Alternative Facts and Wrongful Births

Another assault on reproductive rights here in the Lone Star State shouldn’t surprise any of us.  What’s disturbing is that the tactic used to used to wage this fight appears to be pulled right from the “alternative facts” playbook.

The Texas State Senate Health and Human Services Committee recently passed SB25 out of committee, which would essentially allow doctors to withhold information about fetal abnormalities from parents, overturning current “wrongful birth” legislation  This bill was promoted by the anti-abortion lieutenant governor, who, according to The Texas Observer, “told lawmakers to ‘protect the unborn'” through such legislation.

That said, this withholding of information is right in line with the sort of science denial that threatens clean air, vaccination rates, endangered species, and any number of other inconveniences to right-wing idealism.  By allowing doctors to withhold test results that indicate fetal abnormalities, law makers are essentially allowing anti-abortion practitioners to present “alternative facts” to parents-to-be who need to be informed about the implications of their situation, regardless of what those parents decide to do in response to that information.

Lt. Gov. Patrick’s purported wish to “protect the unborn” coupled with bill sponsor Sen. Brandon Creighton’s stated purpose to uphold “the sanctity of life” would do the opposite for affected children and their families.   Without time to prepare emotionally and financially, families will be devastated by the fallout from the lack of necessary information.

It’s a devastation that those in power will turn their focus away from.