Tell Texas House Committee Members: Don’t Let Doctors Lie to Pregnant Patients

TRAThe war on women’s reproductive health care in Texas continues on Wednesday, when the House State Affairs Committee holds a hearing on another bill that would turn lies into laws.

HB 434, by state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, would bar a patient from suing if a doctor lies or otherwise withholds information about fetal abnormalities and the patient’s medical options in an effort to keep that patient from seeking an abortion. The companion bill, SB 25, by state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, has already passed the Senate.

This legislation is yet another example of anti-abortion extremists betraying the trust patients deserve when talking to their health care providers. It’s important that supporters of the right of Texans to make their own informed health care decisions speak out against this bill.

Call members of the committee

If you’re on a mobile device, tap a phone number to dial.

Rep. Byron Cook (chair) – 512-463-0730

Rep. Helen Giddings – (vice chair) 512-463-0953

Rep. Tom Craddick – 512-463-0500

Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620

Rep. Charlie Geren – 512-463-0610

Rep. Ryan Guillen – 512-463-0416

Rep. Ken King – 512-463-0736

Rep. John Kuempel – 512-463-0602

Rep. Morgan Meyer – 512-463-0367

Rep. Rene Oliveira – 512-463-0640

Rep. Chris Paddie – 512-463-0556

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez – 512-463-0674

Rep. John Smithee – 512-463-0702

What do you tell the committee?

  • Texans have a right to the full and medically accurate information they need to make their own reproductive health care decisions, including whether to seek specialized care — if any is available and appropriate — for the fetus or to have an abortion. To make these decisions, patients must be able to trust that their doctor is telling them the truth about a pregnancy.
  • Health care providers have a professional and ethical obligation to provide informed patients care that is evidence-based, safe, individualized and medically appropriate. Patients must have a legal avenue to hold providers accountable for violating that obligation by lying to them.
  • This legislation would bar patients from suing their doctors for lying to them, including by withholding critical information about the health status of the fetus and the pregnancy. That means patients and families that have been misled would be unable to prepare for the birth of a special needs child and would be left alone to deal with the high financial costs that can follow.

Must-read: Here is the powerful story of the Texas case that led to the “wrongful birth” precedent.

How can you testify at the hearing?

The hearing begins at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 5, 2017, or upon adjournment in the House in Room 140  of John H. Reagan Building. You can register to testify when you arrive at the hearing room.

  • If you simply want to register your position on the bill or provide written testimony without speaking at the hearing, you can register at one of the electronic kiosks outside the hearing room.
  • If you also want to submit written testimony, give 20 copies to the committee clerk with your name on each copy.
  • The hearing room could be full. So be prepared to wait a while for your turn to testify.

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