South Dakota Requires Doctors Be Psychic, Divine Patient's Future Before Providing Abortion Services

Not quite - not yet, anyway - but that's pretty much where they're going.  (And I wanted to have fun with an Onion-style headline, so nyah.)

Remember that terrible South Dakota law, which was injunctioned (can that be a verb?) almost as soon as it passed, that required people seeking abortions to receive biased "counseling" from unlicensed pseudo-clinics renowned for their lies, misinformation, and manipulative tactics?

Well, they're amending it this session, and there's slightly-less-worse news, and ridiculous news.

The slightly-less-worse is that they're implementing a requirement that the counselors people will be forced to see at crisis pregnancy centers be licensed.  So at the very least, it won't just be a random volunteer spending an hour telling the pregnant person they're going to Hell and they need to go live with a good Christian family and give their baby up for adoption.  It'll be a licensed counselor condescending to and shaming them for choosing not to continue their pregnancy!  Isn't that much better?

The flat-out ridiculous is the whole new section on pre-abortion physician counseling.  The pregnant person must have a consultation appointment with the doctor who will be doing the abortion, and the doctor must, according to the new amendment to the law, probe into their religious beliefs and personal views, their mental health conditions, and precisely how difficult they found the decision to abort, in order to create a profile of "risk factors for adverse psychological reaction" (one of which is simply "being under the age of 22", for bonus age discrimination points).  Maybe it's just me, but I really don't expect to have to explain my theosophy on the universe when I go to the doctor to access a medical procedure, you know?  The whole thing sets up a nearly-impossible standard of attitude and history for people seeking abortions to meet.  Now, not only do you need to be pregnant and not want to be, and also receive counseling, you need to disclose your religious beliefs, and convince your doctor that it was totally an easy decision, in order to "qualify".

Oh, and all this information?  Goes on a form that is to be entered into the person's permanent medical record.  Cause I know I totally want details on my religion and decision-making process to be part of my medical records.  That's absolutely where it all belongs.  Right?

It's like South Dakota is taking the usual paternalism of anti-choice ideology and turning it up to 11.  Now your doctor is supposed to discourage you from getting an abortion, if you so much as found the decision hard to make.  Have these people ever lived?  Because life is full of difficult decisions, and a decision being a hard one to make doesn't necessarily make it wrong.  Why is it so impossible to treat pregnant people as though they are capable of making their own decisions without the intervention of multiple people pointing out every possible downfall and flaw of what they've chosen to do?  You cannot swaddle and coddle people from every possible consequence of their choices, and for a party that regularly decries "nanny-state"-ism, this is the absolute epitome of that kind of intrusive "caretaking" from the government.

Or in other words, it is the ultimate in concern-trolling.  "Here, let's make absolutely certain you're not in any way ever going to regret this, by putting eight billion onerous burdens on you and making you jump through a dozen hoops at every turn, just to make sure you've really thought about it and are really, really, really, really, really, really, really sure that this is what you want."

Hence why I said, in the title, that it won't be long before the GOP is trying to demand that doctors peer into the future and know for sure that an abortion won't in any way negatively impact the pregnant person's life, before providing services to them.  Because gods forbid people be free to make their own mistakes or hard choices, if those mistakes or hard choices include exercising control over their reproductive lives.  That just wouldn't be Freedom.

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