On Abortion, Texas Leads in Lying

“Unfounded abortion restrictions often have serious consequences”

Illustration by Jason Stout

Texas is one of the "worst offenders" in the nation when it comes to crafting abortion laws based on faulty science, according to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute. Along with Kansas, Texas claims the highest number of scientifically baseless reproductive health restrictions, with eight laws that directly conflict with medical science. Overall, a majority of U.S. women ages 15-44 live in a state where at least two anti-abortion laws don't square with scientific fact. Study co-author Elizabeth Nash noted: "These unfounded abortion restrictions often have serious consequences for women, including potentially delaying the procedure and increasing costs."

Researchers examined 10 major restrictions premised on assertions "not supported by rigorous scientific evidence." Those rules include a 20-week abortion ban based on supposed "fetal pain," counseling women on the (false) link between abortion and mental health and breast cancer, and forcing women to wait 24 hours after a sonogram for abortion care – all restrictions Texan women must follow. The state peddles some of these lies in the pages of the "Woman's Right to Know" booklet, required reading for abortion-seeking women ("Texas Publishes State-Mandated Anti-Choice 'Propa­ganda' Booklet," Dec. 7, 2016). And anti-choice lawmakers, routinely unaware of the basic medical procedures they seek to regulate, fail to use scientifically accurate terminology when authoring abortion-related bills ("Say What?" April 14).

For more, check out our War on Women's Health page.

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