The GOP war on women continues to rage on in Kansas. A bill designed to help alleviate the emotional pain of stillbirths has been turned into a persecution tool against women who have a miscarriage.
A bill meant to provide comfort to grieving families has been turned into a declaration of war against women
House Bill 2613 was an attempt to give grieving families the opportunity to obtain a “certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth” rather than a certificate of death. And that’s all it was supposed to do. GOP Rep. John Doll hoped that the bill wouldn’t become embroiled in his party’s fight over abortion. But one Senate Republican couldn’t let the legislation pass without turning it into a threat against women across the state.
Instead of allowing Doll’s bill to pass untainted by anti-abortion fervor, state Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook changed it. She added language that amounts to legalizing persecution of women who have miscarriages.
According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, the amendment “extended the bill’s reach to pregnancies at any stage and added mandatory reporting requirements for miscarriages that occur at medical facilities or for the physician who sees a woman immediately following a miscarriage.”
This bill is now a tool that would allow Republicans to persecute women
In short, the bill would force doctors to report women who have a miscarriage to the state. They would have their names entered into a database that state officials could use as a tool to go on witch hunts. The privacy of these women would be violated. The nightmare scenario is that women would be investigated by the state and could be arrested and jailed for miscarriages. Such a law would undoubtedly cause many women to not seek medical attention.
The GOP seems to think that a miscarriage should be a crime, even though it’s a fact that they occur for any number of reasons. In order to conduct investigations, the government would have to have access to the medical records of thousands of women. This is a significant invasion of privacy that would be costly to taxpayers.
Pilcher-Cook’s amendment is a threat to privacy that would certainly lead to persecution of women. The GOP is obsessed with waging a war against the reproductive rights of women. Plus, it has control of the state government. It’s obvious that this part of the bill will be abused as part of an anti-abortion agenda. A simple attempt to give closure to families has become another attempt to regulate women’s bodies.
The bill is now so bad that its original Republican sponsor has withdrawn his support
The amendment is so horrible that even Doll has withdrawn his support for his own bill. In a statement to ThinkProgress, Doll said:
“I can’t support the bill as it was amended. I think it waters it down and makes it into a political statement. I wanted a bill to help give closure to some families — I didn’t want it to have anything to do with pro-life or pro-choice issues.”
Kansas Republicans don’t seem to care about anything except their effort to strip women of their rights. It’s a disservice to the citizens they’re supposed to represent. Surely, there are other issues to deal with and better things to spend taxpayer dollars on. But, the GOP is dominated by anti-women extremists who want to control women’s lives. Unless Kansas voters wake up and make a change, it appears Republicans will keep the state in the race to be the most hostile in the nation towards women.