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The State Department of Health and Human Services in Texas are proposing a new rule that would prevent doctors involved in the Women’s Health Program (WHP) from discussing abortion with their patients.
This comes just after the Department banned abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from participating in the WHP.
Medical groups in the Lone Star state are pushing back against the measure. The Texas Medical Association and four other groups, representing a total of 47,000 doctors and medical students, have written a letter to the state health department which explained that the provision would endanger both ethics and relationships with their patients.
The letter outlines that a physician’s ethical obligations should “place the patient’s welfare above his or her own personal politics, self-interest and above obligations to other groups.”
In response to the letter, state health officials said that they appreciated the groups’ concerns and would take into consideration their input.
The group has argued that if the rule goes into effect, doctors might stop working with the WHP. 130,000 women in the program already face a limited number of care providers, due to blocking Planned Parenthood and abortion providers.