The third ruling was a decision last Tuesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis. The court, sitting en banc, upheld, by a 7-to-4 vote, a 2005 South Dakota law requiring doctors to misinform women seeking an abortion that they face an increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts if they go ahead. This dreadful ruling ignores the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence.New York Times

When is the last time a state legislature passed a law forcing professionals to read from an exact script? Sure, there are truth in advertising laws that require companies to make only truthful statements about a product, but the law upheld in South Dakota is not about providing patients with accurate information to protect themselves, so that doesn't count. It is only doctors and nurses who provide reproductive health care who have absolutely no freedom of speech.

I want to know why the AMA is not enraged on behalf of its members. If cardiologists were forced to read a script insisting that eating chocolate souffles every day will increase patients' longevity, the powerful institution would flip its lid. In fact, any time someone even dares suggest that plastic surgeons be more forthcoming in discussing the real risks of optional surgeries that serve no actual health benefit, there is protest and campaigns about people's rights. Imagine if they had a read a script claiming that breast implants cause women to have suicidal thoughts (something I just made up because that is as accurate as the information that doctors now must give their patients who seek abortion care). Not going to happen.

On the flip side, I have noticed that anti-choice pregnancy "clinics" posing reproductive health centers have long flouted truth in advertising laws. (They often lure women into clinics by claiming they have doctors who can provide abortions, when they neither have doctors at all - volunteers who are not doctors or nurses dress up like medical professionals and present themselves as doctors or nurses - nor do they offer any such service.) When the New York City Council imposed a law requiring these vehicles of misinformation and harassment to be upfront on their signage about the services that they truly provide, anti-choice crusaders lambasted the legislature for infringing on their First Amendment rights.

Obviously, the only people with a true right to free speech are those who dictate their particular brand of religious beliefs to the rest of us. To them I say, fuck you.

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