AUSTIN, Texas, March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health and policy specialists often ignored by legislators pushing anti-abortion laws went to the Texas Capitol on Friday to call out the lies and misinformation behind those many laws and proposed bills. At a "people's hearing" in the Capitol, the National Partnership for Women & Families also released Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women's Health Care – Texas Edition. It details the consequences of the state's anti-abortion laws for women's health care.
Following the report's release, panels of health, policy and legal experts explained how the Texas Legislature has used misinformation to pass laws that force doctors to lie to their patients, impose medically unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics, and make it harder for women to gain access to safe reproductive health care options, including abortion. They offered evidence that these laws are simply "bad medicine" for Texas women.
Kathy Miller, president, Texas Freedom Network
"These experts are the people Texas lawmakers would invite to public hearings on all of the anti-abortion bills they propose if they really wanted to hear facts instead of lies and misinformation. They instead pay more attention to anti-abortion extremists whose goal is simply to deny women the constitutionally protected right to make their own reproductive health care decisions."
Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president, National Partnership for Women & Families. (Lipton-Lubet did not attend the event.):
"Texas legislators have executed a punitive, calculated strategy to deny women the ability to make their own health care decisions by using false information and inaccurate stereotypes as the pretext for anti-abortion restrictions. They are literally turning lies into laws. As we show in the Texas edition of the report, 'Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women's Health Care,' released today, these abortion restrictions are based on junk science, flout medical evidence, ignore patients' needs and are designed to shame women. We are proud to stand with our partners in Texas today to demonstrate what a hearing based on evidence and facts should look like, and we will continue to fight back against bad medicine laws that undermine women's health and hurt women and families – in Texas and across the nation."
Stephanie Toti, senior counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights and lead counsel in the Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt case in 2016 in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key parts of the anti-abortion HB 2 in Texas
"The Supreme Court's decisive rejection of HB 2 made clear that its requirements were nothing more than a sham designed to close abortion clinics at the expense of women's health. In enacting the law, politicians embraced junk science while turning a blind eye to sound medical evidence and the objections of the medical community. Texas women deserve better."
Louise Melling, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the ACLU's Center for Liberty
"It is high time that Texas legislators have a hearing to expose the state's laws restricting abortion for what they are: bad medicine. In no other context would we stand for such policies."
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder, president and CEO, Whole Woman's Health
"For many people across the state accessing abortion or reproductive healthcare is extremely difficult and a reminder the attacks on abortion care did not start with HB 2. In Texas over the past 15 years we have seen more restrictions placed on abortion and family planning than nearly any other state in the union. Texas' maternal mortality rate is the worst in the country and is worse than many developing nations. The powerful few have decimated the fabric of care that once served thousands of families across Texas."
Lucy Felix, senior field coordinator, Texas Latina Advocacy Network for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in Texas
"We can see firsthand the awful impact these laws have had on Latinas struggling to get the health care they need. The laws make it harder to access that care by imposing unnecessary rules that end up closing clinics, forcing women to travel farther distances and raising other costs. This is particularly bad for immigrant Latinas who are blocked by immigration checkpoints and are already locked out of most affordable health care options."
Marsha Jones, founder and executive director, The Afiya Center
"It's ridiculous that we still have to fight for access to women's reproductive health care that is safe, affordable and accessible. These laws make it even worse by reinforcing the shame and stigma that have historically been attached to black women's reproductive choices."
Heather Busby, executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
"Politicians have no place in the doctor-patient relationship. We should trust the best medical judgment of doctors when treating their patients. The misinformation Texans receive at state-funded crisis pregnancy centers is designed to stigmatize abortion and dissuade women from making their own decisions about their health care. Texans deserve medically accurate information and a dignified experience when making private health care decisions."
Today's "people's hearing" was sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, The Afiya Center, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Progress Texas, Shift, and Texas Freedom Network.
SOURCE Texas Freedom Network