Borders asking for summer study on informed consent hysterectomy bill; speaks to international conference in New York
District 45 State Rep. Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville) says women need to know the facts before they agree to have a hysterectomy.
Borders, who believes most of the hysterectomy procedures performed are unnecessary, was unsuccessful in passage of a bill he sponsored last session that would have required women to have informed consent before under going the common medical procedure.
The bill died in January without a vote in committee, but Borders is continuing his fight during the off-session to enact this legislation in Indiana.
Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, a hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ.
Under Borders proposed bill, patients would be required to watch a video/DVD that relates information that the procedure will result in infertility, a description of the discomforts and risks that might follow the procedure.
It specifically requires doctors to inform patients about the general nature of their condition; the proposed treatment or procedure; the expected outcome; and the material risks and reasonable alternatives to the procedure.
The bill also requires patients to be advised that the hysterectomy procedure is considered to be irreversible, the patients must be given a description of the discomforts and risks that may accompany or follow the performing of the procedure, as well as a description of the benefits or advantages that may be expected as a result of the hysterectomy.
Borders is trying to get a House summer study committee for the bill and plans to re-introduce it next legislative session, if he wins re-election in November.
"I'm trying to get a summer study committee on it so we can build up some steam on it (the legislation)," Borders said.
Some states have similar legislation on the books, but Borders added, "There is nothing that has any substance to it. This is the first legislation that has been proposed anywhere in the world that requires a DVD be given to a person having a hysterectomy. Once the person has been given that DVD which we can produce for about $1 a piece, we want women to understand what the results of a hysterectomy are. Basically, 100 percent of the time when they see that DVD they literally chose not to have a hysterectomy."
Borders said he became interested in the topic after his wife, Lola, had a hysterectomy several years ago and things did not go well.
"It almost never does. According to the HERS Foundation and their study of over 850,000 hysterectomies, 98 percent of them are unnecessary," Borders told the Greene County Daily World.
Borders said the bill is obviously not supported by many in the medical community, because it is one of the more profitable procedures -- a $17 billion industry each year.
"One thing they don't tell women is your chance of cardiovascular disease increases by 300 percent," he said.
Last month, Rep. Borders was a guest speaker for an international conference sponsored by the Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation, a non-profit international women's health education organization in New York City.
The focus of the conference was hysterectomy informed consent legislation.
According to the HERS Foundation, more than 621,000 hysterectomies are performed each year on women in the United States who are not provided with information that is required for informed consent.
Borders' address was titled: "Your Vote is Mightier than the Lobbyist's Dollar"
Last session, during an Indiana House of Representatives hearing, the Indiana Hospital Association and a gynecologist who claimed to represent the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) voiced opposition to HB1366. Planned Parenthood Action Network (PPAN) of Indiana and Indiana ACLU spoke against the bill.
Borders said feedback after his 30 minute presentation and participation in a roundtable discussion has been positive and upbeat toward his new effort to have the legislation passed.
This could possibly become a federal law, Borders said. He's going to get his bill into the hands of Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), an ardent women's rights advocate, who delivered the keynote address at the conference.
He hopes she might introduce similar legislation in the U.S. Congress.
"She (Maloney) herself was saved from a hysterectomy because of advice she was given and she had become so appreciate of the cause because of her own situation and the counseling she had. She became keenly interested in the issue," Borders said.