Letters to the Editor in The Indianapolis Star and The Wichita Eagle
The Indiana House recently passed legislation that would require women seeking abortion care to be told about a false link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer.
This legislation disregards credible scientific evidence on the subject and is aimed at dissuading women from choosing abortion. More than 100 of the world’s leading experts on pregnancy and cancer, including the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have concluded that there is no such link.
Responsible medicine requires that patients and doctors make treatment decisions together based on medically accurate, unbiased information, not on the anti-choice political agenda of some legislators.
Kansas women seeking reproductive health care deserve complete, unbiased and medically accurate information. However, legislators are more concerned about restricting women’s access to abortion than about the truth.
Last week the Legislature sent a bill to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk that would ban some abortions in the state based on the unsubstantiated and incorrect claim that a fetus can feel pain at 22 weeks. Last year the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reviewed the latest evidence and found that “the fetus cannot experience pain in any sense” before 24 weeks gestation. The report also stated that “after 24 weeks, it is difficult to say that the fetus experiences pain,” noting that “increasing evidence suggests that the fetus never enters a state of wakefulness inside the womb.”
Kansas women deserve the facts, not inflammatory, unsubstantiated rhetoric, and the legislation completely disregards the scientific evidence. This bill is nothing more than an attempt to restrict women from accessing the abortion care they need.
The Legislature also passed a bill requiring a minor to get consent from both parents before obtaining abortion care. Most teenagers already involve their parents in their abortion decision, and those who don’t often do so for compelling reasons such as incest or fear of emotional or physical harm.