by Steven Ertelt
April 26, 2007
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow the state to collect information associated with abortions such as insurance payments used to pay for it or the women’s reasons for having one. The idea behind the bill is to learn more about why women have abortions so those reasons can be addressed.
The Senate is expected to give it a final vote today and send the measure to the House for its consideration.
There are more than 74,000 abortions in Texas annually and legislators are hoping the bills will help reduce that figure.
However, the bill has drawn opponents including the Texas Medical Association, which says it introduces on the doctor-patient relationship even though women considering an abortion have no prior relationship with the abortion practitioner.
Laurie Felker Jones, spokeswoman for NARAL’s Texas affiliate, told the Dallas Morning News that he group opposes the bill as well.
"Most Texans don’t need an exhaustive study and a laundry list of questions for patients to know why women are seeking abortions in Texas. It’s because they’re accidentally pregnant," she said.
However, one leading pro-life organization is asking lawmakers to support it.
"In order for pregnancy resource centers and maternal health groups to better direct their outreach effort, it starts with better data collection," Elizabeth Graham, of the Texas Right to Life, said.
"How can we address the problems if we don’t know how big the problem is? This is a life-altering surgery. This is not knee surgery … and we should do everything we can to reduce the causes for these types of surgeries, when they’re elective," Graham added.
Under the bill abortion practitioners must also determine whether or not the woman considering the abortion has been coerced by a husband, boyfriend or someone else and must give her information on women’s shelters if appropriate.
Other information must be reported by the state but the abortion practitioner from a survey given to women that they can voluntarily complete.
The bill would also collect information about the number of times judicial bypasses are granted for teenagers who want an abortion but don’t want to tell their parents about it beforehand.
The Texas Supreme Court would compile statistics for a report on that.
Related web sites:
Texas Right to Life – https://www.texasrighttolife.org