Opposite laws proposed for pregnant women on life support

Hundreds of bills passed by the Texas legislative session are now laws as of Sept. 1.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two different bills filed at the state Capitol propose two totally opposite laws concerning the rights of pregnant women on life support and their unborn babies. One would give the patient and their family the full decision to withdraw life support, while the other would require legal representation for the fetus prior to any decision being made.

Erick Munoz was at the Capitol on Thursday to support the proposed Marlise’s Law. His wife Marlise was 14 weeks pregnant with their second child when she suffered a severe blood clot in November 2013. She was kept alive by a ventilator for the next two months, but that is not what her husband wanted.

“I had to see my wife in a hospital for 62 days while we went to court,” said Munoz about the pain of watching his wife’s condition deteriorate. “I want the ability to lay my wife to rest.”

Despite his wishes to remove the ventilator, Texas law requires a hospital to try and keep a pregnant woman alive to potentially save the life of the baby. Marlise’s Law, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Elliot Naishtat, proposes removing the ‘pregnant woman exception’ and giving the patient and their families the final decision.

However, Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, is sponsoring a bill which would strengthen the exception rather than remove it. House Bill 1901 would require a developing unborn child to receive legal representation in court before a decision on withdrawing life support is determined.

“Our Constitution clearly states that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law. I will continue to defend that unalienable right for the voiceless,” said Krause about The Unborn Child Due Process Act on his website.

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