But in practice, when people want abortions in conservative states, these laws often force providers to recite speeches or hand patients materials rife with inaccuracies and sweeping ideological claims. Providers are left struggling to find creative ways to obey both the law and their vow to do no harm.“This interferes with medical ethics. This definitely feels really unethical for the state to require us to say these things,” Shah said. “It also interferes with the trust that I’m trying to establish between myself and the patient because the state’s having me say one thing, yet I’m telling them that it’s not entirely true.”READ: The families caught in the middle of the war over abortion after a down syndrome diagnosis.
“You’re stuck between telling a patient a lie but being compliant with the law, or being truthful but then not being compliant with the law.”
Under Texas law, abortion providers must offer that booklet, entitled “A Woman’s Right to Know,” to anyone who wants the procedure. It suggests that abortion is linked to infertility and breast cancer, and repeatedly refers to a fetus as a “baby.” And after reading it, Natale had her own opinion: “It’s just lies and junk. Just crazy stuff.”Nothing in there swayed Natale from getting the abortion. “As soon as I saw that I had a positive pregnancy test, I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.
“That was an intimidation effort, for sure, by the state.”