A woman's right to know: A policy review of abortion legislation in Texas
Introduction: Despite its legalization, abortion remains a controversial issue, one that has many divided on either side of the political spectrum. While there have been several changes made to abortion policy over the past few decades, one that continues to have many asking questions is the Woman’s Right to Know Act, a piece of state imposed abortion legislation that has implemented strict restrictions and requirements of women seeking abortion, including pre-abortion mandatory counseling and a 24 hour waiting period. This project analyzed four controversial components of the mandatory counseling materials in Texas in an attempt to examine the scientific validity behind this legislation. Methods: In order to understand the scientific validity behind the content of the preabortion mandatory counseling, I conducted a systematic literature review to analyze: the purported link between abortion and breast cancer, the existence of fetal pain, the risk of abortion to future fertility, and the negative psychological effects of abortion. An electronic search in EBSCO and PubMed of review articles published between 1995 and 2010 resulted in fourteen reviews. Results: Results of the systematic review found (1) inconclusive evidence suggesting a link between abortion and breast cancer, (2) that fetal pain likely does not occur until the third trimester of pregnancy, (3) that associations exist between induced abortion and subsequent preterm birth and placenta previa, and (4) that there is mixed evidence relating to the negative psychological effects that exist among women having had an abortion and those who have not had abortion. Conclusion: Based on these conclusions, a recommendation was made to revise the current state mandated counseling materials to reflect more accurate and scientifically-based information about abortion and its potential risks.^
Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
"A woman's right to know: A policy review of abortion legislation in Texas"
(January 1, 2011).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).