Prenatal screening is a part of pregnancy in this day and age. Birth defects, pregnancy issues and potential risk factors can be assessed and reported to expecting parents. Arizona has passed a law that protects a doctor from being sued if he does not reveal this information following the screening.
On the surface this is disconcerting. No one wants to allow a physician to decide what to tell a patient. The patient deserves the entire truth. But once you dig in deeper, this issue is alarming! In an attempt to prevent abortions, Arizona legislators have just given physicians a free pass. This pass allows physicians to withhold information that might have led expecting parents to decide to have an abortion rather that deliver a baby.
Pro-life vs. Pro-birth
This brings to the forefront an issue that spurs many arguments and fights. It would allow a physician who is against abortions to withhold information from a patient to prevent them from choosing to have an abortion. This supports the so-called pro-life movement. However, it is important to distinguish between pro-life and pro-birth.
Pro-life should mean that supporters belief in the sanctity of life for all beings. Pro-birth, on the other hand, is a really what most of these folks are pushing. It might seem confusing at first, but it isn’t really that challenging. If you are going to prohibit someone from making a decision about bringing a pregnancy to term, you cannot leave them in lurch after the birth occurs. This means that if you are going to withhold information about a pregnancy, you better make sure the support services that will be needed are available after the birth.
[For information on pro-life vs. pro-birth from a nun, read: Pro-birth, pro-life or pro-choice: A very simple question.]
Imagine, if you will, a world in which a doctor can actually withhold information that might leave a mother’s life at risk. An example here would be an ectopic pregnancy. A mother would be prevented from knowing her risks and potentially die during the pregnancy. Allowing physicians to have that free pass against lawsuits will give them the ability to do just that.
Lawmakers are finding ways to force their beliefs on their constituents. Instead of developing an openly communicative environment, they are now writing laws that eliminate options for pregnant women. This is a horrific reality and something that all voters should be made aware of in order to remove from office legislators who would dare try to control them in this way.