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Texas

Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delay

A woman may not receive abortion care until at least 24 hours after the attending or referring physician orally and in person in a private and confidential setting if the pregnant woman lives less than 100 miles from the nearest abortion provider or orally by telephone or in person if she lives 100 miles or more from the nearest abortion provider: (1) informs her of the probable gestational age of the "unborn child"; (2) describes the medical risks associated with the procedure, including, when medically accurate, infection, hemorrhage, breast cancer, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility; and (3) describes the risks of carrying the pregnancy to term.

In addition, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, the woman must receive a state-mandated lecture by the physician or physician's agent that must include:  (1) that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care; (2) that the "father" is liable for child support even if he has offered to pay for the abortion; and (3) that she has a right to review state-prepared materials that describe the "unborn child" and list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion.

The state-prepared materials must:  (1) describe the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at two-week gestational increments, including the possibility of survival; (2) describe the medical risks associated with the procedure and with carrying a pregnancy to term; (3) state that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care and that the "father" is liable for child support even if he has offered to pay for an abortion; and (4) provide a comprehensive list of public and private agencies and services, including adoption agencies, available to assist the woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent or provide a toll-free 24-hour hotline that can be called to obtain such a list.  If the woman chooses to review the materials, she may not obtain an abortion until at least 24 hours after she has been given the materials in person or 72 hours after the materials have been mailed to her.

The state-prepared materials must be available on the state health department's website.

Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. §§ 171.011 to .016 (Enacted 2003, Last Amended 2011).

Additionally, the state-prepared materials must include enlarged color photographs of fetuses.  Tex. Dep't. of Health, A Woman's Right to Know, (2003).


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