Friday, August 10, 2012

The government knows best

The State of Texas has decided it is qualified to tell doctors how to run their practices and what to tell their patients. According to a proposed rule for the state's Women's Health Program, doctors would not be allowed to provide abortion counseling for their patients.

The gag order would extend to other doctors in the practice - even if they aren't participating in the program - as well as to other patients who are not in the program.

The purpose of the rule is very clear. It's yet another attempt by the far right to limit women's access to abortion. It's yet another example of the government getting involved in an area in which it has no business being involved. Our beloved state legislators are barely capable of doing that job (and everyday I am thankful that they are only allowed to meet for 140 days every other year); they are not qualified to stick their noses in the conversations that doctors have with their patients.

I understand that there are those who are adamantly opposed to a woman's right to have an abortion. Ironically, most of them have no problem with the state murdering inmates - but that's another story for another day. Of course most of them are also opposed to the coverage of birth control under the Affordable Care Act - but intellectual consistency has never been the calling card of the far right.

The proposed rule would seem to run afoul of that little thing we refer to as the First Amendment. The rule would impose a limitation on the ability of doctors to speak freely with their patients. It would subject the doctor to penalties should he provide abortion counseling to his patient.

Once again we find the far right cheering on the government's attempt to invade the privacy of its citizens without any apparent irony considering the tea baggers' insistence that the power of the government must be limited.

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