Medical malpractice occurs when physician error causes patient damage. Civil lawsuits provide injured patients redress for situations where good physicians do bad things or where bad physicians are operating in an environment that’s not good for consumers. The application to abortion seems obvious.
When Kansas lawmakers resume work today, they will attempt an override of vetoed bill, HB 2115– the late-term abortion reporting bill. HB 2115 also strengthens the right of patients to sue for medical malpractice and illegal abortions.
- One provision rescinds physician immunity from civil suits for insufficient abortion counseling & preparation.
- Another provision gives standing to sue for victims of a criminal late-term abortion: the woman and her husband at the time of the abortion; and, if a minor, to her parent/guardian.
Currently, women in abortion clinics have limited physician contact and instead, are routinely counseled by a non-professionally-certified staff member, often just a high school graduate with “on the job” training. Many of these “counselors” have themselves had one or more abortions and feel compelled to affirm abortion decisions. Structurally, the abortion counseling is so time-limited and volume-oriented as to prevent addressing the unique needs and circumstances of the individual patient.
In view of this situation, Kansas is one of the many states that enacted laws mandating the very minimum fetal and maternal information abortion clients need. But handing out a state pamphlet should not exempt the physician from his legal duty to individually evaluate, counsel and assess the patient beforehand. With Kansas abortionists virtually immune from state criminal prosecution, it is absurd to keep giving them immunity from being sued by injured patients.
ATTORNEYS & COURTS DON’T ALLOW BASELESS SUITS
Contrary to propaganda from Planned Parenthood and the KC Star, HB 2115 cannot cause “baseless lawsuits.” Attorneys can be fined or lose their state license for filing “baseless” cases.
Denial of medical information required to make an informed decision is criminal ‘battery.” If an attorney reviews the patient”s allegation and finds there has been battery/malpractice, he notifies the physician of an imminent lawsuit.
The physician’s insurer may offer the patient a settlement to drop the suit or decide to fight the suit by filing a motion to dismiss and then motion for a judicial (non-jury) ruling. The court reviews the allegations each time to see if there is a valid case that can possibly be won by the injured patient. Thus, baseless suits cannot survive scrutiny!
On top of that, the rarity of such lawsuits comes from the reluctance of abortion victims to go public and the costliness of such cases, due to the attorney time and expense needed to secure expert testimony.
So if women were damaged by a lack of individualized pre-abortion medical screening and explanations, why are ordinarily “feminist-defending” voices wanting to protect assembly-line abortionists and deny women their medical rights?
Planned Parenthood also wrongly implies that HB 2115 allows “anti-choice” family members to prevent an abortion from taking place when the woman wants it. Untrue! Only AFTER an ILLEGAL late abortion took place, and only WITH just cause (as examined by attorney and court), can the woman, her husband or parent file suit.
And if husbands and grandparents have wrongly suffered the loss of children that should have been protected from illegal abortion, why should they be barred from litigation for the harm done to them?
Contrary to Planned Parenthood’s propaganda,
- HB 2115 does not restrict or change access to abortion.
- HB 2115 does not deny care for women with medically challenging pregnancies– Alexandra’s House in KCMO and Choices Medical Clinic in Wichita provide free top notch service for such situations –without abortion.
- HB 2115 does not confuse abortionists about how to report medical conditions– practitioners know how to report diagnoses, just as they do to insurers.
Lawmakers should override the governor’s veto of HB 2115.