FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/25/2013
Texas House Passes Major Abortion Regulation Legislation, Approves Preborn Pain Act
AUSTIN - Pro-Life members of the Texas Legislature used their majority to ensure life was respected and standard’s for women’s health care were raised with the passage of Senate Bill 5, an omnibus abortion regulation bill. The bill banned abortions performed after 20 weeks (currently abortions are performed up to 24 weeks), and increased regulatory standards on abortion facilities and procedure.
Representative Dan Flynn (Van), an ardent and outspoken prolife supporter and one of the 60 House members who petitioned Governor Perry to add pro-life legislation to the first Special Session call list, stated his support and optimism for Senate Bill 5 Monday, "We have taken another step towards the protection of life, and for that I am thankful."
Senate Bill 5 will raise the standard of women's health care by requiring an abortion doctor to have active admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, provide obstetrical or gynecological health care services, and to provide the patient with 24-hour phone access to the doctor or clinic personnel, as well as the name and phone number of the closest hospital that can handle emergencies. Facilities that perform abortions will now be required to be equivalent to the minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers.
In an effort to fully vet the level of quality and care provided to a patient throughout the process, the dispensing and control of abortion-inducing drugs were also addressed within this legislation. SB5 states that a person cannot give, sell, or dispense an abortion-inducing drug unless that person is a physician and the FDA required information is provided to the patient along with the medication. The doctor must schedule a follow-up appointment with the woman taking the abortion-inducing drug within 14 days after the drug is administered. Additionally, if the woman has an adverse reaction to the drug, the physician must report this to the FDA. The Texas Medical Board will enforce these provisions.
One of the more highly publicized pieces of Senate Bill 5 is the section that addresses fetal pain. In SB5, the section referred to as the "Preborn Pain Act", requires an abortion doctor to make a determination as to the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child. The doctor may not perform or induce an abortion if the unborn child's post-fertilization age is 20 or more weeks. There are exceptions for health of the mother and for an unborn child with a “profound and irremediable congenital anomaly.” The bill contains protections for the identity of the mother in cases involving violations of this rule, and a doctor is subject to professional discipline for violating the bill’s provisions.
In response to the success of this legislation, State Representative Dan Flynn stated, "With the passage of Senate Bill 5, we have taken another step towards protecting unborn life. This legislation addresses the importance of quality and accessibility for women who choose this procedure. Ensuring facilities are well regulated, accessible to nearby hospitals and that the patient has continual contact with her doctor before and after the procedure are standards that should have been established from the beginning, but I am happy to see these put in place now."
Contact: Amanda Robertson
Phone: (512) 463-0880