Federal court forces doctors to warn of suicide risk from abortion

by on July 29, 2012  •  In Constitutional law, Health, Reproductive rights


Ruling en banc, the Eighth Circuit has upheld a South Dakota law that requires doctors to distribute written statements that abortion causes “increased risk of suicidal ideation and suicide.” Amazing. The ruling came in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a lawsuit that has been bouncing between the District Court and Court of Appeals for seven years. Irin Carmon at Salon describes the Court’s weasley abdication of judicial responsibility:

Presented with an American Psychological Association meta-analysis that dismissed the causal claim and found methodological flaws in the studies of correlations, alongside several studies cited by Planned Parenthood in its challenge, the majority basically threw up its hands and went postmodern on the entire notion of truth. “It is difficult to identify a solid objective basis for the criteria employed in these reviews to identify the ‘best’ studies,” they wrote. “We express no opinion as to whether some of the studies are more reliable than others; instead, we hold only that the state legislature, rather than a federal court, is in the best position to weigh the divergent results.”

Next and last stop: the Supreme Court.



2 Responses to Federal court forces doctors to warn of suicide risk from abortion

  1. Darren Hutchinson August 1, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Perhaps the most pernicious thing about this law is the fact that most states, including South Dakota, really do not devote resources to mental health. The exploitation of suicide and mental illness for antiabortion purposes is pretty despicable.

  2. TB August 3, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    It’s a well documented fact that having children also increases the risk of suicidal ideation. In fact, any pregnancy-related hormonal shift is going to impact a woman’s emotional state. I wonder if doctors are required to include this information in their pre-abortion “counseling” sessions. To provide selective information to women in such a manner borders on malpractice.

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