The Top Five Lies Told By Anti-Abortion Activists and Politicians
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and states began banning abortion, it’s clearer than ever that anti-abortion politicians and organizations have been lying to the American people for decades. Despite our opponents’ efforts, support for abortion rights only increases, and their unpopular, out-of-touch positions continue to be rejected time and again. Here’s a breakdown of five big lies long-pushed by opponents of reproductive freedom.
LIE #1: “We don’t want to criminalize pregnant people for seeking abortion care.”
FACT: During the 2023 state legislative session, several states including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Kentucky have introduced legislation with criminal or civil penalties for those who get an abortion. Last month, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall even went so far as saying that people who take abortion pills to end pregnancies could be prosecuted under a chemical endangerment law — despite the fact that the state’s current abortion ban cannot be used to punish those who get abortions. Following tremendous backlash, Marshall later walked back his comments.
LIE #2: “We are not trying to ban abortion nationwide, we just want to return the power to regulate abortion back to the states.”
FACT: Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned, politicians introduced a national abortion ban, blatantly contradicting their claim that their mission to end federal constitutional protection was about states’ rights. And now, a group of anti-abortion activists and organizations have filed suit challenging the FDA over its approval of mifepristone, one of two medications most commonly used in medication abortion in the United States. Should they succeed, mifepristone could be banned nationwide — even in states where abortion is protected — compromising access to medication abortion across the country.
LIE #3: “We only want to restrict abortion; we aren’t attacking access to birth control and other forms of sexual and reproductive health care.”
FACT: Since the Dobbs decision, it’s clear that banning abortion was never enough for these anti-abortion activists. They are coming after access to birth control, federal family planning programs, STI testing, IVF, and more. In December, a federal judge in Texas even declared unlawful the decades-old precedent that young people who receive care through the Title X family planning program may do so confidentially — a ruling that goes against all precedent and is currently being challenged by the Biden administration. At the state level, Tennessee is set to pull federal funding for HIV prevention, all to avoid giving grants to Planned Parenthood and Florida has moved to reinstate a law that blocks Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving state funds to provide essential services like STI and HIV testing, birth control, and breast and cervical cancer screenings.
LIE #4: “We believe that parents should have control over all of their children’s medical decisions.”
FACT: Anti-abortion groups and politicians’ lies come with a big dose of hypocrisy. As part of their anti-abortion agenda, they continue to push for harmful forced parental involvement laws and restrictions, including ones that punish people for helping minors access care out of state. At the same time, these out-of-touch lawmakers are banning gender-affirming care and attacking parents who attempt to get this medically necessary, life-saving care for their own children. It was never about parents’ rights. These lawmakers only claim to support parental rights when they need to justify taking away minors’ right to health care and education.
LIE #5: “We are banning abortion because it’s what our constituents want and voted for when we were elected to serve.”
FACT: Despite voters in Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana resoundingly rejecting anti-abortion ballot initiatives last year, their elected representatives have doubled down on their attacks on reproductive freedom. Collectively, politicians in these states have introduced more than 20 harmful bills this session alone, including anti-abortion constitutional amendments and total abortion bans. According to the Kansas City Star, one Kansas lawmaker who introduced an amendment removing the state right to an abortion “is convinced Kansas’ August vote, which was decided on a 19-point margin, was not representative of broad public opinion.” They are not only lying to us, they are lying to themselves.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.