Amoral Legislation

I have a bone to pick with Kansas. Specifically a bill in the House committee. Via Shakesville comes news of a provision so disgusting I can’t help but vent. Let’s have the quote first, then we’ll chat.

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.

Did you catch that? Here’s how it goes:

A patient is pregnant. Her doctor discovers a problem with the fetus which could cause complications, which might medically indicate a need for an abortion. That doctor is pro-life, so they don’t inform the patient. She has complications and gets sick, or injured. In that kind of instance her future fertility may be affected, and the fetus most likely doesn’t survive. Then when she finds out her doctor knew all that, and didn’t tell her? She can’t do a thing. Unless she dies from the complications.

Do you know what this could cover? Things like a fetus that may be dead already and could cause a patient to become septic. Or a fetus that obviously won’t survive past birth, if it even makes it that far.Or how about an ectopic pregnancy  which will likely seriously injure or kill someone trying to continue to full term.

This is wrong. I don’t know how to say this any other way. This is so wrong. And the awful thing? To some people, me saying that is controversial. Because it’s about abortion. So let me be clear.

I don’t care what side of the debate you’re on, you should be against this. Withholding medical information is unethical. Any doctor who would let a patient get sick, injured, or die because they decide they know better than their patient should not have a license. A doctor that treats their patients like they don’t have the right to make decisions about their own health should never be allowed to practice any kind of medicine.

I don’t have a rousing or hopeful conclusion to this post. This bill, if passed as it stands, will kill people. It makes me sick at heart, to know that there are people who think this is fine. That this is necessary. I don’t live in Kansas, but if anyone wants to list the people to contact to oppose this, or ways to help fight it, put them in comments. This cannot stand if words like ‘compassion’ or ‘moral’ are to mean anything.


The Folly of Women Only Spaces Online

A link I found on Feministing today got my brain going this morning, and I’m glad I have a blog now, since I can finally write it all out. The post was called ‘Why The Washington Post’s new lady blog is wrong for women’, and I couldn’t agree more. Go read it first, then we’ll chat some more.

The first time I noticed this trend (creating spaces specifically for women instead of just adding more women in general) was with TED. Now, I love the TED talks. As in, I would spend all day watching them if I had just an ounce less willpower. But then they decided they needed to make a space for women. And I saw people talking about it like it was something awesome. Like, look at this nice gesture! Aren’t they being great? And I was thinking, no. No they’re not being great.

Because making a space for one specific sub-group can get wierd. It can easily turn into an excuse to move that group out of your normal space, to somewhere that people have to search out to find them. Before, if they wanted a woman speaker then they just put her in. Done! Diversity for TED and exposure for a sub-group. A win-win.

But now I wonder if there isn’t a subconcious shuffling going on. Where a woman speaker gets moved off into this little TED Women section, and then if you want to see that it’s harder to find it. You have to know that section is there, and you have to be actively checking it. And I wonder if there won’t be less women on TED’s main section. You know, where most of the exposure is.

So when I see these things I have to wonder. Are these people, the newspapers and the blogs, are they just not thinking it through? Do they think they’re helping? Because Jessica has it completely right. If you want to show equality, just add more people to your main site. It feels a bit like those old time-y dinner parties, where the men went into one room to talk about important things, and the women went somewhere else. How about just letting us join you, instead of moving us aside?