At a “people’s hearing” at the Texas State Capitol today, women’s health experts charge that lawmakers have enacted “bad medicine” abortion restrictions that are based on lies and misinformation. These laws are undermining women’s health care, they say. The hearing is an opportunity for legislators and the public to experience what an evidence-based hearing about abortion care should look like in a state where lawmakers continue to disregard science and evidence.
“Bad medicine laws illustrate the lengths to which anti-abortion lawmakers in Texas – and in a majority of other states – are willing to go to block women’s access to abortion care, even when it means disregarding evidence-based medical practices, the judgment of health care providers and the needs and preferences of patients and families,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “Politics has no place in the exam room. We urge Texas lawmakers – and their counterparts across the country – to repeal these harmful restrictions and take steps to protect the patient-provider relationship and affirm the importance of high-quality, individualized care.”
In conjunction with the hearing, the National Partnership is releasing a report, “Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women’s Health Care (Texas Edition),” detailing how five types of abortion restrictions in the state directly interfere in the patient-provider relationship and advance an ideological agenda that flouts medical evidence and scientific integrity. The restrictions include:
- An ultrasound mandate that forces a provider to give — and a patient to receive — tests that are not supported by evidence, the provider’s medical judgment or the patient’s wishes. Providers are forced to display the image and describe it, even when a woman objects.
- Biased counseling requirements that force doctors to lie to their patients, giving them patently false information drafted by the state that is contrary to medical evidence and scientific research.
- A mandatory delay law that forces a provider to delay time-sensitive care regardless of the provider’s medical judgment or the patient’s needs.
- Medication abortion restrictions that prohibit providers from prescribing medication using the best and most current evidence, medical protocols and methods.
- Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP laws) that force providers or clinics to conform to burdensome requirements that are not based on scientific evidence, do not further patients’ health or interests and are not required of other health care providers.
“When abortion opponents turn lies into law as they have in Texas, women pay the price. Doctors are forced to lie to their patients, trusted health care clinics are shut down and women are denied care,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president at the National Partnership. “Put simply, legislating something doesn’t make it true, and abortion opponents need to know that when they lie, we’re going to call them out and fight for policies that are based on women’s needs and experiences and that protect access to high-quality, affordable abortion care.”
The full report is available at LiesintoLaws.org/Texas.