Alert!! Last week Indiana State Representative, Bruce Borders, filed legislation for “Hysterectomy Informed Consent”. This is a major step toward forging legislative change. We need YOU there. Public testimony for and against House Bill 1366 will be heard at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 25th at the Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis. The hospitals, ACOG and the AMA’s forces are gathering and their lobbyists are closing in on the legislators.
The reason we’re letting you know about this amazing development so late is because we just read about it in the newspaper last Monday. Rick Schweikert and I met with Rep. Borders last week to discuss HERS perspective on the issues.
Borders was motivated to introduce Hysterectomy Informed Consent legislation after his wife underwent a hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries without the information required for informed consent. Rep. Borders is determined to make sure that doctors will be required to provide every woman with HERS video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs”, at least 48 hours prior to being told to sign a Hysterectomy Consent Form so that every woman will have the information requisite to Hysterectomy Informed Consent.
Your attendance, regardless of whether you testify, is imperative. The larger the number of people attending the hearing, the stronger the message is to legislators that this is an issue of critical importance to you. Lobbyists have begun to wine and dine legislators to remind them of their contributions to their campaigns. Lobbyists are influential, but your vote is more powerful than their money.
We have just witnessed the power of the vote in Massachusetts. On January 20th, 2010, the New York Times reported, “By a decisive margin, Mr. Brown defeated Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, who had been considered a prohibitive favorite to win just over a month ago after she easily won the Democratic primary.” Whether or not this is the outcome you or I would have chosen, this demonstrated the higher power of the vote. It was not the usual outcome wrought by campaign funds, lobbyists, or history that prevailed. The voters of Massachusetts stunned the country, going against the tide, by making their voices heard with their votes.
This is your opportunity to make your voice heard about what was done to you, to women you know, to demonstrate that you will not stand silently by while women continue to be denied the information about the consequences of a surgery that damages another woman every minute of every day. Together we can take the first giant step toward stopping this from being done to the next generation of women and girls.
The 22 million living women who underwent hysterectomy without the information required for informed consent were not given the opportunity to decide what they would, and would not, allow to be done to their bodies. Show your support for a woman’s right to full factual information about her body by attending and/or testifying at the hearing on January 25th. Stand up for what you believe and be part of the solution.
Where: Room 156B, Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis
When: Monday, January 25th at 10:30 a.m. EST
There are several hotels in downtown Indianapolis within walking distance of the Capitol, including the Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton, and the Hilton Gardens Inn.
Nora W. Coffey, President