Fact: More than 70% of abortion restrictions introduced in state legislatures in the first two months of 2016 were based on lies, says a recent report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.
Let’s pause and think about that for a minute:
70% of the 353 abortion restrictions the report looked at have no basis in truth.
“Many of these laws are based on lies about abortion safety, despite guidance from the country’s leading medical organizations, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, saying, ‘Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States.’”
—National Partnership for Women and Families
Some of these bills not only derive from lies: their bill titles alone perpetuate lies about their intent.
Some bills require doctors to outright lie to their patients (because politicians think they’re more qualified to dole out medical advice)
Some force women to jump through medically unnecessary hoops to get an abortion despite the fact that abortion has a more than 99% safety record.
Some force women to make multiple trips and delay their abortions because women are deemed incapable of making their own medical decisions
The bottom line: Politicians are using lies as a basis for legislation, and they're getting away with it.
Here are some bills we've seen this year that have no basis in truth:
1. A bill in Louisiana called the “Women’s Enhanced Reflection Act” misleads women in the title of the bill alone. Enhanced reflection? This bill actually mandates a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.
This bill is about making it hard to access abortion. Consider this: In Utah, a recent study found that a law mandating at least a 72-hour waiting period actually increased hardship on Utah women seeking to end their pregnancies.
On average, eight days elapsed between Utahn women’s information visit and their abortion.
Researchers also found that the additional costs of abortion in Utah as a result of the forced wait can represent a significant proportion of patients’ monthly income.
The average additional cost to the woman for the 72-hour waiting period was $44, which for one-quarter of the women represented a significant portion (5%) of their monthly income.
2. In North Carolina, a state law requires that doctors who perform abortions after 16-weeks of pregnancy perform an ultrasound and supply the ultrasound images to state officials.
Legislators called this one the “Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015” even though we have yet to find evidence that it protects anyone.
But not all bills hide their lies directly in the names of the legislation...
3. A recent bill in Indiana (simply “House Bill 1337”) would ban abortions based on “race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex; or a diagnosis or potential diagnosis” of a disability — provisions opposed by leading medical experts, disability rights advocates, and members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. This includes the Arc of Indiana, a disability rights group, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Twenty-four local ob-gyns categorize the bill’s potential repercussions as “insensitive, inhumane, and wrong” and note that the bill, if enacted, would
“force us [doctors] to lie.”
4. The Arizona legislature recently enacted a law requiring abortion providers to follow an outdated FDA protocol for medication abortion that is more than 15 years old — and the governor signed it just days after the FDA updated its protocol.
That’s right: The governor signed this bill in the face of updated, evidence-based medical guidelines from the FDA.
What other lies do legislators force on women and doctors?
Even prior to this year’s whopping 70% of lies, there’s been no lack of lies turning into laws: Legislators force doctors to tell their patients that abortion is linked to breast cancer, that abortions can have long-term negative mental health effects, or that abortions can cause problems with future fertility and pregnancy.
All of these claims have been debunked by medical professionals. In fact, a study from Rutgers University found that 31% of all information abortion providers are forced to distribute under “informed consent” laws is medically inaccurate or misleading.
Get Out the Truth
These lies can’t stand up to the facts. So we’re asking you to stand with Planned Parenthood.