Obviously there is nothing the State of Texas is unwilling to do to try and stop abortions. Senate Bill 25 was passed out of committee this week and will now go on to the full Senate for a vote. The bill allows doctors immunity from lawsuits if they fail to tell their patients about crucial birth defects or anomalies, if the doctors think that information will lead the woman to obtain an abortion. In short, it lets the doc lie to his pregnant patient about her own body.
Advocates of this travesty of a law have somehow convinced themselves it is a good thing, because it protects doctors AND disabled children. The rest of us with common sense and at least two brain cells to rub together realize it erodes doctor patient trust, fails to allow the mother to make the best decisions for herself and her family, and does not give the mother adequate time to prepare for whatever issues might arise.
Doctors who treat pregnant women have expressed their concern.
“Unanticipated fetal anomalies can be devastating in pregnancy. In those tragic moments, it is of vital importance that the patient be able to consider all of her options and decide what’s best for her and her family,” Dr. Lauren Thaxton, an OB-GYN in New Mexico and a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, told HuffPost.
“The concept of a physician not offering patients a full spectrum of options is unacceptable. It’s not about us as providers and our personal beliefs, it’s about the patient,” she continued.
This goes beyond the bills that allow doctors to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. Those allow physicians to not treat patients at all; it is still despicable, but at least it is up front and both parties know what is happening. In this case, as long as a woman is pregnant in Texas, she would never know for sure if her doctor were being honest with her or not. It is unfathomable how there could be any level of trust between the two, no matter how well-intentioned the doctor, as long as a law like this were in place.
In September, a study was released that showed “women in the state are dying of pregnancy-related ailments at a higher rate than the rest of the country and even most other industrialized countries.” Although nobody is quite certain why, they do know that African-American women are much more likely to die than white or Hispanic women.
Some experts point to the state’s cut of family planning services and refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as possible reasons. In 2011, Texas lawmakers slashed the family planning budget by more than $70 million and, two years later, greatly reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state by mandating they meet ambulatory surgical center standards and employ doctors with admitting privileges at hospitals. The Supreme Court this summer ruled against the abortion restrictions.
But the family planning service cuts didn’t kick in until September 2011 and don’t account for the sharp spike in maternal deaths logged at the beginning of that year, Hollier said. The cuts in health care may have contributed, but are not the sole culprit, she said. (USAToday)
Whatever the reasons for the higher mortality rates turn out to be, it really seems like eroding the relationship between a patient and her doctor is not the answer. The Texas Legislature has become so pro-birth, they have completely abandoned any care for life itself.