Girl with magnifier

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

What now?

Interesting column at Above the Law. Will Doctors be afraid to treat cancer patients lest they run afoul of the new abortion laws and risk prosecution?

“This ruling calls into question giving treatment that may cause termination of pregnancy (even if intended to treat cancer),” Dr. Stephanie Blank, president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, told Insider.

“[C]hemotherapy and radiation therapy can, in some cases, affect a fetus and raise the risk of miscarriage, said Blank…Some cancers, like cervical cancer or gestational trophoblastic disease, are not possible to treat without ending a pregnancy.”

Providers are at risk if they are found guilty of unlawfully helping to terminate a pregnancy, Katie Keith, director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at the O’Neill Institute, told Insider.

In some states, they could risk a fine or lose their medical license. In others, they could be imprisoned, she said.

Turns out that there are a lot of other otherwise simple medical treatments that are more dangerous — for both doctors and their patients — now that the Christian Right on the Court is forcing us to live under religious doxa as law.

Hope you don’t suffer from Menorrhagia. Or PMS. Or PMDD. Or, and here’s the kicker, just want a lower risk of ovarian or endometrial cancer. Got to appreciate when it all circles back.


You can say that this is an outlier and insignificant. But so is a 10 year old kid getting raped and knocked up and forced to travel 500 miles for treatment and that has already happened. The future is frightening.

The original column at Business Insider - 

Pregnant cancer patients may die because doctors fear treating them could now count as illegal abortion, experts say

More on the subject in today's WaPo.

The rush to criminalize abortion is also opening up a separate front in the abortion wars that involves the treatment process itself. At its core is an unsettling question: How can a doctor be certain whether conducting an abortion to protect a woman from grave injury or death might constitute a crime?

As one provider puts it, the fear of facing “extensive jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines” if medical professionals interpret the law incorrectly will lead to “patients being turned away for care that they desperately need.”

Similarly, an emergency room practitioner testifies that medical emergencies related to pregnancy will be much harder to evaluate. Medical pros will be working “under threat of prosecution for making critical, lifesaving decisions about how to treat patients with dangerous pregnancies and miscarriages.”

Still another warns that doctors will be reluctant to direct patients to seek emergency treatment amid pregnancy complications, for fear of being accused of “attempting to induce abortion,” possibly resulting in patient death.

And one gynecologist testifies to the fear that doctors will feel forced to “refuse necessary, appropriate care to avoid prosecution.” She notes that it’s unthinkable that she may be forced to “choose between my patients and my liberty.”

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

The cruelties of forced birth will drag on the abortion abolitionists. Still, little will change until the women affected vote in November. They may need to vote in huge numbers to defeat the growing anti democratic tricks that are going on.