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Kansas legislature proposes the Slut Tax!

That’s effectively what this bill is – a bill that would levy a sales tax on women who have abortions, with no exceptions for rape or medical necessity (emphasis mine):

Buried in the 69-page bill being considered by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee are several provisions, in fact, that opponents say would increase taxes on those who seek abortions. The tax sections do not include any exemptions for women who want an abortion after a sexual assault, to end a dangerous ectopic pregnancy or to remove the remains of a fetus following a miscarriage — the latter of which is defined as an abortion under Kansas law, according to Sarah Gillooly from Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

[...]Among other provisions in the proposed legislation are measures allowing doctors to withhold from patients medical information that might encourage them to seek an abortion and prohibiting malpractice suits if the woman or the child suffers a health complication as a result of information being withheld. A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed if the mother dies. The bill also would require doctors to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer and would prohibit state employees from performing abortions on the job.

Kind of sad that I’m spending International Women’s Day reading stories about my rights being stripped away and wishing I had been born a man.

Comments

  1. Karen says

    They are legislating the lie that abortions cause breast cancer?

    Toto, you should be glad to be out of Kansas now!

    “In February 2003, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of over 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk. Workshop participants reviewed existing population-based, clinical, and animal studies on the relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer. A summary of their findings can be found in the Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer Workshop.”

    from the National Cancer Institute website.

  2. says

    “The bill also would require doctors to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer”

    Even though there is no scientific evidence that it does cause breast cancer? Since when did scientific truth get decided by a vote?

  3. Dianne says

    Abortion doesn’t cause or increase the risk of breast cancer. It does, however, decrease the risk of uterine cancer, though only by a small degree. If I were a KS legislator I’d demand an amendment requiring physicians to tell women that abortion decreases their risk of uterine cancer and also telling them that, while they were required by law to say that abortion causes breast cancer that that is a flat out lie. And give references.

  4. Emily says

    This was my status on facebook today:

    “International Women’s Day feels meaningless this year. All over the world, women’s rights are headed backwards.”

    and people were getting on my case for being negative…

  5. jamessweet says

    This is weird for me, because a big theme for me in terms of behaviors that I think are negative and harmful but which ordinary people are liable to engage in anyway is to say, “Don’t ban it, tax it.” e.g. marijuana, alcohol, possibly fatty foods (although I waffle on this — a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and extra trans fats of course!), etc. And FWIW I apply this equally to behaviors I engage in, e.g. I admit I drink more than I ought, but although it would hit my bank account where it hurts I think alcohol should be taxed more in my state, for all the health issues it causes to idiots like me.

    So, to the story at hand… I see people who think a particular behavior (abortion) is negative and harmful (they are wrong, of course!), and instead of saying “Ban it!”, they say, “Tax and regulate!”, and there’s a part of me that wants to say, “There, NOW you get it. Here’s a cookie,” but of course there’s another part of me that says, “You fucking misogynistic idiots! Stop that!”

    Of course I’m opposed. But my initial gut reaction is very confused. I’m like… “Yeah, this is exactly how I want people to think about public policy issues b-b-b-b-but, uh, this is not AT ALL how I want people to think about public policy issues!” Argh…

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    I first read the headline here as a proposal for a Slut Taxi, and was imagining… well, that Kansans would end up abandoning the private automobile and public transportation alike, but arriving from in-state trips with big smiles.

  7. Blue Duck says

    So the Kansas legislature is full of moronic, disingenuous, mysoginistic sh*ts. Lovely. So they keep pushing the lie of the abortion-breast cancer ‘connection’, but they also want to punish women for having ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages? These assbites really have no clue about women’s health issues? Someone should explain to them that ectopic pregnancies if left untreated are pretty much always fatal. ALWAYS. And not doing a D&C after miscarriage can leave a woman open to developing dangerous pelvic infections. But, I guess, since in their view women aren’t actually people, it does not matter. Sufferin’ is good in the eyes of the Lard.

    I think we should nuke the KS capitol from orbit to obliterate the stoopid- it’s the only way to be sure!!

  8. Blue Duck says

    (for the literal minded troll types that last bit was an angry joke). I am SO mad right now, I swear my blood pressure is approaching the stratosphere…..

  9. paul says

    Could an ethical doctor say “The law requires that I tell you that it causes breast cancer; however, that’s not true” and get away with it?

