The Eighth Circuit's affirmation of South Dakota's deformed consent law for abortion is bad. Want to know how bad? Read Michelle Goldberg's assessment inÂ The Daily Beast. She finds the court has declared it legal for the state to lie to women:
At issue is a 2005 law that, among other things, requires doctors to warn women that abortion would subject them to increased risk of â€œ[d]epression and related psychological distressâ€ and â€œ[i]ncreased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.â€ This would be perfectly legitimate if it were true, but the vast preponderance of medical and academic research shows that it is not. â€œThe best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who haveÂ an unplanned pregnancy,Â the relative risk of mental-health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy,â€ concluded an American Psychological Association task force that studied the issue. (Italics theirs) [Michelle Goldberg, "South Dakota Legalizes Lies with Suicide Warning for Abortion Seekers," The Daily Beast, 2012.07.27].
Goldberg finds the court opening the door for states to base policy on the infamously mendacious pseudoresearch of Priscilla Coleman and other ideology-driven liars. For example, in one of her major number-fudging exercises, Coleman assumes that abortion's mental health harms can travel backward in time:
Coleman and her coauthors, it turned out, didnâ€™t just rely on mental illness that manifested after abortionâ€”they counted mental-health diagnoses across womenâ€™s entire lifetime. Thus if a depressed woman had an abortion, the abortion was treated as a risk factor for her depression, even if the depression came first. A review by the journalâ€™s editor, Stanfordâ€™s Alan F. Schatzberg, and Harvardâ€™s Ronald C. Kessler concurred with Steinberg and Finerâ€™s critique. â€œ[T]he Coleman et al. (2009) analysis does not support their assertions that abortions led to psychopathology in the â€¦ data,â€ they wrote [Goldberg, 2012.07.27].
Yet the 8th Circuit abandons truth and justice and declares it the American way to let states lie... and to compel medical professionals to lie to their patients.