Skip to comments.As the Supreme Court considers abortion regulation in Louisiana, DC moves to ban all regulation
Posted on 03/12/2020 4:30:52 PM PDT by Morgana
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether a particular abortion regulation is permissible. The bill, written by pro-life Louisiana Democrat Katrina Jackson, seeks to require hospital admitting privileges from abortion doctors.
In a little-noticed unanimous vote just days earlier, all 12 members of D.C. Council approved a wholly new legal paradigm: banning altogether any regulation that relates to reproductive healthcare.
The bill, introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, awaits signing by Mayor Muriel Bowser. The Strengthening Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act, despite its name, does not in fact alter access to abortion in D.C., where the procedure is available on-demand and without apology, up to nine months, for any reason.
What it does do is ban D.C. Council or municipal officials from regulating or interfering with reproductive health care.
Such a broad law would be risky anywhere, but in the District of Columbia, its madness. The nation's capital has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in black maternal mortality, yet the D.C. Council is set to absolve itself of responsibility for reasonable, common-sense regulation.
An article published in the trademark journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists gave D.C. the highest mean mortality rate in the period 2005 to 2014 higher than any single state. In 2018, USA Today found that women in D.C. die during childbirth at a rate seven times higher than women in California and one and a half times higher than women in Maryland. Up to 75% of maternal deaths in D.C. are black women, who die nationwide at a rate two to three times the rate of white women.
To make matters worse, many black women are stuck in a maternity desert here in the District, after the 2017 closure of two maternity wards.
Grosso has positioned the bill as intended to protect D.C. abortion rights, and it is likely the legislation will be used to wholly deregulate abortion providers in the District. The local director of Planned Parenthood admits that the goal of the bill is codifying abortion access.
Maternal death statistics, however, include deaths from both childbirth and abortion, some of which are caused by negligence and a failure to meet the standard of care. In Maryland, the licenses of three abortion providers were suspended in 2013 after a string of incidents, including one death. In 2019, Planned Parenthood in Arizona, whose counterpart here is the most prominent provider, was fined $3 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit, after retaliating against a longtime employee who had noticed serious health and safety violations.
We cite these examples not because they show definitive legal liability, but because they show that there are risks associated with abortion procedures performed by District-area providers. Abortions, like any medical procedure, require regulatory oversight.
In particular, experts confirm that a large portion of the gap between white and black women is due to bias, including a refusal to acknowledge or attend to the concerns of black patients. Regulations that ensure equal treatment and lower barriers to accessing timely prenatal care, as well as treatment for pregnancy-related hypertension, diabetes, and depression, would go a long way towards improving the reproductive health outcomes of DC women. Likewise, basic sanitation, medication administration, and staffing requirements should not be left to the discretion of a reproductive health care provider.
This bill is dangerous not because it removes any specific regulations, but because its overly broad language ties our hands. This law may ultimately provide a legal defense for rogue doctors. Worse, some human trafficking advocates are privately concerned that the Districts ability to identify abuse will be diminished as a result. As with medical regulations, health practitioners could use this law to circumvent mandatory reporting laws, removing important protections for vulnerable individuals.
Grosso, who introduced this law, stands to benefit from it. It burnishes his pro-choice credentials while doing nothing to increase access to abortion or address shocking disparities in maternal health outcomes. Unsurprisingly, he is a former board member of Planned Parenthood in D.C., which has a strong interest in legislation that gives them free rein to make decisions based on the health of their bottom line rather than the health of their patients.
Grosso and Planned Parenthood will benefit from this legislation. Pregnant patients in D.C. will not.
This is just another example of the radical polarization of the stark ideological poles that have developed. Not really developed, because conservatives have pretty much believed what nearly everyone has always believed throughout the nations history. Its the left that has radicalized.
Conservatives are the stationary train platform that he leftist trains is accusing of moving.
Ah, finally something Washington believes shouldn’t be regulated.
So it’s ok for the DC legislature to make abortion decisions but not Louisiana’s.
As long as it goes only a certain way, ya see.
Please defund DC.
Let the operation of the corrupt colony go to the highest bidder.
Mobile abortuaries in the back of mini vans staffed by high school dropouts.
DC Has Highest Percentage of Food Stamp Recipients - https://www.newsmax.com/us/washington-dc-highest-food-stamp/2015/01/17/id/619202/
DC Has a Bigger Welfare State than Any European Country besides Denmark - https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/dc-has-bigger-welfare-state-any-european-country-besides-denmark
In fiscal 2015, the District of Columbia sent the fewest people into the military, - https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/lifestyle/where-do-military-recruits-come-from-not-the-district/2229/
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.