Between insurance lobbyists and the pressures of Big Pharma, the American patient rarely gets a fair shake out of the government. But an abortion bill proposed in Indiana won't just represent a government turning a blind eye to Americans' health care needs. It will represent a government actually requiring doctors to lie to their patients.
If House Bill 1210 passes, it will outlaw any abortion after the 20-week mark and make women view an ultrasound of her fetus (unless she signs a waiver),. And if it passes, doctors will be required by law to tell women who seek an abortion -- for any reason whatsoever -- that it will increase their risk of breast cancer. Which wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't a complete and total fabrication.
The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Gynecologic Practice and the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer all say it's not true. The ACS in particular can't be anymore blunt on the matter:
The issue of abortion generates passionate viewpoints in many people. Breast cancer is the most common cancer, and is the second leading cancer killer in women. Still, the public is not well-served by false alarms. At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer.
If the men (yes, men -- 118 of the lawmakers are male) who are backing this bill in Indiana can't read such a simplistic explanation of true science, it's terrifying to think that they're making the decisions that affect the everyday lives of residents of the Hoosier State. Even more spine-chilling is the kind of precedent set by telling doctors that the government can force them to break the ethical bounds of the practice of medicine to further a partisan agenda. Because at the risk of sounding hysterical where does it end? With our family doctor saying "it's just a pin prick" as they slip tracking devices into the fatty skin around the shoulder, a la the Manchurian Candidate? With Hitler-style eugenics programs by OB/GYNs who are "just going to take a look at what's going on up there"?
If the pro-life legislators think they have good enough reasons to limit women's rights to reproductive freedom, they shouldn't have to lie to make it happen.
Does this proposal worry you?
Image via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr