Legislation Limiting Women’s Access To Health Care Can Have Deadly Consequences, Doctors And Activists Say

By Katherine Blunt
Houston Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dr. Nora Klein was among about two dozen Houston doctors, activists and aspiring politicians who gathered last week to speak out against legislative proposals that would further limit access to abortion across the state and impose new requirements on doctors who perform the procedure.

Houston Chronicle

Dr. Nora Klein’s cheeks flushed with emotion as she took the podium Saturday to recall a historic moment that shaped her view on women’s reproductive rights.

She was in medical school in New York, working in obstetrics and gynecology in an emergency room, when news broke that the state legislature had voted to allow abortion in a stunning decision issued three years before Roe v. Wade legalized the practice nationwide.

At last, she thought, women in New York would no longer have to resort to self-induced procedures or other acts of desperation that could hospitalize them with sepsis or severe bleeding.

“My bottom line is access to health care,” she said.

That decision, in her mind, stands in philosophical opposition to a series of bills recently introduced in the Texas Legislature’s special session.

She was among about two dozen Houston doctors, activists and aspiring politicians that gathered Saturday at the Montrose Center to speak out against legislative proposals that would further limit access to abortion across the state and impose new requirements on doctors who perform the procedure.

Critical of 4 bills
They criticized Senate Bill 8, which would require women to buy supplemental health insurance plans in order to cover abortion procedures other than those deemed medical emergencies. Supporters of the bill argue that people opposed to abortion should not be required to purchase insurance plans that account for such procedures.

But Hannah Thalenberg, a Houston activist with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, argued that such a measure would require women to preemptively select more expensive insurance plans they might never require, potentially adding to the cost of health care and restricting abortion access for those without the designated coverage.

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