Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SCOTUS Plays Doctor with Health


Planned Parenthood says clinics that provide abortions are all about women's health.  So can't we assume that the person who performs an abortion procedure is supposed to be a medical doctor?

After all, since pro-choicers allege that Roe v. Wade prevents women from having back-alley butchers cutting away on them, doesn't that mean the Constitutional "right" to get an abortion puts medical doctors in charge of the procedure?

Apparently not.  At least, not according to the Supreme Court, which ruled Monday that Texas cannot force abortion practitioners to have hospital admitting privileges.

Would you want a doctor working on your most private of parts to not have hospital admitting privileges?  Whether it's an abortion, or a colonoscopy, or something else you can't simply put a band-aid on?

Turns out, in most states, abortions can legally be performed by somebody who isn't a medical doctor.  According to a major abortion advocacy site, "abortion has become the most common - and safest - outpatient surgery in the United States."  But it can be performed by a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner.  A certified midwife can also perform abortions.

Maybe that's one reason it's so common - just about anybody can perform one, apparently.

Doesn't it sound like having an abortion is akin to having a splinter removed from your thumb?  Why all this louder noise about "health" from Planned Parenthood?

Of course, having hospital admitting privileges doesn't guarantee that a doctor never makes mistakes.  Yet having admitting privileges provides a doctor a greater degree of accountability - not to mention emergency accessibility - that must be better for patient care than not having them.

For the purposes of this discussion, we'll avoid pointing out the obvious:  That while abortion may be considered "safe" for the mother, it's absolutely lethal for the unborn baby.  Abortion is all about convenience for the mother, and most likely, the father.  Pro-choice folks argue it's about health, but hey; if a nurse practitioner without hospital admitting privileges can legally perform an abortion, who are we kidding when it comes to health?

Besides, Texas' HB2 wasn't outlawing abortion.  It was merely saying that as a medical procedure, abortion should be better managed in terms of contingency care factors.

So here we are, after a SCOTUS decision that places Constitutional "protections" for access to abortions ahead of general health.  According to the majority of justices, since abortion is already a Constitutional "right," creating impediments to accessing that right is unConstitutional, no matter how logical that "impediment" might be.

Of course, at this point, we also need to ignore the reality that, while abortion is a Constitutional right, it's a lopsided one.  After all, abortion only benefits the person arguing for it.  Not exactly fair, is it, since the victim of abortion has no voice in the matter.

So maybe women considering an abortion don't care as much about their health as pro-choicers say they do.  Granted, most women who have an abortion never need hospitalization, but again, if somebody was going to be prodding and sucking out parts of my innards, I'd want to scope out their medical pedigree first!  Why should women expect anything less?

Not that access to healthcare is a Constitutional right, as some argued during the Obamacare fiasco, but should SCOTUS be deciding against access to healthcare?

That's what Monday decision effectively does.  Maybe it means that abortions themselves are more accessible, but are they being performed by a reputable doctor?  Why the ambivalence on the part of pro-choicers when it comes to "reputable" doctors?  After all, hospitals don't give admitting privileges to disreputable medical practitioners.

And speaking of Constitutional "protections," let's talk about female genital mutilation.  According to the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation is considered a violation of human rights.  Yet it is also considered a religious practice, primarily in more primitive Muslim cultures across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  Based on ancient principles of female subjugation, genital mutilation predates Islam, but it has been popularly perpetuated among Islamic cultures that inordinately emphasize chastity and virtue - at least among women.

Currently, the practice is illegal in the United States, and rightfully so.  It's even illegal to transport a young girl from the United States for the purpose of performing the procedure on her in another country.  Yet in the spirit of Islamic beneficence with which America's PC police are operating, how much longer do you think it will be before somebody sues to preserve their religious right to mutilate a female member of their family?

According to the SCOTUS ruling on Monday, health is not as important as Constitutional rights, which ostensibly includes religious rights. 

Is that a precedent our highest court really wanted to make?

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