Lawmakers appear to know no bounds when it comes to implementing their moral views on society. Senate bill 25, titled Relating to eliminating the wrongful birth cause of action, which passed the Texas Senate Monday, and is up for final vote this week, will allow doctors to intentionally deceive patients about fetal abnormalities to prevent them from having abortions.
The bill grants immunity to care providers, meaning parents cannot sue if their baby is born with a severe, painful, debilitating, or fatal birth defect, even if the doctor deliberately failed to inform them of the discovery prior to the baby being born.
Those pushing the bill claim it would protect children with disabilities, and of course, this seems righteous enough. However, intentional deception and breakdown of doctor-patient trust to push through a political agenda is by no means a moral crusade.
What this bill does is essentially legalize medical malpractice, as a doctor withholding medical information from a patient is nothing less.
El Paso Democrat Sen. José Rodríguez said SB 25 “seems to be about restricting and further limiting a woman’s right to exercise her choice about what she’s going to do in the case of serious defects to the fetus.”
The woman and family’s decision about how and what they can handle in terms of having an infant that could be born with severe abnormalities is no matter of the state.
“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, told the committee, according to the San Antonio Current. “That’s what this bill does.” Margaret Johnson, who testified on behalf of the Texas League of Women Voters, told lawmakers, “SB 25 is a not-so-subtle way to give medical personnel the opportunity to impose religious beliefs on women.”
In spite of heavy backlash against the bill, it appears to have enough momentum to maintain a decent chance at passing.
Sadly, Texas is known for their cruel anti-abortion bills that cause unnecessary suffering for families. Last year, Daniel and Taylor Mahaffey found out just how cruel the law can be as they waited for their little boy, who they named Fox, to arrive. Only 20 weeks along in the pregnancy, the couple was devastated after hearing that he had no chance of survival.
Due to a complication, the fetus was going to come out at 20 weeks and was not going to live. After hearing the news, the Mahaffeys just wanted to end their baby’s suffering. However, because of Texas law HB2, the state’s “fetal pain” law, the couple was forced to endure an agonizing fate — they would have to wait and watch as their baby suffered and died slowly in utero.
Receiving no help from doctors afraid to break this Draconian law, the Mahaffeys were sent home to wait for their baby to die.
SB 25 wouldn’t have allowed the Mahaffeys to even know about their child’s birth defect. And, according to lawmakers, that is just fine and dandy.
The fact that abortion is an issue of the state at all, no matter which ‘side you are on,’ is insanity. Government has no more business paying for abortions than they do stopping them.
Unfortunately, many people allow emotion to rule their logic and end up holding beliefs which are entirely contradictory. For example, one cannot be ‘Pro-life’ while at the same time being Pro-war. Conversely, one cannot advocate for the state to “get out of their uterus” while at the same time demanding state money to pay for abortions.
Abortion is a reality, and society is slowly figuring out how to deal with it. But, the more the state attempts to interject their bias into this reality, the more skewed the situation becomes.
A society that treats the potential for life as disposable is a society in a crisis of conscience, and in need of self-reflection. That being said, however, a society will not be magically repaired by criminalizing cultural norms or, in the case of SB 25, normalizing criminal culture. Destroying the ethical responsibilities of doctors to potentially save life is as hypocritical as it is ineffective.