AUSTIN, Texas ( Associated Press) — The Texas Medical Association said in a letter this week that some Texas hospitals are refusing to treat patients with major pregnancy complications for fear of violating the state’s abortion ban.
The association did not name the hospitals, but said it has received complaints that hospitals, administrators and their lawyers are preventing doctors from providing medically appropriate care in certain situations, The Dallas Morning News reported.
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Texas law prohibits most abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. The total ban – which includes exemptions when a woman’s life or health is in danger – was passed in the weeks following last month’s US Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade will take effect after reversing.
The letter sent to the Texas Medical Board on Wednesday cited several instances in which medical care was delayed.
In one case, a Central Texas hospital reportedly told a physician not to treat an ectopic pregnancy until it ruptured, the letter said. Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus, is not viable.
“Delayed or withheld care in this scenario poses a substantial risk to the patient’s future fertility and a serious risk to the patient’s immediate physical well-being,” the letter said.
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The Texas Medical Board confirmed it had received the letter, but a spokesperson said the board could not confirm or deny any specific complaint.
The Biden administration issued guidance this week calling for hospitals to provide abortion services if the mother’s life is at risk.
Texas sued that guidance on Thursday, arguing that the federal government is not authorized to require emergency healthcare providers to perform abortions.