Texas Lawmaker Wants Abortion Information Law’s Loophole Closed

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas Lawmaker Wants Abortion Information Law’s Loophole Closed

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 27, 2004

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Texas lawmaker is campaigning to close a loophole in the state’s informed consent law.

Rep. Frank Corte, who is pro-life, believes abortion center operators are trying to circumvent the law, preventing women from getting the information they need about abortion.

Under the pro-life law, which Corte sponsored, abortion facilities must offer women considering abortion a brochure stating the medical risks of abortion and alternatives that are available. But, according to the rules adopted to implement the law, the pamphlet must only be given if the woman selects to view it.

Corte’s aide, Kathi Seay, said during a pro-life rally in San Antonio, "That means that an abortion facility may choose to tell a woman that the information provided by the state is inaccurate, inflammatory, or ridiculous. They can say anything they would like about the information and then ask the woman, ‘Now, would you like a copy?’"

After hearing that at least one abortion facility has not been handing out the pamphlet, Corte decided to try to toughen the law.

"He’ll propose legislation to plug any holes that have allowed abortion providers to abdicate their responsibility," Seay said.

The Texas pro-abortion lobby is fighting the move.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, Sarah Wheat, told the Associated Press, "It’s more about telling women that abortion is wrong, rather than making sure women have access to information."

The state-written pamphlet which is given to women contemplating abortion includes images of the development of an unborn baby, a list of the possible emotional effects of having an abortion, and other consequences of abortion.

According to Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life, Corte is on the right track.

"The Woman’s Right to Know law was written very carefully," Graham said. "Through the implementation process, however, several points in the bill were wrongly interpreted, thereby creating and expanding loopholes enabling abortion providers to ignore the law."

Graham says both Corte and Texas Right to Life are keeping a "running list" of which parts of the bill need to be strengthened during the 79th legislative session.

"We will have better data on clinics’ non-compliance to buttress the need for closing these loopholes," Graham said. "Plus women will be able to testify that they were kept in the dark and not provided the information."

Graham added that the personal testimonies of women who have been "swindled and harmed by the abortion industry prove the most compelling reason to hold these clinic abortionists accountable."

Related web sites:
Texas Right to Life – https://www.txrtl.org