Big Republican Government

Indiana GOP Advances Bill to Force Doctors to Lie

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Republicans often say the government shouldn't come between a doctor and their patients, but that philosophy clearly doesn't apply to pregnant women.

State lawmakers in Indiana have advanced a bill that would require doctors to provide junk science to women who seek abortions.

Wednesday the House Public Policy Committee voted 7 to 6 — with two Republicans joining all four Democrats in opposition — to approve House Bill 1128, which would require abortion providers give women information about the reversal process prior to them receiving the abortion drugs. [...]

In recent years, Arizona, South Dakota and Arkansas have passed laws regarding abortion reversal. Planned Parenthood challenged the Arizona law in federal court and the legislature rescinded it, with Arizona's attorney general conceding the federal court case.

There is no scientifically proven "reversal process," but that's not necessarily the reason why Planned Parenthood defeated the state of Arizona or why the Indiana bill could also be challenged and defeated if it's signed into law.

Arizona's abortion reversal law was successfully challenged on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment rights of doctors and the Fourteenth Amendment rights of patients.

It's not just junk science; it's an unconstitutional mandate.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The proper response to this from everyone in the medical community is to publicly and clearly declare that, if this becomes law, they will completely disregard it.

    Any medical professional or medical group (I’m looking at you AMA, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and all the rest) that fails to do so is in direct violation of their oaths and/or responsibilities as healthcare professionals and should be barred from practicing. This law and their duties as doctors/nurses/etc are in direct opposition to each other. They cannot claim to still be practicers of medicine if they don’t refuse to obey this law.

    • muselet

      Most OB-GYNs who have to read a state-written script tell their patients, “The state says I have to tell you [whatever anti-scientific crap the lege has decreed]. Now, in my opinion, the best evidence says that’s not the case.”

      Combined with a weary or sarcastic tone, this gets the message across to patients just fine and nobody needs to get arrested.


      • Christopher Foxx

        Combined with a weary or sarcastic tone, this gets the message across to patients just fine and nobody needs to get arrested.

        Sure. But that’s still going along with the law. That’s still not standing up for what’s right and publicly opposing it. That’s “Of course I’m opposed to it, and I’ll make that very clear. Behind closed doors. Where they can’t see me doing it.” And so fare they’ve only they came for the Trade Unionists…

        The proper response isn’t to go with the letter of an obscene and unconstitutional law while clearly opposing its spirit. The proper response, as I said, is to refuse to go along with it at all.

        Yes, that means risking arrest. Aren’t we supposed to applaud those who take a principled stand for what is right? And if the medical community as a whole did so, which is what I’m saying is what they should do, then the bill would never even become law.

        Going along with it, but clearly not doing so, is still going along with it.

        • muselet

          Getting arrested for violating a (stupid, unnecessary, anti-scientific) law means patients have to scramble to find another doctor and continuity of care goes for a Burton. Getting arrested for violating a (stupid, unnecessary, anti-scientific) law means possibly losing one’s license to practice medicine. Getting arrested for violating a (stupid, unnecessary, anti-scientific) law means facing ruinous legal costs.

          Subverting the law is easier, especially when combined—as is usually the case—with insistent lobbying against said law.

          You’re willing to ask—or demand, I’m not sure which—that others become martyrs for a cause. I’m not.


          • Christopher Foxx

            You’re willing to ask—or demand, I’m not sure which…

            What I wrote, and fairly clearly, was that everyone in the medical community should publicly and clearly declare that, if this becomes law, they will completely disregard it. That they are bound by their oaths and responsibilities to their patients to do exactly that. And that if everyone did, then the bill would never become a law, negating any concerns regarding licenses and legal costs.

            It’s when we let the fear of what the tyrants might do to us stop us from objecting that we become supporters of the tyrant.

          • muselet

            Red-state politicians would cheerfully make an example of a few doctors, even if every doctor in that state were doing the same thing, pour encourager les autres. Whether the physicians’ solidarity would hold under threat of random arrest and possible convictiion—with the attendant costs, monetary and professional—is an open question.

            Plus, as I said before, patients would suffer even more by losing continuity of care.

            My point is, things aren’t necessarily as simple as they may seem.


          • Christopher Foxx

            things aren’t necessarily as simple as they may seem.

