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View Diary: Virginia House getting all up in your vagina (276 comments)

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  •  Right to informed refusal (10+ / 0-)

    The case law on the right of patients to refuse medical procedures, even in life-threatening situations, could not be more clear and has been upheld by the Supreme Court. I'm not a lawyer (though I play one on TV, ha ha) but there is also a solid body of case law upholding the right of pregnant women to refuse medical treatment even if it means that their term fetus will die.

    None of these cases, which typically involve court-ordered cesarean sections, have been appealed to the Supreme Court yet, so the case law on the right of pregnant women to refuse treatment isn't quite as solid. But in this instance, of course, the fact that the woman is pregnant should be irrelevant because she's undergoing a legal procedure to terminate the pregnancy, which means there should be no question that she should have the same rights as any other patient to refuse a medical procedure.

    Unless the state could prove it had a compelling interest in forcing pregnant women seeking an abortion to undergo ultrasounds, I'm not seeing how this law could possibly hold up to a court challenge. Of course the argument would be that the compelling interest is to force the woman to see that the fetus is a person and decide not to abort. But again, the courts have largely held that she has the right to refuse treatment even if it means her term fetus will die and then you have Roe saying a compelling state interest in limiting abortion doesn't kick in until viability.

    Thinking aloud here! I would love to hear more from actual attorneys on how the case law on the rights of competent adults, including pregnant women at term, to refuse medical treatment applies here.  

    •  It's really not the government's business (7+ / 0-)

      what she thinks of the fetus, or to force her to think of it in a particular way - which is what all these nonsensical informed consent laws are all about.

      Of course the argument would be that the compelling interest is to force the woman to see that the fetus is a person and decide not to abort.
      IANAL but I would like to think that such laws, if challenged, would not stand.

      Honestly, I have yet to encounter a woman who has sought an abortion who didn't know exactly what she was doing. This is such condescending and paternal bullshit.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by lcbo on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 04:20:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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