It seems like some conservative members of the Texas Senate do not care about the quality of care a pregnant woman receives or if her baby is born with any deformities. The only thing they care about is restricting a woman’s freedom of choice.
The Texas Senate has overwhelmingly passed two controversial anti-abortion bills that could not only empower medical professionals to keep important information about the fetus’ health from the expectant mothers but also prohibit safe second-trimester abortion procedures for woman facing severe health emergencies.
Senate Bill 25, passed with a 21-9 vote, would make it illegal for women to sue a doctor for what is commonly known as “wrongful birth.”
Although it is quite rare, parents have sued OBs in the past for failing to disclose disabilities or anomalies detected in the fetus during ultrasound and other prenatal testing.
The bill, if approved by the Texas House, would leave it up to the doctors to decide if they want to share information regarding the fetus’ health with the women carrying them.
The argument here is that women might opt for abortion if they are properly informed. What these lawmakers fail to understand is that if doctors do not convey pertinent information about birth defects ahead of time, they are essentially forcing women to give birth to disabled babies.
"Senate Bill 25 will send a message that Texas does not believe that a life, in and of itself, is an injury in which parents need a damage payment," bill's author Republican Sen. Brandon Creighton told CNN earlier this month.
Advocates for women’s rights are calling it a dangerous move.
“SB 25 would allow doctors to lie to their patients,” Heather Busby, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, told Rolling Stone. “Pregnant Texans deserve to feel like they can trust their doctor to provide them with all the information, and when the doctor does not do that, those families deserve to have a legal avenue to seek compensation to care for special needs children.”
That’s not all.
The second bill, SB 415, is even riskier for expectant mothers as it prohibits second trimester “dilation and evacuation” abortion.
Commonly known as D&E, the procedure involves dilation of a woman's uterus and removal of pieces of fetal tissue in case of a perilous health emergency.
Even though pro-life activists often call it “barbaric,” it is considered a safe medical practice and making it illegal is only going to put pregnant women at more risk.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Clodagh Kilcoyne