  10. says

    I’m pretty sure this is unconstitutional for several reasons (free speech and equality under the law, for starters). If it passes, queue long, expensive legal battle.

  11. aeooo says

    In Denmark, International Women’s Day is called Kvindernes Internationale Kampdag – which I’d translate to Women’s International Day of Struggle. This seems much more fitting in the current scenario in the USA.
    I see it more as a day of marking that we still have things to fix, that there is still a battle going on – instead of simply “celebrating” women, whatever that might mean.

  12. Svlad Cjelli says

    “… allowing doctors to withhold from patients medical information that might encourage them to seek an abortion and prohibiting malpractice suits if the woman or the child suffers a health complication as a result of information being withheld.”

    “Allowing”, at least. Yes, there are bad doctors, but this ought to be nullified by doctors simply taking their fancy oaths seriously.

  13. Svlad Cjelli says

    Oh, I just noticed.

    “Kind of sad that I’m spending International Women’s Day reading stories about my rights being stripped away and wishing I had been born a man.”

    Methinks you shouldn’t use any magical objects by yourself. :P
    You’re apparently not very good at exploiting wishes. Not thinking big enough!
    Gotta watch out for hyperliteral spirits, though.

  14. Dianne says

    The University has been told that not having this training available may cost the school its accreditation

    As it should. Training in how to perform an abortion is critical for proper OB training. If this law goes through I’m not going to agree to hire any applicant for an OB attending slot at my university unless they demonstrate that they have gotten remedial training in abortion techniques. If they don’t want to include routine abortion in their practice, that’s one thing, but abortion can be a life saving procedure and it’s criminal for someone to call themselves an obstetrician and not know how to perform it, at least on an emergency basis.

  15. nemothederv says

    There is something i would like to explain to both the democratic and republic elect.

    Taxes have one purpose and that is to raise funds. It is not a social engineering tool.

    No exemptions for miscarriage treatment?
    I’m still trying to figure this one out.
    Maybe, if abortion becomes illegal, they want to make sure that sympathetic doctors don’t just provide abortions and label them as miscarriages.
    I mean you could call an abortion an “Induced miscarriage”.
    Couldn’t you?
    At least, I think that’s the rationale of the whoever thought this one up.
    My mind may not be dangerous enough to grasp their train of thought and that’s quite suprising to me.
    It might also be possible that they just want to punish the woman for “failing god” or some shit like that.

  16. nemothederv says

    Doctors being allowed to withhold information?
    Oh boy, I can’t wait.
    Think of all the medical research we could fast track.
    We’d have an entire country of guinea pigs upon which to perform secret experiments.

    Twins will be traded on a premium of course. Wait….no they wouldn’t. We can just start a program to make twins the norm. Better yet, litters. It’s not like we’ll need consent, right? We don’t have to tell them it’s happening.

    I can see it now, an army of genetically enhanced immortal ubermen through which I can rule the world!! *evil laugh*

    Who would have thought that the same people who freak out over cloning sheep would take this position?

  17. ema says

    I couldn’t agree more. Let all patients depend on the kindness of strangers. Do away with the standards of practice and every time you have an interaction with a physician, fingers crossed that she/he is ethical, not to mention competent, enough not to lie to you.

    And let’s not forget how nicely lying to a patient and telling her she’s not pregnant at the fist visit and asking her to come for a follow-up in 9 mo would free up the schedule.

  18. Gus Snarp says

    These “withholding information” laws are really pissing me off. No state should be telling doctors that it’s perfectly legal for them to let their patients die if they’re crazy enough to find that somehow more moral than ending a life threatening pregnancy. Seriously, fuck these people. Abortion should be between a woman and her doctor with REAL informed consent, which means information about all complications without overstating risks and without attempts at emotional manipulation. The state needs to stay the fuck out of it.

    But let me tell you why this pisses me off so much. My wife had an ectopic pregnancy before I met her. Had these laws been in place and had her doctor turned out to be some religious zealot, then she would have died. I would not have my wife or my children. And there are people who think allowing that under law is more moral than terminating a pregnancy? I thank Planned Parenthood every time I hear these stories, not just for fighting this stuff, but for providing the affordable medical care that saved my wife’s life.

