Woman's Right to Know

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NEW PROGRAM RULES, SOLICITATION OF STAKEHOLDER INPUT, AND NOTICE OF ANNUAL REVIEW PROCESS FOR “A Woman's Right to Know Information Material” BOOKLET (2/5/2013): 

NEW PROGRAM RULES: Effective December 20, 2012, the Texas Administrative Code has been amended to include rules for considering and making changes to the Woman’s Right to Know informational materials. The rules outline an annual review process and stakeholder input process for the “A Woman’s Right to Know Information Material” booklet content. The new rules can be accessed from the Texas Register Texas Administrative Code Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 1, Subchapter E, A Woman’s Right to Know, available online from here.  

SOLICITATION OF STAKEHOLDER INPUT:

DSHS is currently accepting input about suggested changes to the “A Woman's Right to Know Information Material” booklet. Please send any suggested changes by email to the Woman’s Right to Know stakeholder email box: WRTK@dshs.state.tx.us  with “Input” in the subject line. 

DSHS will consider stakeholder input when reviewing the materials to determine if changes to the booklet are needed. Input received before March 15, 2013 will be considered for the 2013 annual review period. Input received on or after March 15, 2013 will be accepted and reviewed for consideration for the next annual review period.  

Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to comment on any proposed revisions, as outlined in the annual review process. 

NOTICE OF ANNUAL REVIEW PROCESS: DSHS will review the “A Woman’s Right to Know Information Material” booklet each year to determine if changes to the content of the booklet are needed.  

DSHS will accept and review stakeholder input, including any suggested changes to the booklet, throughout the year. If changes are necessary to the booklet, DSHS will propose revisions based on current and relevant science and evidence-based literature, medical professional resources, and government health and medical resources. Reviewed literature and resources will be made available upon request. The booklet will also be reviewed to ensure that information on available assistance and services is current and that it is consistent with state and federal law. 

Proposed revisions to the booklet will be posted on this website. Stakeholders will also be notified through the Woman’s Right to Know stakeholder email distribution list. To be added to the Woman’s Right to Know stakeholder email distribution list, send an email to WRTK@dshs.state.tx.us with “Add Me” in the subject line.

Proposed revisions will be available for stakeholder comment for 30 days after posting. DSHS will consider comments provided by stakeholders that pertain to the proposed revisions. Revisions to the booklet will be guided by peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature, resources from professional medical organizations, and government health sources.  

At the conclusion of the annual review process, the revised edition of the booklet will be announced through the stakeholder email distribution list and on the website. The revised edition of the booklet will be posted to the DSHS Woman's Right To Know website and will be made available in print in English and in Spanish.

A Woman’s Right to Know Review Timeline

  • February 5, 2013 – Post notice of process on the DSHS Woman’s Right to Know (WRTK) website.
  • February 5, 2013 – Open the “WRTK Information Material” for stakeholder input (input will be accepted year-round).
  • March 15, 2013 – Collect comments to date and start review process.
  • June 2013 – Review and incorporate relevant actions from 83rd Legislature.
  • July 1, 2013 – Post first draft for public comment (comment period will be open for 30 days).
  • August, 2013 – Post first draft for public comment (comment period will be open for 30 days).
  • October 2013 – Revised materials released

     

     

UPDATE (2/6/2012): During the 2011 legislative session, Section 171.012 of the Health and Safety Code was amended to include additional requirements for women seeking abortions, physicians performing abortions as well as for the Texas Department of State Health Services. The related bill text, HB15, 82nd Legislature, Regular Session can be located here.

What this means: Texas law says your doctor must talk to you about certain things before you can have an abortion. After you get this information, your doctor must wait 24 hours before your abortion can be performed. The law also requires that you receive a sonogram from the doctor (or agent) who will be performing your abortion at least 24 hours before the abortion is to occur. If you live more than 100 miles away from the nearest abortion provider, you can waive this requirement, but you will still be required to have a sonogram by the doctor performing the abortion. It will need to occur at least 2 hours before the abortion, rather than 24 hours before.

