The House GOP wants Ohio to adopt the Irish law that led to the death of Savita Halappanavar.

HB 200, the Politicians Playing Doctor Act, is a chilling glimpse into the minds of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. These sorts of bill–waiting periods, ultrasound requirements, forcing doctors to lie–are based on the CPC practices that are most likely to coerce a woman into continuing a pregnancy.

And, as we’ve long suspected, CPCs don’t care at all about the woman.

I’ll let others delve into the implication of forcing transvaginal ultrasounds on rape survivors, as this bill does. I’m going to look at the way that the Politicians Playing Doctor Act will lead to maternal deaths during miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy.

First, the bill increases the waiting period between all-options counseling and termination from 24 hours to 48 hours. Politicians and CPCs push for waiting periods because they think women don’t know what a pregnancy is, and will be shocked–shocked–to discover that abortion terminates a pregnancy.

Failure to abide by the 48 hour waiting period will now be a felony for the doctor, who can no longer get a waiver if the abortion is medically necessary, meaning when the mother’s health is at risk.

Instead, the House GOP creates a new classification: the “medical emergency” abortion. That is “a condition… that… so complicates the medical condition of the woman… that the death of the woman would result from the failure to immediately terminate the pregnancy.”

When a woman miscarries, the termination of that pregnancy is an abortion. The House GOP and Ohio’s CPCs want to send doctors to jail if they assist a miscarriage prior to the last moment.

This is the law in Ireland. Abortion is legal to save the life of the mother, but it’s a felony if a doctor terminates to protect a woman’s health. To protect themselves from the state, doctors were afraid to treat the miscarriage of Ms. Halappanavar until the fetal heartbeat stopped. The heartbeat only stopped after the woman had already died of septicemia.

I can only think of two reasons that the House GOP would want to adopt this law.

  1. They think maternal deaths are a fair price for the sense of moral justice that comes with forcing women into illegal abortion.
  2. They think that women lie about miscarrying, just as they think women lie about having been raped. This assumption of casuistry is a projection of CPCs’ willingness to lie in order to prevent abortion.

Ohio needs a state government that trusts women. We need to ask the GOP why they don’t.

 

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