OMA Statement on Texas SB 8

September 15, 2021

Long-standing policy of the Oregon Medical Association provides that the decision whether or not to perform an abortion rests solely with the patient and their physician. As a result, the OMA supports its colleagues at the Texas Medical Association (TMA) who are standing up against the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 8 which seeks to directly interfere with the clinical decisions made about abortion by a patient and their physician.

For physicians and patients in Texas, the law represents a direct attack not only on clinical judgment but also safe access to medical care for patients. As we know, safe access to comprehensive reproductive health services disproportionately impacts women of color, those living in rural communities, and those with limited resources. 

Disturbingly, the law deputizes third parties—who have no connection to the patient-physician relationship—to bring whistleblower lawsuits against physicians who provide services, anyone who assists in providing services, and physicians or anyone who merely intend to provide services.

Like TMA and the American Medical Association, the OMA urges the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to not enjoin enforcement of the law while its deeply flawed construction is reviewed by the courts. Tolerating a culture of intimidation that the law perpetuates due to the threat of lawsuits from anybody at all against a physician who simply is practicing medicine is unconscionable public policy. For all these reasons, the OMA echoes the call for the law to be enjoined.