The biggest threat to women’s ability to access quality abortion care is state politicians. That is the key message of two new state public education campaigns launched by Lift Louisiana and Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH), with support from the National Partnership for Women & Families. Both campaigns highlight a new, rigorous report by the nonpartisan National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which finds that abortion is safe and that medically unnecessary regulations undermine access to quality abortion care. The campaigns contrast these findings with the reality of abortion policy in these states, as documented in new National Partnership reports about Louisiana and Wisconsin, which identify state abortion restrictions that prevent women from getting abortion care by misleading them, delaying care, requiring unnecessary tests and making care more expensive.
The combined six-figure ad campaigns, launching today in both states, will feature Facebook and Twitter ads, billboards (in Lafayette and Shreveport, Louisiana), digital ads on five local news sites, a podcast sponsorship in Wisconsin and radio spots in Louisiana.
“When politicians enact medically unnecessary abortion restrictions – as they have done time and again in Louisiana, Wisconsin and dozens of other states – women pay the price,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “Doctors are forced to mislead their patients, trusted health care clinics are shut down and women are denied the health care they need. It must stop. With these campaigns, we’re aiming to raise awareness about how dangerous these abortion restrictions are and how we can all fight back.”
Both Louisiana and Wisconsin have numerous abortion restrictions that bear no relationship to medical standards; undermine health care providers’ efforts to provide the highest quality, patient-centered care; and take decision-making away from women. For example, in both states, abortion providers are required to give women state-drafted materials that include biased, misleading and medically unnecessary information, and to administer an ultrasound, display the image and describe it. Similarly, both states mandate a 24-hour delay that forces women to make medically unnecessary second trips to clinics to receive abortion care; a requirement that only physicians can provide abortion care despite evidence that advanced practice clinicians, such as nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants, can safely and effectively do so; a requirement forcing abortion providers to share information about fake women’s health centers that deceive, mislead and shame women; and a ban on providing medication abortion via telemedicine (despite evidence that it is safe and improves access to care). Additional harmful restrictions have been enacted in both states.
“These laws make clear the lengths to which anti-abortion state lawmakers are willing to go to block women’s access to abortion care, even when it means disregarding evidence-based medical practices, the judgment of health care experts like those at the National Academies and the needs and preferences of women,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president for reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership. “We are proud to work with state partners like Lift Louisiana and WAWH to raise the alarm about harmful abortion restrictions and demand policies that instead protect women’s access to high-quality, affordable abortion care.”
About the National Partnership
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.