            If folks stick together, they are. I know getting enough medical professionals to stand together would be the tricky part. Certainly some of them would relish having an excuse to lie to their patients. (There are, alas, Republican doctors.)

            But if that tipping point of medicals was met then those that they tried to make an example of would be supported, with legal and financial aid. Which wouldn’t even be necessary since, if enough medicals followed their oaths, the Republicans would fear the backlash far, far more than any medical had to fear being made an example of.

            (This is why unions are good things.)

            The sad fact is, Republicans rely on individuals being too afraid to object. It’s the only way they are able to do things that 80+ percent of people detest. (e.g., stopping reasonable gun controls, repealing the Endangered Species Act, etc. etc. etc.) And the only way to stop them is to refuse to give in.

  • muselet

    From the link:

    Among the skeptics about abortion reversal is Dr. Katherine McHugh, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indianapolis. Testifying before the committee this past week, McHugh said [the founder of Abortion Pill Reversal, Family Practice physician George] Delgado has described the treatment of only six patients, and his work is hard to evaluate because there was no standard protocol or dosage and his work hasn’t been reviewed by other doctors or subjected to an ethical review.

    “This is not vetted science. This is not good science, and it’s not good medicine,” McHugh said.

    Her view of abortion reversal is shared by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says there’s no reliable research to prove any treatment reverses the effects of mifepristone. A 2015 paper issued by the organization’s Arizona chapter said a woman who simply doesn’t take the second pill stands a 30 percent to 50 percent chance of continuing with her pregnancy. And it is this, McHugh said, that may account for the success stories Abortion Pill Reversal people have cited.

    “Please do not confuse a medical gamble with vetted scientific data,” she said.

    The obstetricians organization says giving high doses of progesterone is normally safe, but it can cause adverse cardiovascular, nervous system and endocrine reactions.

    [links omitted]

    To summarize: 1) George Delgado has provided no meaningful information about his high-dose progesterone idea and has no protocol in place for administering the hormone, making evaluation of his claims impossible; 2) any effect the high doses of progesterone may have on a pregnancy is marginal at best; and 3) taking high doses of progesterone may have detrimental effects.

    This doesn’t even rise to the level of junk science.

    And yet, fetus fetishists in and out of government find this nonsense compelling.



    • Christopher Foxx

      And yet, fetus fetishists in and out of government…

      They aren’t fetus fetishists. They care nothing about the fetus at all, have no particular interest in or fetish for it. Their interest/fetish is solely, and has always been, exercising control over other people.

      If nobody ever wanted to get an abortion again, these same people would simply find some other cause to pretend to be concerned about so that they could then tell other people what they can and cannot do in whatever that new arena is.

      • muselet

        New Oxford American Dictionary:

        fetish |ˈfediSH|


        an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.

        • a course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment: he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice.

        • a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.: Victorian men developed fetishes focusing on feet, shoes, and boots.

        With a couple of judicious edits (removing “inanimate” from the first definition and “sexual” from the third), that would seem to describe self-described pro-lifers. I feel justified in calling such people fetus fetishists.

        You are correct, though: their oh-so-fervent obsession with fetuses is disingenuous at best, and they very much want to control other people’s actions.

        When Rick Santorum managed to get into the news over the past few years, I’d usually call him an anhedonic scold. Maybe that’s a better description, but I don’t find it as satisfying (the alliteration just feels right, somehow).

        For now, I think I’ll keep calling them fetus fetishists.


        • Christopher Foxx

          Nah, not anhedonic. They do feel pleasure. It comes from causing harm to other people. They take an immense amount of pleasure in doing that.

          • muselet

            These people are worse than the people who supposedly advised Victorian Englishwomen to “lie back and think of England” when confronted with their husbands’ animalistic demands for sex (“Sweet pea, would it be possible for us to … you know … erm … if you want to, I mean ….”).

            To them, sex has one purpose and one purpose only: for reproduction within a marriage recognized by a religious (wink-wink) body. Pleasure doesn’t enter into their thinking, because pleasure is dangerous and might lead to gasp shock horror a feeling of wellbeing.

            That feeling is, of course, unthinkable. That’s when the devil—excuse me, THE DEVIL! *turns around three times, spits*—gets hold of a person’s soul or some such malarkey.

            So yes, anhedonic.

            What they feel when they control another person is more akin to fervor, which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.


  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Small Government: small enough to fit in your uterus.