Texas Health Board Requires Identification Before Performing Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 31, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas Health Board Wants Identification Before Performing Teen Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 31, 2003

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas state board of health and pro-life groups are concerned that abortion facilities are performing abortions on teenagers and violating a pro-life law that requires parental notification beforehand.

As a result, the state health board has proposed a new rule that would require abortion facilities to obtain the identification of women seeking abortions and to keep that on file in case proof is needed that the notification was given.

The state Board of Health tentatively approved the rule Thursday.

"We have a problem in Texas," Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life told LifeNews.com. "In some cases they are performing abortions on girls seventeen years of age and younger in violation of [parental notification]. In one case, a provider performed an abortion on a minor girl using only an ID the girl had purchased at a convenience store a few hours before."

As expected, abortion advocates have complained saying the rule is a violation of women’s right to privacy.

However, pro-life groups say that privacy won’t be compromised because medical records must be kept confidential by law.

"The only way for a woman’s identity to be discovered is for the abortion clinic to release her identity," explained Elizabeth Graham, associate director of Texas Right to Life. "The revised HIPPA law in Texas prohibits clinics and health care providers from releasing any information about their patients. As long as these abortion clinics follow the law, the privacy of their patients should be protected."

Graham also told LifeNews.com that women shouldn’t obtain abortions anonymously because they can later prove they were injured by an abortion if an abortion facility has on file proof that the woman had an abortion there.

Those unable to provide identification with a birthdate must sign an affidavit stating their birthday and that no identification was available.

Dr. Beverly Nuckols, a family practitioner in New Braunfels, said teenagers are carded to prevent the purchase of alcohol or tobacco and that requiring identification for abortions only makes sense.