Kansas GOP Wants to Tax Women for Abortion and Lie to Them; Bill Passes the House

The GOP-controlled House in Kansas passed a sweeping abortion bill that is easily the worst in the country. In March, I wrote the following about it:

On Monday, the Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee will continue discussing a bill similar to the one the Arizona Senate passed, which allows doctors to withhold from pregnant women prenatal information because it “might lead to abortion.” But of course, the Kansas bill is worse.

Much worse.

As with the Arizona bill, the Kansas bill prohibits malpractice suits should the woman or child develop health complications as a result of withholding prenatal information.

The bill also forces women to purchase special abortion insurance (Kansas already passed legislation that removed abortions from health insurance plans), and levies a 6.3% sales tax on women who get an abortion — including rape victims.

I know! But it gets worse.

The bill also requires doctors to tell women who want to terminate a pregnancy that abortion causes breast cancer, a bullshit claim that has been thoroughly debunked.

Also, too, the bill prohibits state employees from performing abortions on the job. The likely unintended result of this doozy is that the portion state’s OB/GYN medical residency program which requires abortion training would be rendered illegal, thus potential screwing up the accreditation process.

And of course, the bill requires that women get a potentially medically unnecessary ultrasound… and pay for it.

So, not only is Kansas withholding information from pregnant women — despite all the Forced Birth talky-talk that ultrasound bills and the like are about “knowledge” and “informed consent” — but Kansas is actively telling women bad information and preventing doctors from, you know, learning how to be good doctors.

Cognitive dissonance! Party of GOP!

Governor Brownback claimed last month that he has not read the bill, but that he will sign it because he is “pro-life.” Contact him.

The Kansas abortion bill is one of the worst in the country. (You can read it here.)

The bill is headed to the Senate.

(Read the rest at TRS-ABLC)

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47 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in NC says:

    As somebody once asked, “What’s the matter with Kansas?”

  2. 2
    Emerald says:

    Keep it up GOP. Lose the women’s vote for the next two generations or so. Go for it.

  3. 3
    Yevgraf says:

    The Soviet Union had the right idea on religion.

  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    The bill also forces women to purchase special abortion insurance (Kansas already passed legislation that removed abortions from health insurance plans), and levies a 6.3% sales tax on women who get an abortion—including rape victims.

    So let’s see now. Sounds like a perversion of the idea of an individual mandate.

    This shit is sickening.

  5. 5
    Paul in KY says:

    Seems like they were really trying for ‘by far the worst in the country’. Guess they should have mandated a branding as well.

    Jeezus, makes me glad I live in an enlightened state like Kentucky.

  6. 6
    Culture of Truth says:

    that really is fucking crazy

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    The bill also requires doctors to tell women who want to terminate a pregnancy that abortion causes breast cancer

    I’m actually quite surprised they stopped there. Why not tell people it causes (let’s go with all the GOP boogeymen) AIDS, poverty, blackness, revokes one’s citizenship and right to vote, and is performed with a fork and knife.

  8. 8
    Culture of Truth says:

    Forced Birth talky-talk that ultrasound bills and the like are about “knowledge”

    how are those liberal reeducation camps coming along?

  9. 9
    gaz says:

    This is why I don’t live in Kansas.

  10. 10
    Face says:

    Wait…a sales tax on an abortion procedure? Doesn’t “sale” imply an exchange of physical goods? Just WTF are patients “buying”?

    I’d love to hear how this is constitutional.

  11. 11
    aimai says:

    Holy shit. The shit is going to hit the fan when it becomes obvious how many married, white, christian, women have “elective” abortions or suffer miscarriages and stillbirths but who are now treated like criminals. Serve them right for letting their religious fueled hatred of some imaginary “other” woman slut come back to bite them in the uterus.

    aimai

  12. 12
    John Hall says:

    They should just rename the state “Mansas” since it seems the state government has no respect for women or their rights at all.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    @Face:

    Just WTF are patients “buying”?

    Sin.

    I’m surprised that Kansas didn’t decide to boost its local economy with prangers in every town. All of this economic bullshit with no public humiliation? The church has gotten weak.

  14. 14

    @aimai: No it isn’t. The whole point of those laws is selective enforcement.

  15. 15
    karen says:

    And the AMA or doctor’s associations (Ob-Gyn) haven’t sued yet? It shields them from lawsuit but there are doctors who wouldn’t like lying to women or practicing fraudulently aren’t there? Or is the next requirement for being ob-gyns in Kansas and Arizona that the doctors only be pro-life and Creationists…

    What is a pranger? Is it a Catholic or Christian thing?

