Is don’t talk about things that make certain Republicans queasy.
A proposed state rule that would prohibit doctors in Texas’ Women’s Health Program from discussing the option of abortion with their patients — even if the patient asks about it — has drawn the opposition of Texas medical groups.
The groups take issue specifically with a clause that states the provider must not “promote elective abortions.” The word “promote” as defined by the proposed rule includes counseling and referrals to abortion providers, as well as the display of any materials from abortion providers.
In a letter to the Department of State Health Services on Friday, the Texas Medical Association, along with four other groups representing a combined 47,000 physicians and medical students, wrote that the rule would jeopardize medical ethics and doctors’ relationships with their patients. They argued that doctors might leave the program as a result of the rule, putting the already embattled program at risk.
You can see the TMA’s letter here. Note that they mention First Amendment concerns, which was the basis of the lawsuit against the horrible sonogram bill, for which an injunction was granted by the federal district court, then tossed by the activist appeals court. If the state of Texas yields on this point, I guess that means some people’s First Amendment rights are greater than some other people’s First Amendment rights. Remember also that this is for the replacement Women’s Health Program that the state is paying for with its own money after its fit of pique against Planned Parenthood. They pretty much have to come to some arrangement with the doctors or else there won’t be anyone to actually provide the services that the state insists it can provide. I don’t know if that will have any practical effect on the sonogram litigation, but it will highlight once again how ludicrous that Fifth Circuit ruling was.