Finally, A Bunch Of Geniuses Combined Radical Anti-Abortion Policies With Cartoonishly Bad Social Science
Come on a fishing expedition with me — along the way we’ll terrorize some doctors, just for fun
I don’t plan on writing or talking much about the post-Dobbs abortion landscape. I just think there are a million people better equipped to offer insights than I am, and the subject is (understandably) receiving blanket coverage in major outlets. My absence from this particular conversation will not be missed.
The few exceptions will likely occur when this issue intersects with one of my other areas of interest, like media criticism. Some of you may also recall that I’m quite interested in shoddy social science. An abortion-related example crossed my desk that is the shiniest, most irresistible Singal-Minded bait imaginable.
I learned about it in a column about the horrible story of the 10-year-old who was raped and impregnated in Ohio and sent to Indiana for an abortion. Writing in The New York Times, Tracey A. Wilkinson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and a colleague of the doctor who performed that abortion, explains:
A law that recently went into effect in Indiana mandates that doctors, hospitals and abortion clinics report to the state when a patient who has previously had an abortion presents any of dozens of physical or psychological conditions — including anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders and uterine perforation — because they could be complications of the previous abortion. Not doing so within 30 days can result in a misdemeanor for the physician who treated the patient, punishable with up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The law is written so broadly that a primary care provider who sees a patient with depression, an anesthesiologist whose patient has an allergic reaction to a medication or a radiologist who notes a patient has free fluid in the abdomen could be punished with a fine and jail time if they don’t report these things as possible complications of that person’s prior abortion. Any health care provider so charged could easily become a target of national attention, with attacks against them professionally and personally.
Sure enough, if you go to the Indiana Department of Health website (PDF), you’ll see that the state suggests “Providers should use their reasonable medical judgment in determining whether a specific health complaint or medical issue is a reportable abortion complication.”
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