2005 Legislative Compendium: Abortion

Prohibition on Use of State Dollars for Abortions | Abortion Close Calls

The Sunset bill for the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners (TSBME), SB 419 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) and Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton), includes a number of provisions relating to abortion. The abortion-related amendments were added to SB 419 during the House floor debate. Because a sunset bill must pass for a state agency to continue, the bill became a vehicle for legislation that had not made it out of committee or died elsewhere in the legislative process. Specific provisions of SB 419 relating to abortion include:

  • Prohibition on third-term abortions.  Restricts a physician from performing a third-trimester abortion unless having the baby would seriously jeopardize the woman's life or she would suffer imminent, severe, irreversible brain damage or paralysis. An exception also is allowed if the baby has severe, irreversible brain damage.
  • Parental consent.  Prior to performing an abortion on an unmarried girl under age 18, a parent or guardian must provide written consent for the procedure unless ordered by a court or if, in the physician's judgment, the condition seriously jeopardizes the minor's life and there is insufficient time to obtain consent.
  • Physician documentation.  Requires TSBME to adopt a form for physicians to document the consent for an unemancipated minor to have an abortion. This form must be completed before the abortion, unless the physician in his professional judgment determines that the procedure must be performed immediately to avert death or serious bodily injury to the minor.

TMA takes no position relating to abortion per se. TMA focused its concerns on the potential increase in professional liability exposure for physicians, regulatory burdens, and interference with the patient-physician relationship.

Prohibition on Use of State Dollars for Abortions

The Medicaid Women's Health Waiver Bill, SB 747 by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) and Rep. Vilma Luna (see SB 747, described in the Medicaid and CHIP section), includes a provision prohibiting state monies being spent for elective abortions or contracting with an entity or an affiliate of an entity that promotes or performs elective abortions. This same provision was added to the omnibus Medicaid bill, SB 1188.

Emergency Contraception
SB 747 also prohibits counseling or provision of emergency contraception under this pilot demonstration project.

Genetic Testing
A provision of SB 53 by Senator Nelson and Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) prohibits the use of genetic information to coerce or compel a woman to have an induced abortion.

Abortion Close Calls

Several bills were filed that that would have allowed pharmacists to conscientiously object to filling emergency contraception or birth control.

Abortion TMA Staff Contacts:  

  • Yvonne Barton, Legislative Affairs, (512) 370-1359
  • Gayle Love, Public Health, (512) 370-167
  • Susan Taylor, JD, Office of the General Counsel, (512) 370-1348 

Overview  | Tax Reform | Scope of Practice | Physician Ownership | Inadequate Health Plan Networks (Balanced Billing) | Managed Care/Insurance Reform | Texas State Board of Medical Examiners Sunset and Physician Licensure | Agency Sunset Review  | Corporate Practice of Medicine | Health Care Funding | Medicaid and CHIP | Indigent Care and the Uninsured | Workers' Compensation | Professional Liability Reform | Medical Education/Workforce | Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition/Fitness | Public Health | Border Health | Rural Health | Mental Health | Trauma/EMS | Prescription Drugs | Medical Science | Long-Term Care | Transplantation/Organ Donation | Table of Contents  


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