Hospitals in Texas have reportedly been refusing to treat patients with major pregnancy complications for fear of violating the state’s abortion ban, the Texas Medical Association said in a letter sent on Wednesday.
As reported by The Dallas Morning News, the letter did not name any specific hospitals but said that the association has received complaints that hospitals, administrators and their attorneys may be prohibiting doctors from treating patients with serious pregnancy complications.
The letter, sent to the Texas Medical Board, requests that the Board “swiftly act to prevent any wrongful intrusion into the practice of medicine.” The Board confirmed that it received the association’s letter, but said they could not “confirm or deny any specific complaint as they are considered confidential under statute.”
Texas law currently bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected – which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy. The ban, which does include exemptions in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, is set to take effect in the coming weeks.
According to the letter, the Texas law puts patients at risk of serious injury and could lead to lawsuits against doctors or threaten their medical licenses.
The letter cited multiple examples in which medical care was allegedly delayed. In one case, which took place in Central Texas, a physician was allegedly instructed not to treat an ectopic pregnancy until it ruptured, which would result in dangerous internal bleeding.
“Delayed or prevented care in this scenario creates a substantial risk for the patient’s future reproductive ability and poses serious risk to the patient’s immediate physical wellbeing,” the association said in the letter.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the federal government after the Biden administration issued new guidance on Monday requiring hospitals to offer abortion services in cases when the mother’s life is threatened. Paxton’s lawsuit argues that the guidance is unlawful and that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act does not cover abortions.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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