“Undue burden” for whom? Thoughts on upholding South Dakota’s law

On July 24, Live Action News reported that on that day, a South Dakota law regarding informed consent had been held up by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The article also mentions other information from Life News and the Associated Press.

The fact that this law was upheld is a victory for the pro-life cause. The risk of suicide associated with abortive women is recognized and passed on to women so that they may truly be making informed decisions when it comes to the choice to abort their unborn children. It is worth mentioning that the law also deals with a woman being told that “an abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being[.]”

Women should be able to truly feel like they are making the right choice in seeking out and going through with an abortion. After all, an abortion is a serious decision with permanent consequences. If women are to be protected from making a decision that they may not be ready to make, informed consent laws seem like the smartest, most commonsense option. However, Planned Parenthood has shown in the past and in the present to be against informed consent laws.

An article from Reuters, dated the day after the decision was made, mentions that  “Planned Parenthood had contented the suicide advisory imposes an undue burden on abortion rights and violates the free speech rights of the physician.”

Fortunately, Planned Parenthood lost in their lawsuit of challenging this 2005 South Dakota law, and it was upheld and “that conclusive proof of a causation was not required and the suicide advisory was not misleading and was relevant to the patient’s decision.”

Undue burden is important to consider when making a judicial decision on whether or not a pro-life law violates Roe v. Wade. Seven judges came to the decision that the suicide advisory does not impose an undue burden. It is puzzling how the connection can be made that giving a woman information about an extremely important, permanent decision that she may make is an “undue burden.” What is being called a burden, then, is telling women the truth about the unsavory possible effects of abortion. It just seems backwards.

What really should be considered a burden to a woman, then, is the willingness for abortion providers to lie to women or withhold information. If women are not told important, key facts, they may come to regret such a decision and suffer for the rest of their lives. This regret and suffering could have been prevented if a woman had been told that she might come to feel this way before she went ahead with the procedure.

The issue of whether women are told the truth or lied to or have information withheld from them also relates to these so-called “free speech rights of the physician.” A physician should be entitled to the same free speech as anyone else. This should not mean, though, that a physician has the right to lie or withhold information because there is a concern about business being affected should the truth be told.

Such a law being considered an “undue burden,” then, is less puzzling if the business of a physician or an abortion clinic is put above the woman’s health and safety. The present and future health of the woman, which may be affected as a result of an abortion, should come before the desire for business. That is not an “undue burden”; that is pro-woman.

Planned Parenthood put forth a statement on the day of the ruling. The following is the bulk of the statement put forth by Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS):

Planned Parenthood is extremely disappointed by today’s 8th Circuit Court decision.

Every reputable researcher and medical organization has determined that there is no sound scientific evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between abortion and suicide. This law, upheld by the court today, is just one of many reprehensible barriers that South Dakota politicians are determined to impose on women seeking safe and legal health care.

This ruling by the 8th Circuit Court allows the greatest intrusion by the government into the patient doctor relationship to date.

The bottom line is that women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.

There are many points worth mentioning and refuting in this statement. Planned Parenthood continues to insinuate a deep connection between its organization and mammograms and continues to call pro-life legislation an “intrusion by the government into the patient doctor relationship,” even when such legislation and rulings are meant to actually protect women.

For the purpose of how such a statement specifically has to do with the South Dakota law being upheld, it is worth drawing attention to the second paragraph. Planned Parenthood may say that “there is no sound scientific evidence that shows a cause and effect relationship between abortion and suicide[,]” but in saying so, the organization neglects to recognize that there are many studies which have found an aborti0n-suicide link. Such “safe and legal health care” does not seem so safe when women may be committing suicide as a result of the “health care” which Planned Parenthood provides.

No pain and suffering of a woman who has ever had suicidal thoughts or who has ever tried to harm or kill herself because of an abortion should ever be disregarded. In downplaying how much of an effect abortion may have on a woman turning to suicide, Planned Parenthood does a grave disservice to the women who went to a clinic affiliated with the organization and were told that they were making the right decision and then were faced with such great regret that they attempted or committed suicide.

Planned Parenthood does not want women to have this information to decide for themselves how the abortion-suicide link may affect them in the future. To oppose a law that seeks to save women from turning to the tragic choice of suicide that has even the smallest bit to do with an abortion is part of the real “War on Women.” Thank God that this law was upheld to inform women of the true nature of what abortion can and does do.

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