National Partnership for Women & Families

New Analysis: 70% of State-Level Abortion Restrictions Introduced in 2016 are Based On Anti-Abortion Lies

Six-Figure Ad Buy Highlights Dangerous Codification of Misinformation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 3, 2016 —

An analysis released today by the National Partnership for Women & Families finds that of the 353 abortion restrictions introduced in state legislatures so far this year, 251 — or 70 percent — of them are based on anti-abortion lies.

The National Partnership finds that while some of the restrictions introduced in 2016 are clear about their anti-abortion intentions and would accomplish their stated purpose, such as banning abortion outright, the large majority are based on pretext, false information or inaccurate stereotypes about women.

Many of these laws are based on lies about abortion safety, despite guidance from the country’s leading medical organizations, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Osteopathic Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, saying, “Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States.”

“Lies about abortion and the women who have them are being turned into laws across the country, and it needs to stop,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership. “All women deserve medically accurate information and access to a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion care. There is no place for lies in health care, and that includes women’s health care.”

The new analysis identifies 251 instances of newly introduced abortion restrictions based on falsehoods, broken into two broad categories:

150 restrictions introduced in 30 states are based on fundamental lies about abortion and abortion providers, including lies about abortion safety and the physical and mental health impacts of abortion. For example:

  • A bill in New York would require an abortion provider to give a woman seeking abortion care medically inaccurate information.
  • A bill in Florida would shut down women’s health clinics and prevent trusted health care professionals from providing abortion care based on lies about abortion safety.

101 restrictions introduced in 25 states are based on lies about women who decide to have an abortion, including the notion that women are not capable of making private medical decisions without state intervention. For example:

  • A bill in Alabama would force a woman to get an ultrasound, even if it’s not needed, and force the abortion provider to give a detailed description, even if the woman doesn’t want to hear it.
  • A bill in Indiana would more than double the state’s mandatory delay period.

Today’s release coincides with the start of a media campaign including a microsite and homepage “takeover” advertising with publications read by national policymakers, including POLITICO, the Washington Post and The Hill. The six-figure buy, running through the end of the week, highlights the pattern of lies codified in legislation like HB 2, the Texas law now being challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court because of the burden it imposes on abortion clinics and the women they serve. More information is available at BadMedicine.org/Lies.

“The leading medical societies, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, are on the record stating that obstacles to abortion care pose a threat to women’s health,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, director of reproductive health programs at the National Partnership. “Abortion opponents need to learn that legislating something doesn’t make it true, and that when they lie we’re going to call them out.”

Based on legislative text, the analysis quantifies the ways the anti-abortion movement distorts medical facts and appropriate standards for abortion care and perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes about women. The new analysis was completed using data obtained from the non-profit Guttmacher Institute about anti-abortion restrictions introduced through February 22, 2016.

For more information visit BadMedicine.org/Lies.

Contact

Lauren Sogor (202) 986-2600 lsogor@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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