Flynn Report: July 9, 2013 – House Bill 2: Abortion Legislation Overview

Greetings Friends, Constituents & Supporters,

So many groups and individuals have presented commentaries on the bills currently before the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. The House Republican Caucus has provided an outstanding outline of the bills before the House and the Senate. I thought you would appreciate receiving this information. HB2/SB1 is about ensuring access to safe procedures. This legislation brings abortion providers, physicians, and facilities up to the standard that is commonplace throughout the rest of medicine. Major points of the bill: Increase abortion facility safety standards to the level of ambulatory surgical centers to shut down Gosnell-like abortion providers in Texas;

  • Require the 18,000 RU-486 abortions performed each year in Texas be done according to FDA safety standards;
  • Require physicians who perform abortions to be appropriately credentialed in order to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that complications are properly managed when they occur; and
  • Preventing late-term abortions on unborn children beginning at five months of pregnancy, when scientific evidence indicates babies can feel pain.

These common sense measures will protect the health and well-being of women by requiring abortion facilities to meet the level of care appropriate for this kind of serious medical procedure, especially in the event of an emergency.

30 Mile Hospital Rule

This portion of the bill requires physicians who perform abortions to be appropriately credentialed in order to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that complications are properly managed when they occur. The requirement of abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at a local hospital also provides accountability to the medical community in which they provide abortions. This is a higher level of accountability and oversight than the current standards provide. The 30 mile hospital rule ensures that women get an appropriate standard of care and a continuum of care in the case of complications from their abortion. When extending hospital privileges to doctors, hospital reviewing boards substantiate their education, residencies, fellowships and practice experience for appropriateness of training and competency in their field. They can be denied privileges if it is determined they have a lack of training, cannot demonstrate competency, have lost their medical license in another state, or have previously been found guilty of fraud or abuse. Also:

  • All of the state’s existing abortion facilities are within 30 miles of a hospital where they can be admitted.
  • 2/3 of the abortion doctors in the state already have active admitting privileges at a hospital within that designated radius – some doctors have privileges at more than one hospital. This requirement will weed out the bad actors that do not have the creditability to receive admitting privileges.

Ambulatory Surgical Centers

This requirement will bring abortion clinics up to the same standard as any ambulatory surgical center, subjecting the abortion clinics to higher standards, scrutiny, and regulations. Raising the standards will ensure that:

  • Qualified medical personnel are available for emergency treatment;
  • The facility meets operating rooms requirements;
  • The facility meets pre-op room requirements; and
  • Other medical center standards including wider hallways, emergency generators, defibrillation equipment, and air filtration systems.

Five abortion clinics in Texas already meet these standards. The bill gives the remaining clinics over a year (until September 1, 2014) to meet new safety requirements. Texas abortion facilities need to invest in women’s safety. It is our duty to ensure if a woman enters a clinic she can be assured it is meeting a basic standard of care.

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation and in Texas, reported $87.4 million in excess revenue and more than $1.2 billion in net assets in its 2011-2012 annual report. Investing in the upgrade to ensure the safety of their patients is not an onerous requirement.

RU486 (abortion-inducing drug)

HB2 requires RU-486 to be administered using the protocol tested and authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration or in the dosage amount prescribed by the clinical management guidelines defined by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Practice Bulletin as those guidelines existed on January 1, 2013. This falls within sound medical practices and is reasonable in light of the fact that abortion providers are not required to be gynecologists

Fetal Pain

There is ample medical evidence that children in the womb can feel pain as early as 20 weeks – or 5 months, in fact, the evidence amply demonstrates that they can feel pain much earlier (potentially at 10 weeks). Three medical specialists have proven the science of preborn children experiencing pain during an abortion procedure. Dr. Paul Liu, Dr. Ingrid Skop, and Dr. Greg Bonnen all speak to the behavioral and physiological evidence confirming that pre-born children feel pain.

After 5 months of pregnancy, it is our responsibility as Representatives to protect the innocent and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. 5 months, when a baby’s head, hands and feet are visible in a sonogram, is a reasonable amount of time for a mother to make a decision on her pregnancy.

Once again we are hearing the liberal extreme groups resorting to tactics that have no basis in truth. These bills will protect the innocent unborn and provide Texas women with healthy professional and clean health care. These bills do not ban abortions. These bills are a common sense measure that allow 5 months for a woman to make her decision regarding her pregnancy.

It remains my pleasure and honor to represent all the people of House District 2. My staff and I continue to welcome your input and your questions.

You can contact our office; mailing address: P. O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768.

Email: District2.Flynn@house.state.tx.us. Toll free number 1-800-734-9515.

May God continue to bless you and the Great State of Texas! Dan Flynn, State Representative, District 2

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See Full Flynn Report Here: HB2: Abortion Legislation Overview, 7/9/2013

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