Once you arrive at your doctor’s office, and before your sonogram, you will be asked to sign a sonogram/abortion election form. This form certifies that you are aware of the law and its requirements. The doctor will also give you materials to read. One of those materials should be the Resource Directory listed on this webpage.

During your sonogram, the doctor is required to display the sonogram images and make the heart beat audible. You may decline to view the images and listen to the heartbeat. The doctor must also provide a verbal explanation of the sonogram results. Only women who certify on the sonogram/abortion election form one of the following criteria can decline to hear the verbal explanation:

  • the pregnancy is a result of a sexual assault, incest, or other violation of the Penal Code that has been reported to law enforcement authorities or that has not been reported because she reasonably believes that to do so would put her at risk of retaliation resulting in serious bodily injury;
  • the woman is a minor and obtaining an abortion in accordance with judicial bypass procedures under Chapter 33, Family Code; or
  • the fetus has an irreversible medical condition or abnormality, as medically documented in the woman's medical file.

HB 15 requires DSHS to publish a comprehensive list of agencies in Texas that offer sonograms at no cost to the pregnant woman and do not affiliate with, refer to or provide abortion related services. The list below, A Woman’s Right to Know Sonogram List, meets this requirement. The list will be added to the existing A Woman’s Right to Know Resource Directory (online and print versions), pending completion of the rules revision process in response to House Bill 15, 82nd Legislature, Regular Session.

If your agency or organization meets the above requirements and you would like to be added to the Sonogram List or if you have additional questions, Contact Woman’s Right to Know or call 512-776-6917.

Sonogram List (English)

Sonogram List (Spanish)


During the 2003 session, the Texas Legislature passed the Woman's Right to Know Act (House Bill 15). Under this law:

  • A doctor who is to perform an abortion (or the doctor's agent) must tell the woman that benefits may be available to help with medical care before, during, and after childbirth.
  • The father is required to help support the child whether or not he has offered to pay for an abortion.
  • Government and private agencies can counsel the woman in preventing pregnancy, or refer her to a doctor for medications or devices to prevent pregnancy, including emergency contraception for victims of rape and incest.
  • The woman has the right to look at printed information. If she chooses to see the material the law describes, the doctor (or the doctor's agent) shall give her a copy at least 24 hours before the abortion is scheduled. The doctor (or agent) may instead mail her the materials, with delivery restricted to her, at least 72 hours before the abortion is scheduled.

Read the 2003 Woman's Right to Know Act

WRTK Resources

Download and / or print the Booklet or Directories

Download A Woman's Right To Know Booklet
(593K, PDF, viewing information)

Download A Woman's Right To Know Booklet
(593K, PDF, viewing information) (Spanish)

Download A Woman's Right To Know Resource Directory
(508K, PDF, viewing information)

Download A Woman's Right To Know Resource Directory
(508K, PDF, viewing information) (Spanish)

Download A Woman’s Right To Know Sonogram List (English)
(120K, PDF, viewing information)

Download A Woman’s Right To Know Sonogram List (Spanish)
(121K, PDF, viewing information)

Note: The A Woman’s Right to Know materials are reviewed annually and additional providers can be included in future printing by contacting Woman’s Right to Know

Order the Booklet or Resource Directory (Sonogram List not available for order)
Information Booklet – Stock # 1-450 English
Information Booklet – Stock # 1-450A - Spanish
Resource Directory – Stock #1-451 - English
Resource Directory – Stock # 1-451A - Spanish

Read WRTK online

Click here > Next Page - Introduction

Contact Woman's Right To Know

Department of State Health Services
Woman's Right to Know

P.O. Box 149347, Mail Code 1922

Austin, TX 78714-9347

(512) 776-6917 phone

(512) 776-7658 fax 

WRTK@dshs.state.tx.us

 

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to persons with disabilities.

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Last updated July 09, 2013