In brief: My regular spot with Hal Sparks on WCPT Radio, Chicago!
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Enhanced audio: HSRP 03/07/15 — AZ Lawmakers Think #Abortion is Reversible
I always love when I get to tell Hal he’s even righter than he thought he was. His set up to the spot was on how elections matter all the way down the ticket to comptrollers. I added context through the Feminist Majority Foundation’s recent clinic targeting report and a book I’m reviewing on increasing violence against reproductive healthcare providers; as the anti-choice laws have been passed, violence has increased nationwide.
We moved on quickly, so for more of my set-up on increased targeting of abortion providers, see the round-up of writing and media I did during 40 Days For Life this year: #40DaysForLife Annual Targeting Round-up
The bill — SB 1318 — sitting on the Arizona governor’s desk is, in essence an insurance coverage ban. ACA plans already cannot cover abortion care, but residents may purchase an additional rider (think: the unfortunately named infamous “rape insurance” law from Michigan). This bill would prohibit private insurance companies from offering that, so basically it’s restricting the free market the GOP loooooooves so much to inhibit reproductive healthcare.
We talked about the provision getting the most attention: a junk “science” add-on masked as a “information” disclosure or “informed consent” cause. Hal paralleled these chip-away at access laws to the LGBTQ discrimination allowance “religious freedom” laws in 40% of our states (and the federal government). It’s a right-wing strategy and it’s working because it can play as reasonable.
I also got righteous about not doing a general boycott of a state. Follow the #WeAreIndiana hashtag & support the businesses that are LGBTQ-friendly rather than further injuring and stigmatizing an entire population. After a call from an Indiana resident, Hal nails why the discrimination against some individuals is hypocritical. You didn’t build that.
I quoted a whole bunch of articles; they’re all listed below in the links section. Here are the excerpts for those who don’t have all the time to read or want to read as you listen:
“SB 1318 would remove the provision permitting the purchase and payment for a separate optional rider.”
The bill would also amend Arizona’s informed consent law to require a physician to inform a patient of the following: “It may be possible to reverse the effects of a medication abortion if the woman changes her mind, but that time is of the essence.” In addition, the doctor would tell the patient that “information on and assistance with reversing the effects of a medication abortion is available on the Department of Health’s website.” This provision was added as an amendment by Rep. Kelly Townsend.
While medication abortion “reversal” remains untried, unsubstantiated, and purely experimental, that hasn’t slowed anti-choice activists in their quest to have it accepted not only as legitimate medicine, but offered at hospitals and urgent care centers across the country. This Arizona amendment represents not only the first time* that abortion “reversal” will be supported at a legislative level, but also adds a perception of legitimacy by having the protocol mentioned on a state health department website.
*It’s on its way in Arkansas re ThinkProgress: “Arizona May Force Doctors To Tell Women Their Abortion Can Be Reversed”
“There is no science to support this,” Arizona-based gynecologist Ilana Addis told me. “ACOG does not support advising women on treatments that are not evidence-based. These women would be unknowing and unwilling guinea pigs.” …
“The Arkansas Right to Life site claims 200 physicians nationwide are willing to perform the same procedure.” …
As Cheryl Chastine, an abortion provider at South Wind Women’s Center in Kansas, put it recently, “Even if these doctors were to offer a large dose of purple Skittles, they’d appear to have ‘worked’ to ‘save’ the pregnancy about half the time.” …
That’s why, on the small chance that a woman does regret her abortion midway through, ACOG-affiliated doctors say they would simply tell her not to take the second pill.
New York City-based OB-GYN Kathleen Morrell, an abortion provider and reproductive justice advocate with Physicians for Reproductive Health:
“What’s downright offensive to me as a doctor is that it implies that we need a statement saying that a woman needs to be protected from her own uncertainty,” Morrell told The Huffington Post. “We as providers already have evidence-based protocols and relationships with our patients. We talk to them about their abortion, we do everything to ensure their certainty. I think that the ultimate goal of this legislation is to get in between a woman and a doctor and create some kind of stigma and uncertainty in that relationship.”
“A politician is requiring me to offer you something that’s untested,” she said. “I do not offer my patients untested things. I wait for the evidence to come out as to whether it’s safe and effective.”
My recap: A dude tried the injection on six women; four had live births. This is worse than the vaccines cause autism faux study.
Links to on-air references:
The RHRC legislation tracker everyone should be using: Arizona Bill Amending Insurance Coverage Ban and Informed Consent Laws Regarding Medication Abortion (SB 1318)
My favorite piece on the Arizona law (which has the “purple Skittles” quote from Dr. Cheryl Chastine): “Can an Abortion Be Undone?” at The Atlantic
The additional OBYN/medical breakdown and history on the “doctor” behind the junk science: “Gynecologist Calls Abortion Reversal Bill ‘Downright Offensive’” at HuffPo
And more on the national context, including the upcoming similar bill in Arkansas and the national Right to Life movement’s model legislation push: “Arizona May Force Doctors To Tell Women Their Abortion Can Be Reversed” at ThinkProgress
Note:: If you haven’t yet, please check out my new ”#GetWell2015 series! I’m detailing all the uncomfortable messiness of what it takes to get well in this country. I’m personally navigating insurance (still a thing despite ACA), talking mental health and poverty stigma, and discussing the obstacles to care.
Subscribe to get all a selection of my appearances through iTunes at Katie Speak Live Archives.
You can hear The Hal Sparks Radio Program live Saturdays from 12-2pm EST on WCPT.