way that this will NOT be nullified in court. Talk about wrongful death and malpractice suits. Frankly, I don’t see how ANY doctor would be insurable in the state if this law passes.

  41. 41
    greennotGreen says:

    And once again we have to ask, “Where is the AMA?”

  42. 42
    scav says:

    Between this and their views on teaching science and evolution, Kansas might as well just drop the whole pretense or requiring edjumacation for doctors. Think of all the cost savings. Hand ’em a Gideons and let em rip. These ain’t no guv-mind death panels. These be holy-writ approved grass-roots individual death panels, buying their way into heaven as GAWD indented, on the bodies of the sinful daughters of Eve.

  43. 43
    Richard says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Please, we all know that once a woman is pregnant she is merely an incubator for the fetus

    The irony is of course is that GOPers like Paul Ryan would dearly love to institute Ayn Randcare, so, if a baby is born and needs a mechanical incubator to live, you can be sure that it would be turned off if mommy can’t pay.

  44. 44
    Cluttered Mind says:

    But remember, it’s totally inappropriate for young women in Kansas to suggest that Governor Brownback “blows a lot”, because that upsets Ruth Marcus.

    I have no words for this. It’s disgusting and an affront to basic human dignity.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @AnnaN: Depends on the meaning of pro-life doesn’t it.

  46. 46
    Bob2 says:

    Calling it War against Women is hackish though!!!

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....omen-vote/

    Keep calling them out. Shame is the only thing that’ll work.

  47. 47
    gaz says:

    @Bob2: Calling it War against Women is hackish though

    If it’s hackish to tell the truth, so be it.

  48. 48
    Alison says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know what to say other than just to express empathy to you and anyone else in such a situation.

    These fucking monsters. I cannot even begin to comprehend this kind of worldview. This is no morality I recognize. It’s complete and utter cruelty and vindictiveness, to the woman, to the potential child, to anyone who knows and loves them…

  49. 49
    Citizen_X says:

    @karen:

    Is there any way that Team Uterati or a network of people can bring women across the border if need be? Surely that’s not against the law. Yet.

    Wait till the Fugitive Brood-Mare Law passes. Or the Freda Scott decision.

  50. 50
    Kobie says:

    “Let’s protect people’s beliefs.”

    My response: “Fuck your beliefs, do your fucking job.”

  51. 51
    Citizen_X says:

    Say, whatever happened to the idea of “children need two [opposite-sex] parents”? They sure dropped that principle pretty quick, right? Or is daddy just supposed to just trade in the cancery one for a newer model, Gingrich-style?

    (Mnemosyne, I am not snarking on your painful example, by any means!)

  52. 52
    Tim Connor says:

    @Brachiator:

    Which lawmakers are writing these bills? Are there no women Republican lawmakers in the state?

    Are you kidding? The notion of common decency has been completely abandoned by Republicans of all sexes.

  53. 53
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    There’s nothing like being the state leading the charge to strip women of their rights, it sounds so…

    fucking insane.

    I am sick and tired of the sexist, misogynistic religious extremist cults, their supporters, their twisted male leaders and the politicians who pander to them for votes.

    Fuck them all.

  54. 54
    AMD says:

    Has anyone asked Rick Santorum and his wife what they think of a law that would have allowed a doctor to let her die instead of aborting medically inducing miscarriage of her 2nd trimester fetus?

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @Ash Can:

    A woman is just a woman, but a fetus has 50% chance of being male. It’s obvious which one is more important to the patriarchy.

  56. 56
    mai naem says:

    NBC called the race for Lugar’s opponent Moundrock or whatever the hell the teabagger’s name is. My guess is that if Obama wins a second term, Lugar will have some bigwig job in the admin. I kinda wish he would campaign for Obama but I don’t know if it would help or hurt Obama.

  57. 57
    scav says:

    @Calouste: Besides, might be time for a retread. cheaper than divorce and has the divine stamp of approval in that He Wanted you to have a newer model so he took the old one.

