A bill that allows pharmacists and doctors to deny women access to contraception has been signed into law by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. This new law is just one of many bills that the Republican governor has signed since he came into office. He has recently signed legislation that pressures abortion clinics with new regulations, legislation that imposes long waiting times to get an abortion, and legislation that bans insurance companies from covering abortion procedures.
This new bill, known as the Heath Care Rights of Conscience Act and sponsored by GOP state Rep. Lance Kinzer, was signed into law on Monday, and according to The Kansas City Star:
“The new law would bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they “reasonably believe” might result in the termination of a pregnancy,” and could “open the door for a pharmacist to refuse a request for something like the “morning-after” pill.”
Basically, any woman in Kansas could walk into a pharmacy to pick up a birth control prescription and be denied her medication by the pharmacist. All the pharmacists needs to do is claim to be acting on his or her religious convictions. And what’s worse, the pharmacist doesn’t have to refer the prescription to another pharmacy. Likewise, doctors also can deny women contraception and use religious liberty to get away with it. Even a woman who becomes pregnant through rape could be denied access to birth control.
This new law is just one more step toward a complete ban on abortion and contraception in the state of Kansas. It gives doctors and pharmacists the right to tell women what medication they can or cannot use. To give a pill pusher the legal right to deny a patient the medication prescribed by their doctor is a total violation of privacy and a major government intrusion. And giving doctors the right to dictate the reproductive choices of women is also an egregious violation by big government. This law will lead to an avalanche of costly lawsuits against doctors and pharmacies and is a threat to the health of women across the state.
Kansas seems to be ground zero for the Republican war on women this year. There is currently a bill that is stalled in the Senate that among other thing would levy a tax on abortion, severely limit third trimester abortions, and require doctors to falsely link abortion to breast cancer. If this bill were to pass the Senate and get signed by Brownback, as he has promised to do, it would be by far the most dangerous anti-abortion law in the nation. Women in Kansas may not have much time left to control their reproductive choices, because if the GOP has their way, women will be powerless to make their own health decisions.