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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Unfair laws

I haven't written much in the last few months about abortion or my fight to change the laws here. I've just been too caught up in Ella, Tessa, Brian and my schoolwork. I hope to pick up the fight again when I get out of school, but after reading about what Oklahoma has done, I might have to write some letters to send to lawmakers there a lot sooner. Here's a link to the story.

This law makes it a requirement for abortion providers to do an ultrasound and show the patients the screen. Not only do they have to have the screen turned toward the patient, they also have to point out organs and body parts and detail development. While I don't necessarily agree with this, it's not the part of the law that bothers me the most.

This law protects doctors from malpractice suits if they don't tell a patient about a poor prenatal diagnosis, if they feel it would prevent an abortion. So, if you live in Oklahoma and a fetal anomoly is found on your 20-week ultrasound, your doctor legally doesn't have to tell you about it. If your AFP test came back positive for Trisomy 18, Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida, the doctor could keep this from you, and it would be legal. So while this would keep a parent from terminating, it is also doing a disservice to those who would carry to term.

Not all prenatal diagnoses are fatal. Some are treatable if the treatment is given right away. This could deny those babies a life, just because precious time would be spent wasted finding a diagnosis. Also, if a diagnosis was fatal, parents wouldn't be able to come up with a birth plan that might allow them to spend time with their child alive. Knowing your child has a fatal diagnosis allows you to bring in a photographer, have all your family around to meet the child and be able to make memorial/funeral plans. Also, while losing a baby is devastating in any case, I believe it would have to be worse to lose one you thought was healthy the entire pregnancy.

I don't see how anyone can think this part of the law is a good thing. It's suppose to prevent malpractice, but in reality, it's promoting it.