Nurses Call on Texas Senate to Reject Attack on Women
Bill Would Encourage Texas Doctors to Lie to Pregnant
Women About Fetal Conditions and Bar Legal Liability
National Nurses United today called on members of the Texas Senate to defeat “disgraceful” legislation that would encourage doctors to lie to pregnant women about potential birth defects of fetuses they are carrying – and bar legal redress for women and their families after a child with disabilities was born after the physician withheld conditions about the fetus’ health status.
The Texas Senate Committee and State Health last week approved Senate Bill 25 which is headed for a floor vote by the full Texas Senate. It would permit a physician who discovered abnormalities in a fetus’ conditions during pre-natal tests to withhold that critical information from a pregnant woman – and then protect the physician from legal liability that could be filed by the patient and her family.
“This legislation is an appalling attack on all women, and their right to have the information that their doctors possess to make informed choices about their health, their body, and their families,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.
“The bill is also a not very subtle encouragement to doctors to deliberately withhold, lie, to their patients, which sabotages what should be a sacred bond between a patient and their physician. What is the purpose of a Hippocratic Oath if it is being replaced by a religious litmus test that deprives women of what should be their fundamental rights?”
“It is particularly ironic that the proponents of this law are members of a political party that routinely condemns their opponents of seeking to impose government between patients and their doctors or other providers.
“You can not on the one hand say you stand for patient choice, and on the other hand promote legislation that sanctions government dictating rules about what a doctor can tell his or her patient, and give them legal liability for lying to a patient,” said Ross.
Texas is also one of 19 states that rejected federal funding for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a decision that has had an especially harmful impact on low and moderate income Texas women and families.
“If Texas legislators really care about patient choice and the health of Texas families it should work to expand health services for all Texas residents, not see, to pass laws that attack women’s rights and their health choices,” Ross said.