Women's health advocates in Texas are outraged over the contents of a misleading and state-mandated booklet that's handed out to women seeking an abortion.
According to the Austin Chronicle, "The error-ridden pamphlet, created by a 2003 abortion informed consent law, has been criticized for years for its myriad of medical inaccuracies and biased, ideologically-motivated misinformation, such as linking abortion and breast cancer (debunked by the National Cancer Institute), and promoting the idea that abortion inflicts psychological trauma and suicide, which is not recognized by the American Psychological Association."
Now, the Department of State Health Services has proposed several revisions to the booklet, titled A Woman's Right to Know, and is accepting public comments on the updates until Friday.
But according to the Texas Tribune, "The new draft doubles down on information highly contested by medical experts and the pro-abortion rights community, stoking the flames of a debate going back more than a decade."
The Tribune reports:
Among major changes, the new draft uses "your baby" when describing gestation development as early as four weeks, rather than medical terms, such as "fetus." The new version also highlights the suggestion that fetuses can begin feeling pain at 20 weeks—a claim contested by scientists—and displays risks associated with abortion more prominently, with death first on the list.
To that end, reproductive rights advocates on Wednesday delivered thousands of comments in opposition to the booklet and its revisions.
"This is just the latest shameful example of state leaders playing politics with women's health," Texas state representative Donna Howard said at a press conference held by NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.
Decrying the pamphlet as "propaganda," Howard said: "As a former registered nurse, I find it outrageous that the state requires health professionals to provide misleading and coercive information to patients."
The U.S. Supreme Court last month struck down key provisions of Texas' draconian 2013 law that would have forced all but nine abortion clinics in the state to close.