Texas Approves Sweeping Abortion Counseling Law

Texas has passed one of the country's "most sweeping" abortion counseling laws. Among its many objectionable provisions is the requirement that doctors "warn women that abortion might lead to breast cancer."

That link, however, does not exist, according to the American Cancer Society and federal government researchers, and critics say the law is a thinly veiled attempt to intimidate, frighten and shame women who are seeking an abortion. Proponents say they are merely trying to give women as much information as possible, and argue that research into the alleged link between abortion and breast cancer remains inconclusive.

After years of failed attempts to outlaw abortion outright, social conservatives across the nation are now finding success in limiting abortions by requiring so-called counseling of patients. Among the most aggressive tactics is the attempt to link abortion with breast cancer, a move that many conservative organizations have undertaken, but rarely with the success they have found in Texas.

The bill has passed both houses in Texas and the Governor has said he will sign it into law.

Texas will become the 18th state to require a 24 hour waiting period (called a "reflection" period. ) Abortions past 16 weeks must be performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center--at four times the cost of one performed in a doctor's office.

To top it all off, check this out:

The law also requires doctors or clinics to offer women written materials containing everything from a list of adoption agencies to a reminder that fathers are typically liable for paying child support. Women would be offered photographs approximating what their fetus looks like — color photographs, as specified by the law. Democrats' attempts to exempt victims of rape or incest from having to view the photos were defeated.

So the anti-choicers' strategies are changing. Instead of trying to overturn Roe v. Wade directly (at least until Bush has finished packing the courts with right wing judicial activists,) they are packaging counseling legislation with smaller abortion restrictions and selling the packages as "helpful to women" in an attempt to render them more palatable to the public. But make no mistake, these measures will slowly chip away at a woman's right to choose, and in the end, may be just as devastating to that right as if Roe v. Wade had been overturned. So don't be fooled into thinking this is just counseling for the undereducated.

A thorn by any other name.....

[thanks to Hessiod of Counterspin for the tip and link]

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