The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) released the final revised version of the Woman’s Right to Know booklet. The updated information can be found on the DSHS website. In addition to the booklet, the Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory has been updated to include a current list of organizations available to assist pregnant women and their families. The updated list of resources includes pregnancy centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, social services as well as medical centers that have opened since the original was published.
State law requires abortionists to give women the information in the Woman’s Right to Know booklet at least 24 hours before an elective abortion. DSHS made changes to correct old, outdated, and erroneous information that was published 13 year ago. In June, DSHS released a draft of the proposed changes and solicited public comments. After the public comment period, DSHS compiled the final draft addressing input from concerned Texans. Several changes requested by Texas Right to Life were included.
The introduction to the booklet now addresses coercion and human trafficking. There is a note in bold that no one can force a woman to undergo an abortion, not even her parents or the father of her baby. There are instructions for contacting help if a woman feels she is being coerced. The Women’s Right to Know literature also lists the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline number for victims of human trafficking.
The updated version gives women the information needed to report illegal or unsanitary abortion facility conditions. Women are encouraged to contact the agency if their rights, as explained in the booklet, are not being protected.
The new pamphlet also includes an explanation of fetal pain and the Preborn Pain Act at the beginning of the section on development, consistent with the 2013 Pro-Life Omnibus Bill championed by Texas Right to Life. Additionally, DSHS responded to a request to note that the abortionist is obligated to provide a sonogram 24 hours before the abortion, per the 2011 Sonogram Law.
Texas Right to Life thanks DSHS for resisting the ideologically motivated demands of the pro-abortion lobby. Prudently, health officials rejected multiple deceptive and malicious recommended changes to the booklet that would have undermined informed consent of Texas women.
The Woman’s Right to Know booklet is an important resource for women facing the life-altering decision of aborting their preborn children. Texas Right to Life approves of the positive changes that clarify and update information in the booklet. Most importantly, Texas women and their families will benefit from the updated and expanded Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory. Once women have received comprehensive and scientifically accurate information about their preborn children, they need information about the resources available to them to choose Life. DSHS’s addition of information concerning a woman’s right against coercion and the updated Resource Directory ensures that Texans will know about alternatives to abortion and have access to assistance and support.