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Kansas Governor Signs Law that Ignores Women’s Needs; Attacks Individuals’ Conscience Rights

May 15, 2012

“The ‘Health Care Right of Conscience Act,’ signed yesterday by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, will impose outrageous restraints on women seeking healthcare services,” said CFC president Jon O’Brien in a statement today. “In addition, it uses fake science in equating emergency contraception to drugs like RU-486—despite the best efforts of antichoice activists, the scientific consensus is that they are different. With the help of Gov. Brownback, women of Kansas will now suffer from this abuse of science and power.”

“Gov. Brownback, a Catholic, should know that there are several elements that must be taken into account when forming one’s conscience. Catholic teachings declare that a conscience is a voice, coming from our innermost core. We must listen to it, all the while respecting the conscience rights of others to access the healthcare services they need. This Act, as signed by Gov. Brownback, will deny the conscience rights of individuals seeking care. There is nothing Catholic about that.

“Gov. Brownback’s decision allows a provider not only to refuse access to a medication or procedure, but also to deny a referral to someone who will provide this access. In rural areas, where there are few healthcare choices, this law may have a serious impact on women’s health. Public policy should be based on accuracy and scientific fact, not prejudice and pseudoscientific quackery.”