81st Legislative Session Priorities

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Reform of the Texas Futile Care Law

Currently, Texas law allows a physician to withdraw life-sustaining treatment (including food and water) from a patient, despite the patient’s advance directive or expressed wishes.  Once the physician’s decision is made and then approved by the hospital’s ethics committee, the patient and/or family have only ten days to find a transfer to another facility or another physician.  If no transfer is found, the physician or facility can remove all treatment, which hastens the death of the patient.  Rarely are transfers effectuated within the ten-day allotment.  Texas Right to Life seeks to change this law so that patients and their families are given sufficient time to locate a transfer, during which time the patient will continue receiving all necessary treatment.
 
Abortion Reporting Requirement Act
Sponsored by Senator Florence Shapiro and Representative Geanie Morrison
 
Current Policy in Texas
  • Abortion complications are categorized as pregnancy-related complications, thereby skewing the statistics about the dangers and risks of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • The current reporting requirements are not enforced, resulting in information gaps on abortion and pregnancy in Texas. 
Dest: Section 245.011 of the Texas Health and Safety Code 
 
The Abortion Reporting Requirement Act will:
  • inform women that they cannot be coerced, pressured, or forced to undergo an abortion;
  • offer doctors a way to identify and help women who are abused or coerced;
  • collect demographic data on abortions;
  • require separate reporting for medical complications caused by an abortion; and
  • determine how many women feel abortion is their only choice due to economic pressure.
Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 36
Relating to Informed Consent to an Abortion
Sponsored by Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Frank Corte, Jr.
 
Current Situation in Texas
  • Due to ever-advancing technology, ultrasounds provide a window into the womb that was unavailable years ago.
  • Abortion facilities in Texas already conduct ultrasounds as a means of dating the pregnancy and determining the method of abortion to be used.
  • Abortion facilities are neglecting to, and in some cases refusing to, show women their ultrasounds before an abortion.
Senate Bill 182/House Bill 36 will:
  • give every pregnant woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound image of her unborn child before the abortion;
  • provide a list of agencies and organizations that offer ultrasounds at no cost to the woman; and
  • assist every woman undergoing an abortion in understanding the medical information related to her pregnancy and the abortion.
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