This Is The Perfect Response To Anti-Choice Laws

An appeals court judge called out a Wisconsin law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals for what it really is: disingenuous and unconstitutional. And it was beautiful.

Savvy abortion opponents have figured out that making it impossible or difficult for women to access abortion is a safer bet than having the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that ruled the procedure was protected by the Constitution. To do this, they use TRAP laws, or “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers,” which impose medically unnecessary and often costly demands on the doctors and facilities providing abortion services. What makes these TRAP laws especially creepy is that they are presented under the guise of protecting women’s health.

In reality, they are “protecting” women from health issues that aren’t actually issues and harming women by making abortion harder to access. Among these creative attacks on women dressed up as concern for them are: requiring water fountains in waiting rooms, setting dimensions for procedure rooms and corridors, and even monitoring ventilation, parking lots, and covered entrances. And, of course, the Wisconsin law in question, that requires abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Here’s what U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner, a Reagan appointee, had to say about the law, in the ruling he handed down on Monday.

You’re Embarrassing Yourselves!
One of the most ridiculous aspects of the Wisconsin law — which is saying a lot — is the two-day deadline providers would have to obtain the admitting privileges. While this is obviously an impossible feat and a requirement that aims to shut down the facilities, the state actually denied that the law had any such motives: “There is no evidence the [Wisconsin] Legislature knew AMS physicians would be unable to comply with the Act.” Posner stated that the claim, “insults the legislators’ intelligence. How could they have thought that an abortion doctor, or any doctor for that matter, could obtain admitting privileges in so short a time as allowed?”

The minimal time required for gaining privileges is three months. And as Posner points out in his ruling, gaining admitting privileges is extremely difficult for abortion providers precisely because abortions are so safe. Hospitals, including hospitals in the state of Wisconsin, will only grant admitting privileges to doctors who, you know, do a lot of admitting or inpatient treatment, and require recent experience as well as a minimum number of admitted patients. Because abortion providers don’t typically hospitalize their patients, they usually lack those qualifications. Added to that burden is the sad fact that hospitals often don’t want to grant privileges to abortion providers because they fear it will attract controversy.

Thanks for the testimony that requiring admitting privileges is important for women’s health. Too bad it didn’t come from an actual doctor.
“The only testimony presented to the legislature that admitting privileges are important to continuity of care was presented by a representative of Wisconsin Right to Life who happens not to be a doctor.” The demand for admitting privileges sounds great and appears to be a protective measure. But it’s a total sham. Not only do you not need to be a doctor with admitting privileges at a certain hospital to admit a patient — you don’t need to be a doctor! Or else nobody but doctors would ever be able to call for an ambulance. That’s why the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), issued a statement against these requirements. Of course, non-doctors with anti-choice agendas are free to disagree with actual medical professionals. In this case, they just happen to be lying or have no idea what they’re talking about. Cute story, though!
Admitting privileges aren’t required for procedures way more dangerous than abortions. Isn’t that interesting...
“Wisconsin appears to be indifferent to complications of any other outpatient procedures, even when they are far more likely to produce complications than abortions are.” This brings up two issues. First, as Judge Posner points to in his decision, studies show that abortion is an extremely safe procedure. The rate for complications in under 1%, and the rate for complications severe enough to require hospital admission is one-twentieth of 1%.

Maybe these lawmakers are just being really, really, really cautious? Maybe there is a high rate of hypochondria in the states that have passed laws demanding these requirements? Not so. It turns out that admitting privileges are not required for procedures that are way more dangerous than abortion and send way more people to the hospital. Colonoscopies, for instance, cause complications that require hospitalization at a rate four times greater than first-trimester abortions. And yet, inexplicably, doctors are not required to obtain admitting privileges to perform those.

It’s fascinating that you claim to want to protect women’s health because you’re actually putting them at risk.
“What makes no sense is to abridge the constitutional right to an abortion on the basis of spurious contentions regarding women’s health – and the abridgment challenged in this case would actually endanger women’s health.” But worse than being medically unnecessary, laws like these actually put women at risk. By forcing clinics to shut down, they make it harder for women to access safe, legal, and affordable abortions. If only a limited amount of facilities remain open, there will be waiting lists, which will delay women’s access to abortion. The earlier an abortion is performed, the safer it is.

You guys are really transparent. At least try harder.
“Opponents of abortion reveal their true objectives when they procure legislation limited to a medical procedure — abortion — that rarely produces a medical emergency.” I think that speaks for itself.

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