Texas Politicians Are Turning Lies Into Anti-Abortion Laws

Across the country, politicians are using lies about abortion to pass laws that make it more difficult or even impossible for women to access abortion care.

Texas legislators are no exception, using their time to enact restriction after restriction trying to prevent a woman from getting abortion care, even when that means lying to her, delaying her care, requiring unnecessary tests, making care more expensive, and shutting down reproductive health clinics.

Texas politicians should be ashamed, but instead they continue to peddle lies, ignore science, and undermine the practice of medicine, all in an effort to push health care out of reach. A recent analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund found that at least 70 percent of the abortion restrictions currently pending in the Texas Legislature are based on lies about abortion, the trusted health care professionals who provide abortion care, and the women who seek it.

It’s time to stop the lies. That’s why TFNEF is joining with the National Partnership to launch a new campaign to show Texas politicians that when they lie, we’re going to be here to call them out.

Get the Facts

Lie:

Anti-abortion politicians lie about abortion safety to pass laws that restrict access and close down trusted health care clinics.

Fact:

Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the United States.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Osteopathic Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics all agree: “Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States.”

Abortion has a 99 percent safety record, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Lie:

Anti-abortion politicians lie about the physical health impacts of abortion care. They even claim that abortion causes breast cancer, and go so far as to pass laws that force doctors to repeat this lie to their patients.

Fact:

There is no causal link between abortion care and breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society has stated that the scientific evidence does not support the claim that abortion care raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer.

Similarly, the U.S. National Cancer Institute has concluded that “having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.”

Timeline of Abortion Laws in Texas

1973

All women have access to abortion, and Medicaid covers abortion.

Roe v. Wade

1977

Hospitals and individuals can refuse to allow or provide abortions regardless of the reason. Tex. Occ. Code §§ 103.001 - 103.004

1985

Only a physician licensed by the state may provide abortion care. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 245.010(b)

1989

Medicaid cannot cover an abortion except in cases of life endangerment. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 32.005

1999

A woman under age 18 cannot get an abortion until 48 hours after the physician tells at least one of her parents either in person or by phone. Tex. Fam. Code §§ 33.001 - 33.008

2003

A woman must wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided. The doctor must also give the woman government written materials about abortion, including realistic photos of what a fetus looks like at two-week intervals, and must talk about medical assistance benefits for pre-natal care and childbirth. Doctors are required to give patients medically inaccurate information, such as telling them that abortions can cause breast cancer. Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.011 - 171.016

Doctors must give women a state-mandated list of groups for counseling that includes anti-abortion organizations. These organizations give women medically inaccurate information and try to pressure them out of having an abortion. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.013 - 171.015

Requires abortions performed at or after 16 weeks to be performed in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical center. Texas Health & Safety Code § 171.004

2005

Prohibits the Department of Human Services from contracting with health care facilities or individuals who provide abortion care or are affiliated with facilities that provide abortion care. Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 32.024 (c-1)

State funding for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), a type of non-profit organization established to counsel pregnant women against having an abortion. Legislative Budget Board, Conference Committee Report on SB1, S. 79, Reg. Sess., at 11-109 (2005).

2006

2006: Requires a parent's written consent to be notarized before a woman under the age of 18 can get an abortion. 22 Tex. Admin. Code § 165.6

2011

Prohibits the Department of Human Services and its employees from referring women to organizations that provide or “promote” abortion care. Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 32.024

State funding for a “Choose Life” license-plate program that sends money to an anti-abortion organization. Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 402.036-402.037; Tex. Transp. Code § 504.662

Requires a doctor to perform a sonogram on a woman seeking an abortion at least 24 hours prior to performing the abortion. The doctor must display the sonogram image in front of the woman, provide a verbal explanation of the image (including descriptions of the fetus, its heart activity, and its internal organs), and provide an opportunity for the woman to hear the fetal heartbeat. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.012

2013

Requires health centers that provide abortions to meet building standards designated for ambulatory surgical centers. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 245.010

Requires doctors who provide abortions to become part of the admitting staff at a nearby hospital that provides obstetrics/ gynecological care. Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.0031

Nothing in the regulations requires hospitals to grant this privilege 25 Tex. Admin. Code § 139.56. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 245.017 (Enacted 1997)

Bans abortion after 20 weeks, unless the woman’s life or health is at risk or in the case of a severe fetal anomaly. Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.041–.048

Prohibits anyone other than a physician from dispensing abortion-inducing medication. Also requires that the woman and physician both be present at a licensed abortion facility when the abortion pill is taken. And the physician must schedule a followup visit no more than fourteen days after the abortion-inducing medication is taken. Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.061 - .064

2015

Makes it more difficult for women under the age of 18 to go through the court system in order to waive parental consent before obtaining an abortion. Texas Family Code § 33.002 - 33.003

Learn more at LiesIntoLaws.org/Texas»