Medical programs that force students to opt-out of abortion training raise constitutional concerns, Texas AG opines

AUSTIN – The Coats-Snowe Amendment prohibits Texas from discriminating against physicians, medical students, or graduate medical education training programs for their refusal to participate in abortion related training, opined Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday.

Earlier this year, state Sen. Donna Campbell, a physician representing District 25, requested an AG opinion on whether Texas medical schools are in violation of the amendment for complying with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) rule that requires all obstetrics and gynecology educational programs and institutions to provide training or access to training in the provision of abortions in their planed curriculums. 

Campbell also raised questions concerning the ACGME rule requiring all obstetrics and gynecology programs to provide opt-out, not opt-in, abortion training, and whether the amendment requires an opt-in process for elective abortion training. 

Paxton found the amendment requires Texas to disregard ACGME accreditation standards that compel the provision of induced abortion training on an opt-out basis, thereby allowing graduate medical education programs to provide induced abortion training on an elective, opt-in basis.

“Furthermore, a graduate medical education training program that forces a person to affirmatively opt-out of such training raises constitutional and religious freedom concerns and implicates conscience rights of doctors and students,” the opinion states. 

“Given these constitutional and statutory concerns, a graduate medical education program should implement opt-in induced abortion training.”

Opinion No. KP-0395

Written by  Staff reports

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