  58. 58
    Trakker says:

    People in Kansas still have the right to vote don’t they? Obviously a majority of voters in Kansas approve of this kind of shit. Until the people of Kansas get totally pissed and try to throw these assholes out of office I’m having a lot of trouble finding much sympathy for the people of Kansas and all those other states full of proudly-stupid voters.

  59. 59
    Lihtox says:

    @greennotGreen: I’ll echo that: “Where is the AMA?” Why don’t we have some sort of accreditation system where doctors who do something so heinous as the GOP wants them to do get black-balled?

    God bless the poor people living in Kansas.

  60. 60
    debg says:

    I’ve lost track of which shitty anti-choice bills in Kansas are which. But I did take the time to e-mail my state senator:

    > Dear Senator Longbine,
    >
    > I am deeply concerned you voted to pass H Sub SB without proper vetting
    > and debate.
    >
    > My concerns have two levels.
    >
    > First, the legislature has circumvented the democratic processes on
    > which our state and our country were built.
    >
    > Second, this bill rates every Kansas woman’s health–maybe even their
    > lives–far below the importance of any health-care provider’s
    > conscience. I respect people’s religious principles, but their
    > religious principles cannot outweigh medical situations and medical
    > care to which women are legally entitled. How on earth can anyone see
    > this bill as “pro-life” if it circumvents the patient’s
    > medical needs?
    >
    > I don’t know what can be done to undo this measure, but I expect you to
    > do it. Anti-democracy processes and anti-life legislation would be bad
    > enough in isolation. Together they crate a deeply disturbing result.
    >
    > Women’s health is serious and it deserves serious consideration.
    >
    >
    He wrote back saying there wasn’t anything anti-transparent about this bill’s passage, and that he wanted people to be able to follow their consciences. My reply (to which he never responded:

    *******
    Senator Longbine, I appreciate your thoughtful and quick response. Clearly I need to check into some aspects of this bill and its history. What I have read, though, says that the bill is worded in extremely vague language that might impact contraception, not just abortion. And the idea that a health-care provider can refuse to REFER a patient for services s/he won’t perfom still troubles me. Of course the provider can refuse to perform the services. But refusing to refer? How can anyone justify adding to the patient’s burdens like this? Kansas includes a lot of far-flung rural communities where medical care is scarce. Imagine that I was raped and wanted emergency contraception, and my doctor wouldn’t provide it or refer me to another location. Even in Emporia, it might take me too long to locate another provider without assistance; the window of opportunity for that emergency contraception would shut. In a rural community, the chances of locating another provider without assistance, then driving even 50 miles away, all within the necessary timeframe, make this bill even less tenable.

    So I still have a problem with a state law that says a doctor’s moral convictions trump my medical needs as a woman of childbearing age. This law places an undue burden on the patient.
    *******

    I don’t know what the answer is. Kansans are REALLY stubborn, and if you tell them a candidate is pro-life or anti-abortion or just about religious freedom, they just won’t listen to anything that doesn’t fit into that narrative. Plus anyone with an R after their name is automatically elevated to sainthood.

  61. 61
    AliceBlue says:

    God, I don’t know what to say. This makes me physically ill.

  62. 62

    […] Kansas Bill Permits Doctors to Refuse to Administer Chemotherapy to Pregnant Cancer Patients […]

  63. 63
    Felinious Wench says:

    I never thought I’d be writing these words, but thanks, Kansas, for making Texas look better on our war on women record.

    In Texas, the conscience clause only applies to private institutions, and only for abortion services. There is no conscience clause for pharmacists, so they must fill scripts for RU-486 or any other medication, potential abortifactant or not. And birth control is not under ANY conscience clause for doctors, pharmacists, or institutions.

    Hey, I look for the little things. Kansas, please don’t give our nutters any new ideas.

    FW

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Thanks, everybody. This was something I found out as a teenager and it took me years (and some therapy) to work through it. You never quite get over that feeling of being responsible, so it makes me sick to think that someone would have that burden laid on them not because their mother made a conscious choice to make that sacrifice, but because the government took that choice away.

