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Report: Many TX Abortion Laws Not Based on Science or Medical Fact

A Guttmacher Institute study finds many of the anti-abortion laws passed by the Texas Legislature aren't based on medical or scientific evidence. (MattArcher/GettyImages)
A Guttmacher Institute study finds many of the anti-abortion laws passed by the Texas Legislature aren't based on medical or scientific evidence. (MattArcher/GettyImages)
May 12, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas leads the nation in the number of anti-abortion laws on the books that contradict scientific and medical evidence, according to a new study.

The state is tied for first place among the 50 states in the Guttmacher Institute report for the number of abortion regulations that don't square with established facts. And even more legislation is pending.

Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, says her group is mounting a public education campaign to, as she puts it, 'make sure Texas voters know their elected officials are lying.'

"It's outrageous that Texas ranks number one in lying to their constituents about abortion restrictions," she says. "And it's even more outrageous when the Legislature intervenes in the doctor-patient relationship to force misinformation into the hands of patients."

Miller says Texas laws place costly burdens on clinics and doctors, as well as medically-unnecessary restrictions on medication abortions.

She adds they also require doctors to give patients pamphlets falsely linking abortion to cancer and infertility. Lawmakers backing those laws consistently say they are aimed at protecting the patient.

Miller says Texas is tied with Kansas at the top of the rankings. The Guttmacher report found at least 38 states have one or more abortion laws that ignore scientific evidence.

"We have eight out of the 10 categories of laws that were based on lies," she adds. "Had it not been for the United States Supreme Court ruling in 'Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt,' Texas would have had all 10 of those categories."

Miller says her group believes the lawmakers who back these bills see them as a means to fulfilling an anti-abortion agenda.

"I think that there are too many members of the Texas Legislature who don't care about evidence, who don't care if there's any medical necessity for the laws that they pass because their ultimate goal is to deny access to safe, legal abortion," she explains.

She says the education campaign, called "Lies Into Laws," will include ads in major media outlets and messaging on social media through the 2018 elections. It is co-sponsored by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX