Texas Woman’s Right to Know Act (HB 15)
This law was last updated on Jan 10, 2014
The Women’s Right to Know Act requires abortions performed at or after the 16th week of pregnancy to be performed in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical center. It also requires that doctors must inform the woman of the name of the doctor who will perform the abortion, the medical risks associated with the procedure, the probable gestational age of the fetus and the medical risks of carrying a pregnancy to term.
In particular, the physician is required to warn women of “the possibility of increased risk of breast cancer following an induced abortion and the natural protective effect of a completed pregnancy in avoiding breast cancer” even though such an increase in risk is not supported by medical research. The law also requires a physician to warn women that abortion threatens future fertility even though that is also not supported by medical research.
The law also requires the physician performing the abortion (or the physician’s agent) to inform the woman that: (1) specified types of medical assistance benefits may be available to her; (2) the father is liable for child support; (3) public and private agencies provide pregnancy prevention counseling and referrals for obtaining birth control, including emergency contraceptives for victims of rape and incest; and (4) she has the right to view printed state materials, which are also accessible on the Internet, describing the fetus and listing agencies that offer abortion alternatives.
This information must be given to the woman by telephone or in person at least 24 hours before the abortion.
The law further requires that the woman certify in writing that the information has been provided and that she has been provided an opportunity to review the printed state materials.
The law states that the physician and the physician ’s agent may disassociate themselves from the materials and may choose to comment on the materials or to refrain from commenting.
The intentional performance of an abortion in violation of the law constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.
Codified at Texas Health & Safety Code § 171.001, et seq.