By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
Planned Parenthood (PP) never misses a chance to misrepresent pro-life legislation in order to fundraise, so it is unsurprising that they’re busy spreading misinformation to their national supporters about the Kansas Pro-Life Protections Act (introduced in February as HB 2598, now House sub 313).
In a national email appeal last weekend, PP president, Cecile Richards wrote that this bill contains “outrageous attacks on women’s health [that] will spread to state after state.” Further, with bold emphasis, Richards says:
“Kansas state lawmakers are set to force doctors to lie to women about abortion — and allow doctors to withhold information from pregnant women.”
In fact, the Pro-Life Protection Act forces no doctor to deceive women.
The Kansas Medical Society takes no position on abortion but watches EVERY legislative proposal. Be assured that if any of its members were being forced to do ANYTHING, the KMS would have stood up against it. Thus it is very telling that the KMS has been silent about this bill, despite four months of Internet agitation by abortion supporters.
The Pro-Life Protection Act does NOT mandate that any practitioner “tell women” anything, period. The bill codifies informational materials (whether via print or online) that women in abortion clinics must already have access to 24 hours before they obtain an abortion in Kansas.
Kansas lawmakers are NOT “invading” the doctor-patient relationship, a favorite pro-abortion canard. For one thing, court rulings about abortion issued since Roe have always upheld the state’s right to oversight of medical providers. Women entering abortion facilities do not forfeit their right to state protection.
For another thing, abortion is most commonly obtained from a practitioner whom the woman finds in the yellow pages or online. In the huge majority of cases, there is hardly a “trusted relationship” with that practitioner–either before or after the abortion.
Under the law politicians are NOT “intervening” in the abortion consultation, nor are they telling health agencies how to assess risk, contrary to pro-abortion claims. They ignore that a woman who is already pregnant has a legal right to all information that a reasonable patient would find relevant.
Thus for 14 years, the Kansas state health department (KDHE)–-not a pro-life agency by any means-–has recognized the tie-in between reproductive events and breast cancer. The KDHE has given a modest “heads up” about a connection in a section that makes up about 2% of the informational brochure.
And like smoking’s long-suppressed link to lung cancer, someday the link between an induced abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer will become common knowledge. The reason for public education is exactly the same for both.
Even though most people who smoke don’t get cancer, we wage a public health campaign against smoking anyway. Likewise most women who get breast cancer did not have abortions and most women who get abortions will not contract breast cancer. But that doesn’t change the fact that, overall, there is 30-50% increased statistical risk of breast cancer for women who have had an induced abortion.
And despite abortion sloganeering, the bill does not dictate “that abortion causes breast cancer.” What is sending the abortion industry into orbit is that the Pro-Life Protection Act adds 12 words (underlined below) to the open-ended instruction on subjects needing objective relevant information:
“The material shall also contain objective information describing the methods of abortion procedures commonly employed, the medical risks commonly associated with each such procedure, including risk of premature birth in future pregnancies, risk of breast cancer, risks to the woman’s reproductive health and the medical risks associated with carrying an unborn child to term.”
The undisputed biology of women is that a first full-term delivery affords the best protection against breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute admits that first full term delivery is protective and then on the same page the NCI absurdly denies that abortion (which prevents delivery) is linked to breast cancer!
Kansas abortion supporters cling to that inconsistent position, though it will not stand much longer.