    Lastly, am I the only one wondering when laws will be passed stating that women are “hormonally deranged” and cannot be trusted to make such important suggestions like voting. Why not? We’re too stupid and uninformed to make choices over our own bodies, that’s the next logical step.

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    @karen: A pranger is the equivalent to the stocks in the public square.

  17. 17
    gbear says:

    So how much worse does it have to get before back room ‘clinics’ start appearing again? Seems like we must already be there for some women.

  18. 18
    David Koch says:

    PPP::

    Obama 50-43 Ohio (leads women +19)

    Obama 50-40 Iowa (leads women +20)

  19. 19
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Thank goodness Kansas is right there next to us in Misery in the race for First Prize in the National Laboratory for Bad Gubmint race.

    Actually, the wingnuts here usually have severe wingnut envy to Kansas. And, the only thing standing between us and them is our moderate, Republican governor, aka Jay Nixon. Sure, there’s a (D) after his name but live here and you’ll realize that’s how far right this state has shifted in the last 15 years.

  20. 20
    yopd1 says:

    Besides the breast cancer bullshit it will also

    allow a doctor to refuse to provide chemotherapy to a pregnant cancer patient because it might end her pregnancy

  21. 21

    I speak from ignorance, but are there a lot of cases where an OB-GYN deliberately refrains from telling a woman that her child may have developmental problems because they’re worried about her having an abortion later and then they get sued after the child is born?

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a single case that this happened where the doctor deliberately did it. And I can only think of one case where the doctor simply didn’t see it.

    All that to say, does the state really need a law to protect doctors from a nonexistent threat?

  22. 22
    SatanicPanic says:

    @yopd1: Wow, even the life of the mother exception being tossed? I shouldn’t be surprised, but somehow I am.

  23. 23

    In a better world than this, even the Ross Douthats and Katherine Parkers of the world could see the difference between lawmakers being morally opposed to abortion and acting on it, and an abomination like this which is just plain anti-woman.

    Since by definition, we’re not in a better world than the one we’re in, I’m not holding my breath.

  24. 24
    Patricia Kayden says:

    And the Republican War on Women is just in our minds.

    Hopefully, Rachel Maddow will feature this on her program. The Repubs keep getting more blatant with their anti-choice stance. I hope President Obama/Dems put all this anti-women nonsense in their election ads.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    @Comrade Dread: I think you’re misreading it. I think the goal is to give doctors permission to lie to the patient because the state believes that doctors are their secret army to prevent abortion by encouraging all of them to lie to pregnant women. Seems to me the better solution for Kansas is to simply make prenatal testing illegal.

  26. 26
    Dave says:

    Why would anyone live in Kansas? I am surprised they don’t stone to death any teenagers they catch having premarital sex.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I speak from ignorance, but are there a lot of cases where an OB-GYN deliberately refrains from telling a woman that her child may have developmental problems because they’re worried about her having an abortion later and then they get sued after the child is born?

    I think the idea here will be ultimately to coerce doctors who have information that a child might be born deformed, ill or stillborn into withholding this information from mothers.

    Doctors will be forced in every case to say, “your child is fine” and other variations of “We must leave these decisions to God.”

    When it comes to women, the practice of medicine is being replaced with religious ignorance.

  28. 28

    @SatanicPanic: I am. Generally speaking, most people (including religious folks and the GOP) recognize an individuals right to self-defense.

    While it is seen as a sad thing that a human life had to die, no one blames someone for taking another life if they were legitimately at risk of grave bodily harm or death.

    Heck, I’ve read some GOP blogs where it’s not seen as a sad thing, but celebrated when someone blows away a would be assailant or thief.

  29. 29
    butler says:

    @Comrade Dread: It doesn’t solve an existing problem, it potentially creates future problems by relieving the doctor of liability should he act unethically and lie to the patient.

  30. 30
    David in NY says:

    @yopd1:

    allow a doctor to refuse to provide chemotherapy to a pregnant cancer patient because it might end her pregnancy

    I suppose he can just not mention to her that she has cancer, eh? That would solve the whole problem.

    I have a good friend who was found to have cervical cancer when she was pregnant with her first child — a particularly malignant situation because everything, including cancer cells, grows well in that situation. Could doctors refuse to do the necessary hysterectomy in Kansas, which results in the loss of the fetus, but saves the life of a mother? Should they even be allowed to think of any choice but saving the mother’s life? Can they decide to commit murder?

