About HB2038 and Erythromycin Eye Ointment

UPDATE:  We did it!!  HB 2038 passed!  This means that if you choose to refuse erythromycin eye ointment, you won't have to deal with threats from CPS.

Hey there, Texas!

We think you're awesome.  Bluebonnets, the Hill Country, Willie Nelson, Matthew McConaughey... but sometimes you're a real drag. 

Let's chat, shall we?

You have some serious baggage- particularly regarding eye ointment for newborns.  Currently, according to 81.091 of the Texas Health and Safety Code:

"A physician, nurse, midwife or other person in attendance at childbirth shall use or cause to be used prophylaxis approved by the board to prevent opthalmia neonatorum." 

It is considered a Class B misdemeanor if the care provider fails to administer the ointment.

Antibiotic eye ointment for babies

What that means is that even if you sign a waiver stating you understand the risks and benefits, your provider could still be faced with criminal charges.  As a result, many hospitals have a policy in place that reports families to CPS for failure to apply the ointment.

Seriously?  Not cool, Texas.

Here's how you can help.  Representative Jeff Leach has authored HB2038 to amend the current code.  It's sitting in the House Public Health Committee and needs a nudge to get added to the agenda so it can be heard and ultimately voted on.  That's where YOU come in!

There are 11 members on the committee- take the time to give them a call and send an email.  Head over to our Fort Worth Doula Associate's FB Page to find names and numbers and a short little script to use for inspiration when you call. 

It's quick and painless, I promise.  Make your voice heard!  Comment below if you've reached out and let us know how it went.  And, be sure to join Texans for the Repeal of Texas State Rule 97.136.


Want more information on Opthalmia Neonatorum? Click on over to read Antibiotic Eye Ointment For Newborns in Texas.