E. Linda Villarreal

An Edinburg physician who heads the Texas Medical Association, the largest medical society in the state, issued a statement Friday expressing opposition to SB 8, a new state law that bars abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, and SB 4, a bill that would bar access to abortion-inducing drugs for patients more than seven weeks pregnant.

TMA President E. Linda Villarreal, an Edinburg-based internist, and TMA Board Chairman Rick W. Snyder II, issued a joint statement saying “enough is enough” when it came to the enactment of SB 8 and SB 4, calling both pieces of legislation unconstitutional.

“The Texas Medical Association (TMA) supports our physicians specializing in women’s health and opposes legislation in Senate Bill 8 of Texas’ 87th legislative session and Senate Bill 4 of this special session,” the statement read in part. “SB 4 contains language that criminalizes the practice of medicine. Both bills interfere with the patient-physician relationship.”

“The physicians of Texas never thought the day would come when the performance of our oath would create a private cause of action for persons not connected to or harmed by the action,” the statement continued. “Yet, that day has sadly arrived in the state we love.”

They added they were “shocked” the U.S. Supreme Court had not halted the provisions of SB 8 that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone obtain an abortion after the detection of a heartbeat, or about six weeks into a pregnancy. Pro-abortion advocates say many individuals are not even aware they are pregnant before six weeks.

“If permitted to proceed, this law will be precedent-setting and could normalize vigilante interference in the patient-physician relationship in other complex, controversial medical or ethical situations,” they said of SB 8. “Meanwhile, SB 4 is on its way to Gov. Greg Abbott with language that criminalizes the practice of medicine.”

“SB 8 and SB 4 go too far. Clearly these provisions are unconstitutional, in our opinion,” they said. “TMA stands for the health care of all Texans and our profession.”


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