Texas Health Dept. Produces Final Copy of Right to Know Booklet
by Steven Ertelt
December 2, 2003
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — The Texas Department of Health has produced a final copy of the Right to Know booklet that abortion facilities will be required to distribute to women considering abortions. Thanks to a new pro-life Texas law, such women may finally receive information about abortion’s risks, dangers and alternative prior to having an abortion.
The law takes effect on January 1, and requires the booklet be given to women 24 hours prior to an abortion. It is similar to informed consent provisions in other states that have been credited with reducing the number of abortions by as much as one-third.
The booklet also features images of unborn children during the process of fetal development.
It has sparked significant opposition from abortion advocates.
Kae McLaughlin, director of the Texas Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League, criticized the booklet saying the information regarding the link between abortion and breast cancer is "medically inaccurate."
McLaughlin also said side effects of pregnancy are "glossed over" while abortion complications are discussed more in-depth.
Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life told LifeNews.com that her group and pro-life legislators were concerned the health department wouldn’t produce the kind of booklet that the legislature intended when it passed the pro-life law.
"Because of their intervention and the herculean efforts of Kathi Seay and Dade Phelan (staff of the bill’s sponsors), the final draft of the booklet fully informs women of all their options and all the risks associated with each decision," Graham said.
She indicated McLaughlin’s objections to the booklet were unfounded.
"Joel Brind, the nation’s leading expert on the abortion-breast cancer link, testified before the panel of doctors as to the veracity and soundness of all the worldwide studies, pointing out statistical errors in the studies denying any link," Graham explained.
Graham said while the language in the booklet about the scientific evidence pointing to the link could be stronger, she is pleased that it was included. Many other states have not included such language in the information they ask abortion facilities to give women.
Joe Pojman, head of the Texas Alliance for Life, said he was generally pleased with the booklet, though it may need some minor tweaking in the future.
Pojman said he was concerned that a directory of abortion alternatives programs, pregnancy centers, and other pregnancy support groups was not included. However, Doug McBride, a health department spokesman, said the resource guide should be complete soon.
There are approximately 78,000 abortions performed annually in Texas.