Ob-Gyns Denounce Texas Abortion Legislation SB 1 and HB 2, Set Dangerous Precedent

American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsJuly 2, 2013Articles

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) strongly opposes Senate Bill 1 (formerly Senate Bill 5 in the previous session) and House Bill 2 under consideration in the Texas legislature. Both bills are plainly intended to restrict the reproductive rights of women in Texas through a series of requirements that improperly regulate medical practice and interfere with the patient-physician relationship. 

“The Texas bills set a dangerous precedent of a legislature telling doctors how to practice medicine and how to care for individual patients. ACOG opposes legislative interference, and strongly believes that decisions about medical care must be based on scientific evidence and made by licensed medical professionals, not the state or federal government,” said ACOG Executive Vice President Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD.

“The Texas bills are a compilation of over-reaching measures to control when, where, and how a woman has an abortion,” said ACOG Texas District Chair Lisa M. Hollier, MD, MPH. “The bills are not based on sound science, despite our efforts to provide the legislature with the best available medical knowledge. The bills would erode women’s health by denying the women of Texas the benefits of well-researched, safe, and proven protocols.”

The bills would ban abortion after 20 weeks and impose other widespread restrictions that would close many of the state’s abortion clinics, decrease the number of doctors who meet the additional requirements for providing outpatient abortions, and decrease access to essential women’s health care. For example, the bills would require physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, allowing abortions only in surgical clinics and setting a higher standard than for other procedures with similar low risk such as colonoscopy. The fact is that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. The risk of complications from abortion is minimal, with less than 0.5% of abortions involving major complications.

All women, including the women of Texas, must have the legal right to abortion, unconstrained by harassment, unavailability of care, procedure bans, or other legislative or regulatory barriers, including those posed by these Texas bills.

Women should have access to all needed health care—ranging from mammograms to prenatal visits to reproductive care—that is based on scientific facts, not political ideology. ACOG therefore opposes Texas Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 2, which jeopardize women’s health care as well as interfere with medical practice and the patient-physician relationship.

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