HB0118 – Abortion – available information for decision – AN ACT relating to public health and safety; requiring physicians to provide patients with specified information before certain nonemergency abortion procedures; providing definitions and amending a definition; and providing for an effective date.
This bill would require women who are considering abortion to be given government-scripted information and then wait 24 hours before having the procedure.
We oppose this bill.
Our primary concerns:
THIS BILL IS AN UNWARRANTED INTRUSION INTO PRIVATE MEDICAL CARE
• Women should receive unbiased information about their health care options, but this bill interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. It puts government into the examination room and lets politics come between a woman and her physician.
• This bill would force doctors to provide information prepared by state legislators (non-medical personnel). Every woman needs to be able to trust her doctor to provide even-handed information, not script forced on every patient regardless of her circumstances.
• This bill distorts the principle of informed consent. Informed consent is already standard medical practice, and we support providing women with the opportunity to ask questions and receive unbiased information. As with any other medical procedure, women sign informed consent forms and have the opportunity to discuss the risks, alternatives, procedures, and follow-up care prior to the abortion procedure.
THIS BILL POSES THREATS TO WOMEN’S ACCESS TO MEDICAL SERVICES
• This bill has no exception for women who are dealing with rape, incest, several fetal anomalies, or serious health problems.
• In Wyoming abortion care is already very difficult to obtain. This bill would make the situation worse by imposing a mandatory 24 hour delay. Women traveling long distances to obtain reproductive health care could be forced to make two trips, facing additional obstacles and expense. Ninety-six percent of Wyoming counties lack an abortion provider.
• This bill does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion services.