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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

kansas taliban

Friday, February 25, 2005

what is going on in kansas?

did its citizens go to sleep in america and wake up in fundamentalist-oz? or is the entire state under the control of wild-eyed right-wing zealots?

the state's attorney general, phill kline, recently declared war on women who have had abortions. apparently it's not enough that these women must live with a heartbreaking decision: they also must worry that the state's top cop might get his sweaty hands on them.

having been branded with the scarlet A, they must live in fear of a government witch-burning.

kline is demanding patient records for more than 90 kansas women. these files contain personal details including how the women became pregnant, sexual history, birth control practices, drug use, psychological profiles, fetal abnormalities and more.

the premise for this government intrusion into the private agony of kansans is to "go after child rapists and predators." it assumes that any underage girl who is pregnant was raped. the flaws in this logic are profound, and the precedent this investigation sets is dangerous.

there are valid legal and ethical reasons why patient records and the doctor-patient relationship is beyond the reach of fanatical law enforcement. if that protection is stripped away, the health and safety of the most vulnerable will be sacrificed. this applies not only to pregnant teens and adults but to AIDS patients, people in abusive relationships, and thousands of other compromising situations. instead of seeking help, people will cower and suffer and die.

there are already good laws on the books requiring physicians to report any suspected cases of child rape or other abuse. kline's bludgeoning of the rights of kansas women is in itself abusive. and it's a poorly disguised cloak for his aggressive anti-abortion agenda.

abortion is not a pleasant topic. no one in their right mind is a cheerleader for this cheerless circumstance. but like underage pregnancy, it is a reality that some women endure--and all must have the right to choose.

phill kline, in his self-righteous dudgeon, is pursuing a vindictive kind of "justice." his prosecution of kansas law is looking like a persecution of innocents.

a physician's first duty is to do no harm. in the case of abortion, that scenario is murky at best. there is no question, however, that the kansas attorney general is intent on harm. he's piling legal insult atop the injury already suffered by many women in his state.

he should not be allowed to do more damage.