Kansas and Oklahoma are among the worst states passing abortion restrictions that conflict with scientific evidence, according to a new report released today by the Guttmacher Institute. In response to these findings, Trust Women, a leading pro-choice and reproductive justice nonprofit with clinics in Kansas and Oklahoma, announced today the launch of a state-focused Lies into Laws education campaign to highlight the staggering number of abortion restrictions based on lies that prevent women from accessing reproductive care.
Guttmacher’s analysis focuses on 10 abortion restriction categories that lack a foundation in rigorous science. Among the highest-offending states, Kansas is tied for first place with restrictions in place in eight of the categories considered, and Oklahoma is tied for second, with restrictions in place in seven of the categories. These restrictions include: mandatory delays, 20-week bans and unscientific state-mandated biased counseling, among others. The laws in Kansas and Oklahoma negatively affect 1.3 million women of reproductive age.
“As one of the only remaining providers in the area, we witness firsthand the critical harm that these laws are doing to women in Kansas and Oklahoma — particularly in underserved communities,” said Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women. “The state leadership in Kansas and Oklahoma have decided that deceiving women is permissible as long as it means they can advance their anti-abortion agenda, but our women deserve better. There is no place for lies in health care, and it’s time we hold these leaders accountable.”
Trust Women is partnering with the National Partnership for Women & Families as part of a multi-state Lies into Laws effort also rolling out in Louisiana and Texas. These four states are among those that lead the nation in the Guttmacher Institute’s analysis of abortion restrictions that conflict with science. In total, the abortion restrictions in place in these four states affect nearly 8 million women of reproductive age. These state campaigns bring together reproductive rights partners at the local level to show how these restrictions are harming women. Additional partners include Texas Freedom Network Education Fund and Lift Louisiana.
“Across the country, politicians are using lies about abortion to pass laws that make it difficult or even impossible for women to access abortion care,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president at the National Partnership. “We’re excited to launch this multi-state effort with partners like Trust Women to call out politicians in these states and gets lies out of abortion policy.”
Last year, the National Partnership released its own data showing more than 70 percent of abortion restrictions introduced in just the first two months of 2016 were based on lies. In 2016, the National Partnership ran state-based Lies to Laws campaigns in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information about how abortion opponents are turning lies into laws, visit LiesIntoLaws.org/In-the-States.