Today, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs passed Texas Senate Bill 25 to the full state senate. Known as the "wrongful births" bill, the legal jargon states that the bill prevents parents from suing doctors if their baby is born with a disability. But opponents of the bill see it a little differently: It allows doctors to withhold information from expectant parents.
For instance, if a doctor finds a birth defect or a fetus with severe disabilities, he or she can opt not to tell the parents. According to the San Antonio Current, "the law would make it impossible for Texans to sue a doctor for intentionally withholding this kind of information about a fetus' health."
"It shouldn't be the policy for the state of Texas to excuse doctors from lying to their patients," Blake Rocap, policy advisor for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said during the testimony. "That's what this bill does."
Opposers say that the bill takes away the rights of Texas women to opt for an abortion in the case of disability. As it stands, the bill allows doctors to keep vital information from patients. Some say it puts the government in a position to decide whether or not a woman should get an abortion.
"This bill places a unreasonable restriction on the constitutional right of a woman to make an informed decision about whether or not to have an abortion," Margaret Johnson said. She was at the hearing to represent the Texas League of Women Voters. "SB 25 is a not-so-subtle way to give medical personnel the opportunity to impose religious beliefs on women."
But opponents weren't only fighting for abortion. Rachel Tiddle carried a fetus with severe abnormalities to term. She stated that if she had known about the severe health issues, she would have opted for experimental therapies. She ended up have a stillbirth. During the hearing, Tiddle asked the senate whether it thought that SB 25 was essentially allowing doctors to impose their own morals and beliefs onto their patients.
Her question was met with silence.