    You obviously were not responsible. I hope that you were able to take comfort in recognizing the depth of your mother’s courage and love. An amazing gift, and one that you clearly understand cannot be coerced by government action.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @ABL:

    The 68-pager is sponsored by the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs. It’s almost as if they don’t want to attach their names to this shit. Then again, I’m not quite sure how the Kansas legislature works. Still, it strikes me as odd that it has no author or nominal sponsor.

    Cowards. Every one of them.

  66. 66
    Felinious Wench says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s been hard enough living my life knowing that my mother freely made the choice to have me.

    Which was her greatest legacy…you. Most mothers would sacrifice their lives for their children. She chose to do that before she even met you. What a courageous woman she must have been.

    And could you ask her today, I suspect she would make the same choice again. You aren’t the reason she died. You’re why she still has an impact on the world today. Through you.

  67. 67
    Whatsleft says:

    If I were a dr in Kansas, it would now be against my belief system to treat anyone evil enough to vote republican.

  68. 68
    Gretchen says:

    @Brachiator:
    Yes, there are. Mary Pilcher Cook of Shawnee is one of those driving the bill; an evangelical Christian who wants to impose her religion on the rest of us. My Senator is a woman who I hope voted against it. I have to check. And I need to call her about the loony house bill that passed yesterday by a lopsided margin of 80-something to 30-something, so there are a lot of them out there. Its not just a question of flipping a few seats. It’s very depressing, especially since I have 3 daughters here of childbearing age. My oldest is thinking of getting pregnant soon, and will only considet OB’s on the Missouri side – we live close to the state line. Not that they’re much less crazy over there.

  69. 69
    Gretchen says:

    @AnnaN:
    Another cute little thing in this bill is that a woman whose health is harmed by a dr. withholding information cant sue. Only her family can sue after she’s dead. At least that was the reading of one summary of it. Tells you who’s important. If it’s just a gal that’s hurt, no biggie. But if a husband loses his wife, he must be compensated.

  70. 70
    Gretchen says:

    @scav:
    KU med center is fighting this bill hard because it may call into question the accreditation of the OB residency if they can’t teach dealing with abortion.
    Really, folks, understand that Kansas isn’t a monolith. The Kansas City area and suburbs are pretty blue, and well educated, with good schools that are very important to the populace. It”s the rural outstate areas that are more “conservative” or “backward” .
    I don’t want to leave. It’s a nice city, much more reasonably priced than the coasts, my friends and family and job are here, lots of easy-to-get-to and inexpensive entertainment and restaurants, nice weather (except for having to go to the basement when the tornado sirens go off). Unlike when I lived in Chicago. There were lots of cool things to do, but they were such a hassle and so expensive, we rarely did them. So I get tired of people saying “just leave” as if I could pick up and recreate my life in California or somewhere. I just want it to stop being crazy here.

  71. 71
    Gretchen says:

    @Citizen_X:
    One of my friends actually asked her wing nut sister this. The sister replied that she hoped her husband would pick a new wife who would be a good mother to her children.

  72. 72
    Rebecca says:

    Next it will be a bill that gives checkout operators the right not to sell you foods that can cause sponteneous abortion. No chicken, eggs, milk, unpasteurized cheese or raspberry tea for you, madam!

  73. 73
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Brachiator: Why do you assume that the Repub women don’t support this and other more draconian bills?

  74. 74
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Trakker: AMEN! Don’t vote for idiots and you won’t have to worry about this kind of nonsense.

  75. 75
    Bob2 says:

    @gaz:
    That was a dig at Andrew Sullivan on the topic.
    Sarcasm does not carry over the internet well for some it seems.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @Gretchen:

    Yes, there are. Mary Pilcher Cook of Shawnee is one of those driving the bill; an evangelical Christian who wants to impose her religion on the rest of us. My Senator is a woman who I hope voted against it. I have to check. And I need to call her about the loony house bill that passed yesterday by a lopsided margin of 80-something to 30-something, so there are a lot of them out there. Its not just a question of flipping a few seats. It’s very depressing, especially since I have 3 daughters here of childbearing age. My oldest is thinking of getting pregnant soon, and will only considet OB’s on the Missouri side – we live close to the state line. Not that they’re much less crazy over there.

