The patriarchal, hypocritical GOP is at it again, chipping away at a woman’s right to reproductive freedom under Roe v. Wade – this time, in the name of protecting doctors from “frivilous” lawsuits.
What is coming to be known as the “Wrongful Birth” bill came one step closer to becoming law this week as Texas SB 25 passed out of the state Senate and went to the House. If signed into law by Governor Abbot – which, given his archaic political stances, is almost certain – it would essentially give OB-GYNs the legal right to lie to expectant mothers by withholding vital health information about the health of the fetus.
According to Heather Busby of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, this is a “thinly veiled attempt to prevent Texans from accessing their constitutional right to abortion.”
The actual text of the bill reads:
“A cause of action may not arise, and damages may not be awarded, on behalf of any person, based on the claim that but for the act or omission of another, a person would not have been permitted to have been born alive but would have been aborted.”
In short, under this law, parents whose child is born with disabilities will no longer be allowed to sue their obstetrician even if s/he had discovered those disabilities in the course of a prenatal exam and deliberately withheld that information. Ostensibly, the law is intended to protect physicians from “unnecessary” lawsuits (similar laws have been enacted in nine other states). However, a statement from Texas State Senator Brandon Creighton, made when he introduced the bill last November, reveals the lawmaker’s true intent: “It is unacceptable that doctors can be penalized for embracing the sanctity of life.”
In short, this is yet one more way in which the GOP in the right wing bastion of Texas is chipping away at abortion rights. It also represents a “not-so subtle way to give medical personnel the opportunity to impose religious beliefs on women,” according to Margaret Johnson of the Texas League of Women Voters.
On the other hand, Creighton says, “Children born with disabilities ought to have the same rights as any abled person…their rights are just as important as others.”
Creighton has also supported every single anti-abortion bill that has come up in the Lone Star State Legislature since he first took office almost ten years ago. Creighton’s constituents in Montgomery County are “staunchly pro life,” and solidly stand behind the lawmaker they have returned to Austin four times.
So how “pro-life” is Creighton, really?
During his time in the legislature, Creighton has voted in favor of every single bill that would restrict a woman’s ability to get a safe, legal abortion. However, in 2007, Creighton voted against a bill that expanded children’s access to health care. Two years later, he again voted against a bill that increased the eligibility of children for the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Plan. In 2011, he voted in favor of a law authorizing public schools to use corporal punishment on students unless a student’s parent or guardian submits a written, signed statement. In 2013, he voted against a bill requiring certain school districts to provide free breakfasts for low-income students.
It is patently obvious that, like so many conservatives who claim to be “pro-life,” Creighton believes that “life” begins at conception and ends at birth.
This latest bill has nothing to do with the sanctity of life and everything to do with control over women’s bodies. Creighton can spout off all he likes about his “pro-life” views but his voting record strongly indicates that is he is just one more sanctimonious hypocrite using the law to keep women “in their place” while making himself look “righteous” in the eyes of his constituents.