More Anti-Choice Garbage in Kansas

[Content Note: Reproductive rights; Christian Supremacy.]

Because it is more important to indulge the presumed right of conservative Christians to force everyone else to bend to their beliefs than actually promote meaningful tolerance of a diversity of religious and irreligious traditions, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, who was a garbage nightmare as a senator and is now a garbage nightmare as a governor, has signed into law "a new expanded conscience clause bill in Kansas," which is breathtaking in its scope.
Brownback has now legally blessed a virtually open-ended number of situations in which "religious" workers can refuse to assist women under the guise that they believe they "may be" terminating a pregnancy.

Advocates of the law argue that it "updates existing law." But by changing the law to include refusal to administer any drug that they believe may terminate a pregnancy, it opens the door to refusal of birth control and emergency contraception -- both of which many anti-choice medical workers and pharmacists erroneously charge end very early pregnancies rather than preventing conception. The law could also allow refusal of even more medically-necessary drugs simply because they may relate to abortions.

Idaho already had a case of a pharmacist who refused to fill a prescription for a woman who needed drugs to stop bleeding, believing that the woman may have had an abortion which caused her blood loss, and the pharmacist received no punishment for the action. How long will it take for that to become the rule, rather than the exception, as the Kansas law goes into effect?

"Assisting in terminating a pregnancy" has already become an overly expansive phrase that many anti-choice activists are applying to even more unrelated situations -- from the nurses who refuse to do intake of women in the hospital for a termination to the bus driver who won't drive a route to Planned Parenthood.
Science has left the building. Now as long as someone "believes," even if wrongly, they "may" be "assisting in terminating a pregnancy," they are allowed to refuse to do their fucking jobs.

And if you're a patient who doesn't share those beliefs, well, you're shit outta luck. I guess you should have been born in a country that prioritizes healthcare over the childish indulgence of individual faith beliefs on the job.

Now, if you are a pregnant person living in Kansas, in addition to the concern that your health insurance (if you're privileged enough to have it) might limit your coverage to religiously-affiliated healthcare facilities that will deny you a life-saving abortion if they deem it a faith-based inconvenience, you also get to wonder if every individual doctor, nurse, and care provider whom you cannot personally choose will be willing to provide additional types of care, or decline to provide it on the basis that they erroneously believe it to be potentially harmful to your fetus.

I don't know how else to say this: We live in a country with legal abortion. If you are not willing to participate in healthcare procedures that you perceive, rightly or wrongly, to be associated with abortion, then find another profession.

It should be no one's obligation to sacrifice their health to indulge another person's faith belief.

That this is a controversial notion in the United States is truly contemptible.

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