Allowing medical professionals to withhold information from a woman they believe could result in the woman ending her pregnancy.
Testimony of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri In Opposition to SB 142
March 20, 2013
By Holly Weatherford Program Director, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri
Thank you Chairman Rubin, and members of the committee, for the opportunity to testify in opposition to SB 142. The ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri has consistently advocated for policies that support women’s decision making, advance women’s health and well-being, and ensure strong, healthy families. We recognize that we may not all agree about abortion, but we should be able to agree that a woman and her family should have all the information they need to make this personal and private decision. Unfortunately, this bill deprives a woman of critical medical information and interferes with her ability to make her own decisions.
Every pregnancy is different. We believe -- and work hard to ensure -- that every woman should have accurate and unbiased information so that she can protect her health and make the best decision for her circumstances. Accurate information is essential for a woman and her family to fully participate in their own medical care so they can make decisions based on their unique circumstances, whether the decision is raising a child, adoption, or abortion. This bill, however, could encourage some health care professionals to withhold information and prevent a woman from being able to think through her options before making the best decision for her family.
A woman should be able to trust her doctor is providing information about all her options, including information about available tests. After learning about the availability of tests, a woman and her family may decide to seek out testing or forego it. A woman who receives a complicated diagnosis may decide to have an abortion or she may use the information to better prepare for raising a child. She will only be able to make the best decision for herself and her family if she has information available to her.
Our laws should support a woman and her family regardless of whether her decision is to have the baby and parent, to place the child for adoption, or to end the pregnancy. We should not be giving the green light for medical professionals to withhold information from a woman because some people object to her making that decision for herself.
I urge you to vote no.