A proposed law in Washington (the state) seems to be attempting to turn abortion clinics into Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Titled the “Woman’s Right to Know Act” this proposed law would require abortion clinics in the state to provide detailed information about “the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed, and that the abortion will end the life of the unborn child” as well as watch a detailed video about the procedure. It also requires the provider to discuss the “immediate and long-term consequences” of the abortion procedure.
The bill includes specific details as to what information the video must contain such as “the anatomical and physiological characteristics of an unborn child at various stages from conception to natural birth,” lists of alternatives to abortion including a list of the addresses and phone numbers of agencies that offer alternatives to abortion, and services to assist a woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent. It also requires the video to include the fetal heartbeat at four to five weeks gestational age, at six to eight weeks gestational age, and each month thereafter until viability. The bill requires the states Department of Health to produce the video and printed materials and abortion providers must purchase them at cost in order to be able to provide them to patients. There is so much wrong with this that it is absurd.
First, it is a clear violation of a doctor’s right to free speech. The government cannot require doctors to tell patients about “consequences” that don’t exist and given the amount of misinformation that circulates among anti-abortion groups it is unlikely that the required information will be accurate. It will likely be more lies about how abortion causes breast cancer or mental illness.
On top of that it will cost Washington tax payers money. I’m sure the Washington Department of Health has other things on its list of things to do in 2012 that don’t involve supporting an anti-woman agenda, why not just let them do that instead of forcing them to take on this silly project? Plus the law will most certainly be challenged if it passes and the cost of producing the materials will also be covered by the state.
Given the amount other states have spent defending pointless anti-choice laws; it seems Washington lawmakers need something else to do if they want to avoid wasting money. For example in Kansas, anti-choice laws have wasted almost $400,000 to defend the personal beliefs of the lawmakers. Meanwhile, the state’s budget cut all funding to the Kansas Arts Commission. It has been shown time and again that students who participate in the arts do better in school so clearly that money could have gone to much better uses than defending laws that shouldn’t have been passed in the first place. Let’s hope Washington lawmakers decide to do better than wasting money on this shameful law.