Texas medical groups are pushing back against new restrictions proposed by the state Department of Health and Human Services that would prevent any doctor from discussing abortion with patients. The restrictions would apply to doctors participating in the Texas Women’s Health Program (WHP). The Texas Medical Association and four other groups, who represent 47,000 doctors and medical students, say they might stop participating in the WHP if these restrictions go into effect.
The Texas Tribune reports that the groups argue these provisions would compromise medical ethics and doctor-patient relationships. “The relationship between patient and physician is based on trust and creates the physician’s ethical obligations to place the patient’s welfare above his or her own personal politics, self-interest and above obligations to other groups,” the groups said in a letter to the Department of State Health Services on Friday. State health officials have responded by saying they will review the doctors’ input.

Texas is already attempting to block Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from participating in the WHP. Historically, these clinics have made up approximately half of the clinics participating in the WHP, and helped provide health services including cancer screenings and contraception (not abortions) to approximately 130,000 low income women participating in the WHP.

Media Resources: Texas Tribune 8/6/12; Think Progress 8/7/12; KWTX.com 8/7/12

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