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @Martin:
    Correct, the goal is to encourage doctors to withold information from their patients by preventing them from being sued, later, by the patients. This is no different from encouraging death by gangrene by making it impossible for the patient to sue the doctor who lets them die of gangrene for failure to provide appropriate care. The state is saying that no lie is too great when it comes to the hypothetical rights of the fetus. Essentially, the patient is the fetus, not the woman.

    aimai

  32. 32
    Rosalita says:

    Jeebus, I don’t even want to have to fly over Kansas, I can’t imagine so many nutjobs in one place.

  33. 33

    @Martin: I know that will likely be the outcome, but that’s not what the summary of the law in the post says.

    And even if that is the intention of the state legislature, I can’t imagine that there are a lot of doctors out there that this would apply to who would withhold that type of information from a prospective couple based on nothing more than a feeling of what they might do after they leave his office.

    Some women choose to keep the child, after all, but might want or need the advanced notice that they need to prepare themselves for a child with special needs and start to make life adjustments accordingly.

  34. 34
    Calouste says:

    @yopd1:

    Well, good to see that in Kansas the mother dying of cancer doesn’t affect the pregnancy. /s

  35. 35
    Calouste says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    It’s a woman’s life against a life that has a lightly higher than 50% chance of being a man. It’s obvious in which direction the GOP is going to tip the scales.

  36. 36
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m going to go on record with my prediction for the next red state bill for women:

    The Git Yer Ever Lovin Ass Back In The Kitchen and Get Me a Beer and a Potpie Bitch Act of 2013.

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    And even if that is the intention of the state legislature, I can’t imagine that there are a lot of doctors out there that this would apply to who would withhold that type of information from a prospective couple based on nothing more than a feeling of what they might do after they leave his office.

    But the perception of the legislature is that doctors aren’t godless heathens hell-bent on making Jesus cry, and in fact only perform abortions because the ACLU and activist judges force them to.

    They really do believe that the reason you can’t find a case of a doctor lying to a patient to prevent an abortion is because they’re all cowed into abortive submission by evil trial attorneys.

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Isn’t their refusal to support VAWA pretty much equivalent to the GYELABITKGMABAPBA of 2013?

  39. 39

    @Mike in NC: “What’s the matter with Kansas?”

    WTMWK is the new WTF

  40. 40
    Alex S. says:

    Kathleen Sebelius was a dam against the deluge of crazy.

  41. 41
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I bet if you watch The Wizard of Oz now you will clearly hear the relief in Dorothy’s voice as she tells Toto “we’re not in Kansas any more”.

    Kansas; flat, windy in one direction 99% of the time, square dance halls all over and as boring as Purgatory.

  42. 42
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Martin: Perhaps, but GYELABITKGMABAPBA 2013 will specify exactly which potpies are acceptable.

  43. 43
    var says:

    Where is Grover and his anti tax pledge on this one? I take it that AFTR and Club for Growth are going to primary these tax raisers?

  44. 44
    sparrow says:

    @Rosalita: I’m not picking on you, but your comment brings to mind something that really bothers me as a person born and raised in Kansas and Oklahoma: the people there are no more a monolithic group of wingnuts than they are in San Francisco or DC. Yes, the percentage of “active” wingnuts is higher, yes, those of us on the liberal side tend to be beaten into submission and silence, but we exist. Kansas is 50% women, just like most other places, and generally poor, like other non-East/West coast areas. There are a lot of people deserving of your sympathy that live there.

    So when people say they wouldn’t care if Texas seceded or if the south became Giliad, or just plan “fuck missouri and all those rednecks”, what you’re saying is you could give a crap-all about the many, many women, children, and men, who have become a voiceless minority there. Yes, apathy is a problem, yes, intolerance is a problem. So too are things like redistricting and disenfranchisement. Let’s not forget that these are communities of people just like you, for the most part.

  45. 45
    Cain says:

    Seems to me that they should just let run through the system. After a couple of politicians and high profile stories about women and babies dying because the woman wasn’t given medical treatment might help restore sanity.

  46. 46
    Greyjoy says:

    And why exactly are they a voiceless minority if they make up the majority of the citizenry? Who’s voting these legislators into office?

  47. 47
    sparrow says:

    @Greyjoy: Don’t be obtuse. The way the gerrymandering and voter suppression has worked (not to mention the general republican practice of lying through their teeth in campaign ads), while many places should be on much more equal footing left-vs-right, we’re left (like my current state of residence, Texas) with a state legislature that is 80% republican, with a good chunk of that the truly rabid/insane phenotype. I can only vote for the democrats once, you know. I wish I could solve it by just clicking my heels.

    The point I’m making is that the citizenry is not 100% republican in these places (and not even a majority in the cities) or even close. 43% of voters in Texas went for Obama. But by your tone of disdain I already know you don’t care. It’s easier to have “backwards” people to look down upon.

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