Seventeen years ago, future Alabama state Senator Larry Stutts was new mother Rose Church’s OB/GYN. Rose was discharged from the hospital just 36 hours after giving birth. She returned about 36 hours later with complications and was treated and released. In another 36 hours, Rose was dead.
Less than a year later, “Rose’s Law” passed both the state House and Senate unanimously. The measure gives women a legal right to remain in a hospital for 48 hours after a normal vaginal delivery or for 96 hours after a cesarean section. Dr. Stutts was a named defendant in the wrongful death suit filed by Rose’s grieving husband. (The case was settled out of court.)
Fast forward to November 2014: Dr. Larry Stutts was elected to the Alabama state Senate as a Republican.
Just a couple of months into his first term, Sen. Stutts is trying to repeal the law spurred by his own patient’s tragic demise.
Senator Dr. Larry Stutts (R-Sheffield) has offered SB289, which would repeal a woman’s legal right to remain in the hospital for 48 hours after a normal live birth and 96 hours if the birth was cesarean or presented complication. …
Stutts took to Facebook to defend this measure saying, “I am proud to say that I am hard at work removing one-size-fits-all Obamacare-style laws from the books in Alabama.”
Sen. Stutts may hope that invoking the “Obamacare” bogeyman will distract his colleagues and constituents from the real impetus for Rose’s Law. (Never mind that Rose’s Law predates Obamacare by over a decade.)
Today, Stutts says he is joined by six “conservative colleagues,” to change the law.
However, Stutts did not make his Senate colleagues aware of [Rose] Church's death while under his care or her relationship to the bill he is trying to eliminate.
The “conservative colleagues” listed as co-sponsors of SB289 are all men, by the way.
Sen. Stutts also wants to repeal a law requiring doctors to notify patients if their mammograms show signs of dense tissue, which has been known to mask breast cancer. The notification measure was introduced by Democrat Roger Bedford, the senator (barely) unseated by Stutts last fall.
Bedford introduced the bill after his wife was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, after months earlier receiving a mammogram in which her cancer had been masked by dense tissue.
Mrs. Bedford was not informed about the inefficiency of a mammogram to detect cancer in women whose breasts contain dense tissue; by the time her cancer was detected by other means, the disease had spread into her lymph nodes.
Sen. Stutts further claims his bill that specifically undermines women’s healthcare is really about eradicating mandates and “emotional legislation.”