Static: Wednesday, January 26, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Restating the Obvious

Earlier this month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott delivered an opinion that should have doctors, healthcare workers, and pregnant women in Texas breathing easier. Abbott advised that the Prenatal Protection Act of 2003 can’t be used to prosecute pregnant women who use illegal drugs, nor the doctors or healthcare workers who fail to report such drug use to law enforcement.
State Rep. Ray Allen of Grand Prairie, who sponsored the 2003 legislation, has said that’s not at all what the law was intended to do. Its intent, he said, was to make it possible for prosecutors to bring a charge of double homicide against someone who killed a pregnant woman and her fetus. For those purposes — and only those purposes — the law defined a fetus as a person. But it also specifically exempted mothers, in all instances, and doctors and healthcare workers performing legal services, including abortions.
Nonetheless, former Potter County DA Rebecca Kind used the law to threaten healthcare workers and ultimately to arrest 18 women on charges of child endangerment and delivery of controlled substances to a minor. Allen, in response, asked for the AG’s opinion. Abbott ruled that the law “does not impose a duty on a physician to report ... a pregnant patient who is using or has used illegal drugs during pregnancy.”

Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions