A South Dakota law was up for debate recently - a controversial law that requires doctors to advise women who are getting abortions that they have an increased risk of suicide following the procedure. After some deliberation and a split-opinion, a court of law finally ruled that the law was okay, despite questions of whether it was unconstitutional or not. If this link was indeed scientifically provable, this could be considered a good thing for women. Unfortunately, the evidence to support such a connection is flawed at best, meaning that the court has just ruled that doctors must legally lie to their patients.
The court’s ruling stated that conclusive proof was not required for the law to go into effect. Even though the evidence surrounding the claim of increased suicide risk is highly questionable, they declared that it was not misleading. The South Dakota Attorney General went on to say “Today’s decision supports the Legislature’s goal of encouraging women… to make informed and voluntary decisions.”
You’ll have to excuse me if I have a “WTF?!” moment for a second. How in the hell is a decision considered to be informed if the information a person is given is most likely false?
To back up the ruling, one of the judges quoted studies of the links between suicide and abortion and found them, however flawed they were, to be “adequate enough” to allow the law to go into effect. This is despite other concerns of the law violating both patients’ and doctors’ rights.
As it stands, South Dakota has some of the most stringent laws concerning the hoops that people must jump through in order to get an abortion. This one just makes it a bit worse. And, of course, the anti-abortion front is claiming the ruling to be a “victory for women.” By that reasoning, I have to suppose that old segregation laws in the South were a “victory for African-Americans” during their time. I wonder why we ended up abolishing such victorious laws.
The ruling is just one more case of idiocy and false information being used to support the lawmaking process. Laws no longer need facts to support them as long as they support someone’s agenda. We may all now feel free to ignore science when determining what is real or not. Me, I’m going to go jump off a bridge and test the rumors about that thing called gravity. Maybe I can get a judge's ruling to help me on that one.