Controversial Texas abortion booklet should be given to immigrant minors nationwide, agency says

By: Jackie Wang, The Dallas Morning News, May 1, 2018

AUSTIN — Members of Congress are pushing back after shelters across the country were instructed to share a controversial Texas brochure about abortion with the immigrant children in their care.

In an April 20 email, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, directed its shelters to provide minors in their custody with “A Woman’s Right to Know.” Texas’ health department created the booklet, which abortion providers are required to give patients 24 hours before the procedure.

It outlines gestational stages, abortion risks and alternative services such as adoption. The booklet was revised in December 2016 to include research linking abortions to breast cancer, which has been refuted.

Four members of Congress objected Monday to the “forced dissemination of a highly deceptive anti-abortion brochure.”

Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and California Democrats Zoe Lofgren and Barbara Lee said in a joint statement that sharing the Texas brochure nationwide would be lying to children in federal custody because medical experts dispute some of the risks it associates with abortion, and because some of the information is specific to Texas.

For example, not all states require a sonogram and a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion.

They called for the removal of Office of Refugee Resettlement director Scott Lloyd for his “unhinged and unethical rules and procedures.”

The Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit ethics watchdog group, has asked the inspector general of the health department to investigate Lloyd, pointing to instances in which he tried to dissuade minors in his custody from getting an abortion.

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