    And I know there are women who are as anti-choice as some of these men, I have a hard time believing that there are nearly as many of them as there are men. I don’t get why any of these republicans or the men who vote for them ever get to have sex.

  19. Joven says

    Silly goose, women dont have orgasms…And you’re not suggesting penalizing MEN from having sex, are you? Thats just what the man-hating feminazis want!

  20. Tom Singer says

    You think taxes shouldn’t be used to incentivize behavior? Should we not levy extra tax on cigarettes to offset the costs to society of smoking, and make it more expensive for people to engage in that behavior? What about on gasoline, or energy in general, to force drivers to pay more of the real cost to infrastructure and the environment, and make greener options more attractive?

    If the only purpose of taxes is to raise funds, then you’d have to tax everything equally. Same rate on a luxury yacht and a can of peas. I don’t think that’s a reasonable position.

  21. says

    How many Republican strategists out there have one eye on the poll numbers, the other on these bills, and then had the thought “Did they forget that women can vote?”

  22. machintelligence says

    I have a feeling that one of the reasons we are seeing so many bills like this right now is that the conservatives and fundamentalists can see the writing on the wall and realize that they may well not be in the majority after the next election cycle. (I hope this is not just wishful thinking.)

  23. sceptinurse says

    On reading this I find myself wishing I could arrange a strike of all doctors and nurses all over the country for one day. unfortunately there are religious zealots in medicine and nursing as well that wouldn’t do it. There are also people whose conscience wouldn’t let them do this. (Many of these are the people you want taking care of you).

    The death toll would be astronomical. No one unlucky enough to have a life threatening condition on that day would make it. Any babies born that day that needed to be sectioned would die as would some of the mothers. It would, in effect, put us back 100 years or so to the way these people would accomplish.

    Do you think they would get the point?

  24. left0ver1under says

    If women weren’t interested enough to show up for the debate on contraception last month, why should they be allowed to vote?

    Yes, I’m being facetious, not fascist. Those who prevented women from speaking would be more than happy to take away women’s right to vote.

  25. Infophile says

    Which is probably exactly what they want. A lot of legislators who have made ridiculous restrictions on abortion like this have actually said that their goal is to get it challenged so that they can bring it to the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade. The cost to state treasury to defend it never seems to hold them back, and it never seems to stop people from voting for them, sadly.

  26. spdoyle17 says

    Sales tax? Yes. Everything, from food to Ferraris, should have an equal sales tax. Picking taxes based on certain people’s distate, no thank you. All of this extra bs over an abortion? Absolutely not. On the bright side, half of the conservatives want to kill off the NWS because it is “big government.” Let them have up to five years without the NWS & five years without Roe, the only condition is, to reinstitue the NWS, they’d have to do the same for Roe. Watch legal abortion be reinstated without a peep before the end of this year’s tornado season, as every red state in Tornado & Dixie alleys would veer hard left. <-Mind you, this is all sarcasm. I know the nutters would slay their own via preventable death via weather if it meant outlawing abortion.

  27. a_dad says

    >>Kind of sad that I’m spending International Women’s Day reading stories about my rights being stripped away and wishing I had been born a man.

    I think that is the most discouraging statement I have read all week. I’m the father of a 21-year-old daughter, and I dispair over the current attack on women’s rights. This is not how I want to world to be for her.

    I don’t get it. Do these legislators not have any women in their lives that they care about? No daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, nieces, wives? No exceptions even when is necessary to preserve the health, or even the life of the woman? Are they really that devoid of empathy?

  28. Svlad Cjelli says

    Bad many times is less bad than bad all the time. It’s arithmetic, not approval.

  29. nemothederv says

    That is exactly what I am saying Tom. Taxes are to raise funds. Use law if behavior needs to be curbed. Use regulations. Use education.
    Do not use taxes to punish people when there is no crime on the books that they’ve broken.
    They don’t like abortion. It’s legal but they want to punish women for it anyway so they use taxes.
    They don’t like smokers. Same thing. Also the same for people who drive Hummers.
    It’s dishonest and underhanded to use taxes to try to punish people just because you don’t approve of what they do.
    I think my position on this is reasonable.
    If they don’t approve they can try to make a law. If they fail, well that’s just to bad for them.

  30. cynickal says

    People still live in Kansas?

    Can we start a non-profit to help these impoverished people to relocate somewhere civilized?

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