Saturday, June 21, 2014

Richard Blumenthal's Poisoned APPL

Feminists for Life once characterized a Maryland pro-abortion law as the "APPL -- Abortionists' Promotion and Protection Act." I believe that this is an apt way to describe the "Womens' Health Protection Act of 2013", sponsored by Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Abortionists determine viability
Viability.--The term ``viability'' means the point in a pregnancy at which, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care professional, based on the particular facts of the case before her or him, there is a reasonable likelihood of sustained fetal survival outside the uterus with or without artificial support.
This, in short, allows the abortionist to unilaterally declare any fetus he chooses to abort as not being viable, because it would be contingent upon prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the abortionist was not acting on "good-faith medical judgment." The bill later indicates that this law is to be interpreted as liberally as possible. All the abortionist would need to do would be to present any justification whatsoever for believing that the baby was "not viable." He could claim:
  • "Good-faith" miscalculation of gestational age
  • "Good-faith" miscalculation of fetal weight
  • "Good-faith" misinterpretation of any finding that could even remotely be construed as a health issue in the fetus
Abortionists determine threat to the mother's life or health

The bill would forbid:
A prohibition on abortion after fetal viability when,in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating physician, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant woman's life or health.
Since the bill also requires the most liberal interpretation possible, clearly the states would be required to return to the Doe vs. Bolton definition of the woman's "health":
[M]edical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment. And it is room that operates for the benefit, not the disadvantage, of the pregnant woman.
In other words, if the abortionist is unable to squeeze the fetus into a pre-"viability" situation, he can use anything to squeeze the abortion itself through the "health" loophole. All that is necessary under Doe vs. Bolton is that the abortionist write down someplace that he agrees with the woman that the abortion will benefit her. The only post-viability abortions a state would be permitted to ban would be ones the woman won't sign a consent form for.

Medical standards for abortion facilities would be virtually abolished

As far as regulation of abortion practice in any way, the bill limits such regulations to those imposed on "medically comparable procedures.The bill, however, does not define "medically comparable procedures"  All the abortion lobby need do, under the mandated liberal interpretation of the law, is invent the definition in such a way that abortion is not "medically comparable" to any give procedure. This leaves the following ways to weasel out of pretty much all regulation:
  • Chemical abortions could be declared "medically comparable" only to any other prescription of a medication, and thus subject to no regulation whatsoever beyond those dictating who may write prescriptions and under what circumstances.
  • Any abortion involving extraction of the fetus through the cervix could be declared to not be "medically comparable" to outpatient surgery on the grounds that it does not involve a surgical incision. The only procedures the state could try to present as "medically comparable" would be procedures that involve inserting instruments into an existing orifice. The requirement that the law be interpreted as liberally as possible would probably only allow the sort of regulation the state would impose on a facility that performs colonoscopies or similar procedures.
The one possible flaw of the law, from the abortionists' perspective, would be that states might be able to classify labor-induction abortions as "medically comparable" to childbirth and thus regulate facilities that do that to the same standards as birthing centers. An attempt to weasel out on the grounds that "abortion is safer than childbirth" would not fly because even the most abortion-enthusiastic researchers admit that by 20 weeks, abortion is riskier than childbirth. The requirement, however, that the law be interpreted as liberally as possible might force states to classify induction abortions as variations on extraction abortions on the grounds that the intention to deliver a dead fetus rather than a live infant makes the practice more "medically comparable" to an extraction abortion than to the delivery of a live infant.

Pretty much anything the abortion lobby objected to would be forbidden

Sec. 4 would abolish all informed consent laws, waiting periods, or anything else that the abortion establishment found could in any way -- directly or indirectly -- delay an abortion, increase its cost, or be construed as to pose any sort of hindrance. In short, Sec. 4 defers to the abortion lobby and the abortionists themselves as to how abortion shall be practiced in every state in the union.

The entire law is to be construed in the most abortion-friendly way possible
Liberal Construction.--In interpreting the provisions of this Act, a court shall liberally construe such provisions to effectuate the purposes of the Act.
As the law is drafted, especially with this "liberal construction" clause, the abortion lobby could successfully establishing a Catch-22 situation in which no state, city, county, or other agency or entity could so much as investigate an abortion facility or practitioner unless and until the facility or practitioner were already proven to pose a "significant" danger to abortion patients.

In short, a facility would have to have a Gosnell moment, in which an unrelated investigation uncovered egregious circumstances, before the state could so much as peek inside to see what's going on, because, as I noted above, abortion can be "liberally construed" not to be "medically comparable" to any other practice" and thus not subject to the inspections and oversight of outpatient surgery.

Other than, at least at first glance, allowing parental involvement laws to stand and allowing states to ban mandated insurance coverage of abortion, Blumenthal's APPL is an abortion lobby wish-list codified in law.

We need to remind Sen. Blumenthal, and our own Senators, of exactly what happens when the abortion lobby is allowed to determine what's adequate protection of women in abortion practice.

1 comment:

Atlmom5 said...

WOW! Thank you for writing this, I've really learned something new today about Diane Sawyer. The inhumane treatment of Dr. Gosnell's patients really outraged me, and the lack of media cover really pissed me off! If it wasn't for the internet I probably wouldn't have known the details of the Gosnell case, and today I have learned about another disgusting, evil doctor because of your website, Thanks!