“In those extremely rare cases where pregnancy may endanger a woman’s life or cause severe risk of impairment of a major bodily function, that exception is the same exception, language-wise, as in the law that was passed in 2013 to protect unborn babies from abortion beginning at 20 weeks, so this is language that has been in statues in Texas for almost ten years,” said Amy O’Donnell, Communications Director for Texas Alliance For Life. “But apparently there does appear to be a need for clarification because some doctor’s aren’t aware that treatment for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage is not considered abortion, it’s not prohibited by our pro-life laws including the Human Life Protection Act, and when the mother’s life is in danger, our laws very clearly state they are allowed to intervene in those situations–not to cause the death of the unborn child, but to protect the life of the mother.”
Although she says the legislation is already clear, she says her non-profit would support lawmakers in providing additional clarification if they see fit.
“Words matter, and the words clearly spell out that these stories that we’re seeing in Texas about ectopic pregnancy treatments not being available or miscarriage treatments not being available or life of the mother—the law clearly spells out that all of those treatments are available and acceptable in Texas law, they are not considered abortion in any way, shape, or form,” said O’Donnell. “If you encounter a doctor who is not aware of what Texas laws really state, and because of that don’t provide good medical care, you need to run far and fast.”
However, in campaign ads, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke has been using healthcare professionals and women who say the life of the mother is not being protected.