Department of State Health Services seeks public comment on “A Woman’s Right to Know”

The Texas Department of State Health Services has asked Texas residents for input on proposed improvements to the informed consent literature that abortion businesses are required to provide women considering abortion.

The information is contained in a small booklet called A Woman’s Right to Know, which provides crucial information about a woman’s rights and pregnancy options.  The booklet covers topics like the risks associated with elective abortion, facts about fetal development, and alternatives to abortion.  A Woman’s Right to Know also includes a resource directory with information about adoption support and maternal assistance programs, pregnancy resource centers, and other social service options.

Texas Right to Life is pleased to see the inauguration of efforts to improve A Woman’s Right to Know by the Department of State Health Services.  Indeed, the informed consent guide has not been updated in 13 years.  We have identified three key areas which could be further improved by the agency:

  1. A Woman’s Right to Know would benefit from the addition of an explicit statement informing Texas women that force and coercion by any individual into an abortion are illegal, and that confidential intervention and protection by law enforcement are available to women experiencing coercion.
  2. The guide mentions a possible correlation between abortion and breast cancer, which would be improved by stronger language which explicitly cites the numerous studies that indicate undergoing an elective abortion contributes to the incidence of breast cancer in women.
  3. The Resource Directory found in A Woman’s Right to Know has not been updated in more than a decade.  Meanwhile, countless new resources – including maternity homes, pregnancy resource centers, adoption agencies, and other maternal assistance programs – have become available in the state of Texas, and these should be reflected in an updated Resource Directory.  Numerous agencies are members of Texas’ taxpayer-funded Alternatives to Abortion program, meaning they have been vetted and fall under constant government oversight, yet not all of these agencies are listed in the Resource Directory.

Please click here to view a draft of the updated A Woman’s Right to Know booklet, and send the Department of State Health Services comments in favor of the proposed changes and suggest that the agency address the three points above to improve the scope of a woman’s fully-informed consent prior to an abortion by Friday, July 29.