Texas sets the standard for Republican lies about abortion


Click to enlargeRena Schild/Shutterstock

❝ Despite suffering a major defeat at the Supreme Court this past June, Texas simply can’t stop — won’t stop — undermining reproductive rights. Earlier this month, the Texas Department of State Health Services released an updated edition of its abortion booklet — ironically titled “A Woman’s Right to Know” — which unapologetically promotes debunked links between abortion, breast cancer, and adverse psychological risks.

❝ A pregnant person considering termination in the Lone Star state may very well believe that her physical and mental health are at risk if she obtains an abortion. Texas already requires a 24-hour waiting period for abortion, after mandated counseling that includes information on breast cancer, fetal pain and mental health effects. But the updated DSHS booklet spreads further misinformation.

With regards to mental health, the booklet says, “Women report a range of emotions after an abortion. This can include depression or thoughts of suicide. Some women, after their abortion, have also reported feelings of grief, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, regret, sexual dysfunction, avoidance of emotional attachment, flashbacks and substance abuse.”…

Everything an otherwise sensible person feels after voting for Trump. Har.

❝ …Not only does promoting such misleading information stigmatize a common medical procedure that 1 in 3 U.S. women will have, but it also directly impacts the quality and availability of abortion care. Anti-choice legislators routinely use the mental health myth to pass restrictions on abortion, from mandatory waiting periods and counseling to gestational limits on abortion…

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to feel after having an abortion; every person’s experience is unique and valid. State legislators and governments would do well to finally acknowledge this, and abandon the harmful myths that drive legislation designed to make women feel bad about their decisions.

I wonder if the Republican Party will ever get round to abandoning the 19th Century religious claptrap that mandates their patriarchal War on Women and Women’s Rights? I realize that offering scientific and social proof means nothing to spooky, fearfilled mice. But, just stepping back and peering with open eyes at decades of failed ideology might eventually make an impression. Even on a Texas Republican.

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