Planned Parenthood Sues Over Informed Consent Mandate


Planned Parenthood is suing in a case disputing a South Dakota statute, which was enacted in 2005, that mandates all women receive information of the medical risks of an abortion. Planned Parenthood claims that  the disclosure requirements in § 7(1)(b)-(d) and the physician certification requirement in § 7 ¶ 2 violate physicians’ free speech rights; that the disclosure requirements in §§ 7(1)(e)(i)-(ii) and (2)(c) are unconstitutionally vague in that they fail to give physicians adequate notice of the conduct proscribed; that being subjected to the disclosures in § 7(1)(b)-(d) unduly burdens patients’ rights to an abortion and violates their free speech rights; and that § 7 unduly burdens patients’ right to an abortion because its health exception is inadequate.

Section 7 of the Act, the statute in question, states:

No abortion may be performed unless the physician first obtains a
voluntary and informed written consent of the pregnant woman upon
whom the physician intends to perform the abortion, unless the physician
determines that obtaining an informed consent is impossible due to a
medical emergency.

Additionally, information that must be included for the consent to be considered informed is listed:

(1) A statement in writing providing the following information:
(a) The name of the physician who will perform the abortion;
(b) That the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate,
unique, living human being;
(c) That the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with
that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys
protection under the United States Constitution and under the
laws of South Dakota;
(d) That by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her
existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will
be terminated;
(e) A description of all known medical risks of the procedure and
statistically significant risk factors to which the pregnant woman
would be subjected, including:
(i) Depression and related psychological distress;
(ii) Increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide;

(2) A statement by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to
perform the abortion, or by the referring physician, or by an agent of
both, at least twenty-four hours before the abortion, providing the
following information:
(a) That medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal
care, childbirth, and neonatal care;
(b) That the father of the unborn child is legally responsible to
provide financial support for her child following birth, and that
this legal obligation of the father exists in all instances, even in
instances in which the father has offered to pay for the abortion;-4-
(c) The name, address, and telephone number of a pregnancy help
center in reasonable proximity of the abortion facility where the
abortion will be performed.

I have no background in law and therefore have no idea if Planned Parenthood actually possesses any legal grounds for their lawsuit. However, as a healthcare professional I can attest to the medical soundness of the required statements in § 7(1)(b)-(e) regardless of the political controversy that those statements might possess. Thus, it would seem to me that to dispute the informing of patients with scientifically-supported, medically pertinent information concerning any procedure as in violation of the free speech rights of both the physician and the patient is ludicrous. Of course, that’s a medical perspective. Perhaps politically this is indeed a perfectly sound move for Planned Parenthood – but then I can only speculate as to why they would assert that informed consent violates free speech; I’m not them.

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Where All the Women At?


Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion crowd are up in arms – again – this time over a congressional hearing concerning the HHS birth control mandate and religious freedom.

Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, released a statement asking, “How can Congress hold a hearing about birth control and not let any women speak?” She accused Congressman Darrell Issa of “holding a congressional hearing to oppose insurance coverage for contraception, yet not allowing a single woman to testify in support of the benefit.”

Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, George Zornick of The Nation, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, and Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi all made similar statements. However, Cecile Richards and the rest owe both their following and those they accused an apology because, “not allowing a single woman to testify” actually means: two women testified but they were opposed to the mandate so they don’t count. Dr. Allison Dabbs Garrett, the senior vice president for academic affairs at Oklahoma Christian University, and Dr. Laura Champion, the medical director at Calvin College Health Services, were two of ten witnesses to testify, claiming that the HHS mandate violates their First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion.

Furthermore, under rules established before Republicans regained control of the House, the minority party gets to choose one witness per hearing. The committee’s Democratic members originally chose Barry Lynn, a man. After Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-NY, said he would feel more comfortable with women on the panel, Congressman Issa responded, “I might want to note Rev. Barry Lynn is not a woman. That’s who you requested.”

The minority then changed its mind and asked for Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student who was expected to testify about a fellow student who was reportedly unable to afford birth control pills. Since the hearing was about religious freedom and not birth control, however, she was deemed an inappropriate witness. Barry Lynn was called but declined to attend because he deemed the call not very “serious.”

So there you have it: more deceit and duplicity from Planned Parenthood all in the name of “women’s health” and “justice.” If Planned Parenthood were really interested in justice why do they feel so compelled to lie and hide the truth? While their supporters might not care or even notice their deception Planned Parenthood only loses credibility to anyone paying attention. I too want social justice and everyone to have access to the healthcare that they need. However, I also respect my fellow Americans too much to blatantly lie to their faces in order to further my own agenda – no matter how good or just I may believe my motives to be.

Komen for the Cure Hates Women. Apparently.


In the wake of the Komen Foundation’s decision to cut its funding to Planned Parenthood a groundswell of opposition from the feminist camp has risen to denounce the move. The Komen Foundation’s mission to fight women’s cancers has in no way changed yet over at feministe.us the women’s health organization has been thoroughly denounced as putting “so-called “pro-life” values ahead of actual women’s lives” and promoting hostility towards women and female sexuality. I’ve never paid much attention to the Komen Foundation prior to the current controversy but I couldn’t help but resort to trolling feministe.us in the organization’s defense – and by trolling I mean leaving polite messages in their comments sections like:

While I understand why you’re upset that the Komen Foundation has cut its ties with Planned Parenthood it isn’t obligated to donate money to them. Fighting cancer is a noble endeavor and Komen doesn’t need to give money to Planned Parenthood in order to do something great for society. The fact of the matter is that the money that would have gone to PP will still go towards fighting women’s cancers because that’s what the Komen Foundation does. How exactly is this bad for women’s health?

and:

According to this research article induced abortions pose a significant risk factor for breast cancer. Considering that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country and that the Komen Foundation’s mission is to fight breast cancer then wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest that Komen may actually be cutting their funding to PP specifically with women’s health in mind? I understand that Komen’s donations to PP are meant for breast cancer screenings but their fungibility lends to the promotion of abortion services which is counterproductive to the foundation’s goal of fighting breast cancer. To suggest that the Komen Foundation is hostile towards women just seems a little absurd to me in this light.

Yes, that’s what constitutes “trolling” for me, but what can I say? I’m much too nice a guy to resort to real trolling even anonymously on the internet. Although I guess its like being bad at World of Warcraft: not being good at it is actually a plus. Zing!

Anyway, back on topic. In addition to the link between induced abortion and breast cancer (which is controversial within the healthcare community so it may or may not be true), hormonal contraception is a group 1 known carcinogen same as cigarette tobacco. Planned Parenthood distributes millions of doses of contraception every year. Susan G. Komen supports the eradication of breast cancer. Therefore, in the mission against breast cancer it makes perfect sense for Komen to defund Planned Parenthood.

I find the lack of solidarity concerning women’s health care disturbing. I mean, is Planned Parenthood so sacred that organizations like the Komen Foundation must support it, even if it means compromising their own mission of fighting breast cancer, or be ostracized by feminists? Is this really about what’s best for women or is this about an ideology that if you don’t support the PP golden calf then you hate women, Even if you’ve raised 1.9 billion for women’s health? I stand with Komen for the Cure and you can too.