The Texas Medical Board Wants To Give Advice On How To Get Around Abortion Bans


The Texas Medical Board gave doctors advice on what kinds of situations are okay when the state’s multiple abortion bans are broken. This affected how doctors can help people in medical problems.

The board decided to make the advice public, but they will still have to vote on whether to follow it in the future. The board put the advice out there for everyone to see and asked doctors, patients, and the public to let them know if it clears up doctors’ confusion.

Texas is one of 14 states that have stopped almost all abortion services since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, stopping federal protections for abortion rights. Texas has several abortion bans in place.

The Medical Board was asked to explain more about the language of the bans, but they said it wasn’t their job to make the law. Instead, they wanted to explain more about how doctors should provide care.

“I just want to remind everyone that we can’t make laws.” The president of the Texas Medical Board, Dr. Sherif Zaafran, said at a public meeting on Friday, “We can help make the law clearer.”

For doctors to use “reasonable medical judgment,” they should decide what care is physically necessary.

According to the rules, the board’s advice tells doctors that in medical situations that put the patient’s life or major bodily function at risk, they must write down their decisions and the details of the patient’s illness in the patient’s medical record.

If the doctor made medical choices and recorded his or her thoughts, that would show if the doctor followed the standard of care or not, Zaafran said.

The rules also said that doctors should check to see if there is “enough time to transfer the patient to a facility or physician with a higher level of care or expertise to avoid performing an abortion.”

Even though ectopic pregnancies were specifically mentioned, the board said it would not give out a list of medical conditions that would be exempt.

“If you put a list out there, that may be a list that is accurate in one setting but inaccurate in another setting,” said Zaafran.

In the new rules, procedures to remove an ectopic pregnancy, the remains of a dead baby, or procedures meant to save the life of an unborn fetus would not be considered abortions because they are not all of them. An abortion is the only way to treat an ectopic pregnancy.

During the Friday board meeting, a part of the rules was read out loud. Then, anyone in the audience who wanted to say something about it could. Three women who are suing Texas over its abortion laws say the laws put their lives in danger. They told the medical board their stories and were upset that the advice did not cover cases of fatal fetal anomalies.

Taylor Edwards told the board that her doctor thought it was best for her to have an abortion, but she wasn’t allowed to.

He said, “I had to leave the state.” “That shouldn’t be what’s happening in Texas.”

“I am currently pregnant today because I got an abortion,” she said.

Skeletal dysplasia was found in Kaitlyn Kash’s unborn child. She was told that her baby probably wouldn’t make it to birth or would die soon after, but she couldn’t get an abortion in Texas.

“I probably would have taken my own life to end my child’s pain,” said Kash.

I have asked the courts to help me understand what would happen if I were the plaintiff in the Zurowski [v. State of Texas] case. Those people told us to wait for you, and now you’re saying it’s not your job either. “Where else should I go then?” Kash spoke.

Amanda Zurawski, who is the main plaintiff in the case, told the board that the guidance is very hard to understand and that she is worried that it will make doctors’ jobs harder by requiring them to keep more records, which could delay care.

This ruling, on the one hand, comes from the Supreme Court telling us that it is your job to make things clear. Today, though, it sounds like you’re saying the opposite—that it’s not your job and that the Supreme Court should make these decisions instead,” Zurawski said.

Stephen Brint Carlton, executive head of the Texas Board, said that the paperwork shouldn’t get in the way of care and can be done after the fact.

“I don’t think the board thinks about the fact that someone is in a medical emergency right now and the doctor needs to stop saving lives and treating them to go write down a bunch of things.” “This can happen after you save the patient’s life,” Carlton said.

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