Friday, July 11, 2008
Forced Speech! What South Dakota is ALL About!
The infamous Eighth Court of Appeals of South Dakota has removed an injunction against the law that would force doctors to use specific, controversial language during inform consent conversations with patients seeking an abortion. The law mandates doctors to inform all abortion patients that “The procedure would terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” While I find many things wrong with this statement, I think the major invasion of free speech is the most alarming. Being forced to say something you don’t believe is just as bad as being restricted from expressing yourself.
Women's Health Report states that the case was sent back to U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier to determine whether or not the law is unconstitutional. During that time, Judge Schreier issued a temporary injunction to prevent the bill from being enforced until ruling on the law from 2005. While the injunction decision was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 8th circuit court, the decision was then reversed by the Appellate Court saying that Planned Parenthood failed to provide evidence that the verbatim statement required by doctors is ideological, untruthful, misleading or irrelevant to a woman’s decision. I’m sure if PP knew that their case was going to be dismissed with a list of adjectives, they would have submitted a few more into evidence. What about intentionally emotionally manipulative? Or unapologetically and inexcusably condescending? Unethical? Biased?
Typically, doctors are told to check their personal beliefs at the door, because it is crucial to receive unbiased information when you are entrusting someone with your health and life. This statement infringes on the fundamental right to receive straight forward, professional care.
Way to go South Dakota for finding a new, revolting way of restricting abortion rights. Because if you can’t beat ‘em, you can always take away a civil liberty or two.