    This is a real issue for me. Are health care providers thinking about this? Because they should be. I’m not putting myself in a position where I have to interview physicians and staff at a health care facility on their religious beliefs. Deliveries (can) go bad fast and I don’t want some philosophical debate bwtn and among the people who are supposed to be providing medical care while I’m bleeding to death.

    What, exactly, are women like me supposed to do? Create a questionaire for health care providers prior to admission? Get assurances in writing? WTF? How in the hell did physicians and health care providers allow this to become about them? Where is the patient in all this? They chose a profession that dictates that they put other patients FIRST, in their professional capacity. Not second, after them. First.

    They really, really need to make some noise, because if they’re silent on this I’m going to assume they agree with it.

  77. 77
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: You had a great mom. You know she loved you very much.

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @mai naem: Fuck Dick Lugar. He needs no position in the Obama administration.

  79. 79
    evinfuilt says:

    First the Republicans use 1984 as a how-to manual, and now the Handmaid’s Tale.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Why do you assume that the Repub women don’t support this and other more draconian bills?

    I don’t make any such assumptions. I would like to hear Republican women lawmakers go on record and explain their support of these draconian bills.

  81. 81
    Gretchen says:

    @Kay:
    KU Med is making noise about it, and I assume other doctors are too. Thats one of my big beefs: the legislature insists that we have no money and they have to cut, cut, cut. One of my friends works as a grade school aide and complains about children coming to school crying because they’re hungry – food stamps and school meals have been cut, and actual, living children are crying from hunger. but they’re not worried about them at all, but about potential, theoretical children who might be aborted. And they’re going to be spending big bucks litigating this, and will probably lose, rather than spend the money helping actual, hungry constituents.
    That’s something that troubles me a lot about the current discussions. Religious freedom has been completely redefined. Rather than meaning the freedom of an individual to practice his/her own religion in peace, it means the freedom to impose one’s religious beliefs on others who don’t share them. It happened when the bishops cried religious freedom when they weren’t allowed to keep non-believing employees from having insurance covering birth control. My ultra-Catholic niece believes her religious freedom is under assault, for reasons I can’t fathom. These folks are claiming doctors and pharmacists’ religious freedom is being threatened if they’re unable to prevent other people, who don’t share their beliefs, from getting abortion or birth control, even in the most extreme situations. Gay marriage threatens the religious freedom of people who don’t approve. I hear this usage everywhere on the right these days, and as often as I hear it, it never makes sense to me.

  82. 82
    sparrow says:

    @Gretchen: I’m with you. I’ve complained about this to my liberal friends before. It’s not like Kansas or Oklahoma is some horde of nazis with nary a progressive in sight. We’re here, we have roots here, we love our state as much as anyone else does.

    In a way saying “just leave” is like saying that if your friends were in a fight, and heavily outnumbered, you’d just split rather than putting in your energy to help turn the outcome. Kind of sad, if you think about it. Not that I feel differently, mind you.

  83. 83
    Gretchen says:

    @Kay:
    And yes, it’s worrying that your nice-seeming doctor turns out to have crazy views once you’re in labor and can’t go somewhere else. There have been cases where the doctor says a c-section is necessary, the woman says no and wants to try labor and see what happens, or wait for natural labor to stary, and they go to court to force her to have a csection and won’t let her leave the hospital. Or the woman who had a job and small children, and was ordered bed rest, but didn’t agree, and wanted to go home. They got a court order to keep her in the hospital. We lose our agency and our say when we’re pregnant, and nobody seems to think that’s outrageous.

  84. 84
    dwayne stephenson says:

    Hard to imagine there are that many doctors that would pull this sort of crap.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    People in Kansas still have the right to vote don’t they?

    Only if white, right and insane.

  86. 86
    wenchacha says:

    It’s just like in that book, “What in the Fuck is Wrong With Kansas?”

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