We’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s important, so I wanted to raise it again. From Plunderbund:
John Kasich is just optimistic that you’ll pull through
Until yesterday, Ohio law allowed exceptions to the informed consent rigamarole in the event of “an immediate threat of serious risk to the… physical health of the woman from the continuation of the pregnancy.” While this verbiage wasn’t necessarily ideal, it was broad enough that doctors could practice appropriately.
With Kasich’s signature of the budget, physicians can only avoid the mandatory ultrasound “in order to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to avoid a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman that delay in the performance or inducement of the abortion would create.”
Section 2919.16(K) spells out that the conditions allowing for immediate abortion:
includes pre-eclampsia, inevitable abortion, and premature rupture of the membranes, may include, but is not limited to, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, and does not include a condition related to the woman’s mental health.
These rules are incredibly narrow.
The list of possible complications that can maim or kill goes on and on: anemia, arrhythmia, brainstem infarction, broken tailbone or ribs, cardiopulmonary arrest, diastasis recti, eclampsia, embolism, exacerbation of epilepsy, immunosuppression, infection, gestational diabetes, gestational trophoblastic disease, hemorrhage, hypoxemia, increased intracranial pressure, mitral valve stenosis, obstetric fistula,placental abruption, postpartum depression, prolapsed uterus, severe scarring, increased spousal abuse, third or fourth degree laceration, thrombocytopenic purpura, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and more.
Before the passage of the budget, a number of OB-GYNs protested this provision. In the past, they’ve testified that it would make them hesitate before treating women. This is consciously modeled after the Irish law that resulted in the death of Savita Halappanavar.
This should be debated. Conservatives and media limit the scope of discussion on abortion restrictions to an unwanted pregnancy, a woman seeking an abortion, but that isn’t how these laws read. Who wrote the specific medical exceptions? The lobbyists who introduced these laws all over the country? Did they even bother to consult a physician?
Conservatives at the state and national level should have to respond to specific questions on how these laws apply to women in a medical emergency. They had this debate in Ireland, too late.