Fix inaccurate abortion info

Daily Editorial Board

New research suggests that, nationally, one-third of information in state-produced booklets given to women seeking abortions is medically inaccurate.
 
 
Researchers observed a tendency for the booklets to exaggerate the size and development of fetuses in the early stages of pregnancy as well as provide misinformation about the risks and long-term side effects of abortions.
 
 
The Rutgers University study examined 23 states with “Woman’s Right to Know” laws, which require doctors to provide patients considering abortions with materials explaining risks associated with the procedure.
 
 
A panel of fetal development experts deemed about one-fifth of the information in Minnesota Department of Health pamphlets to be incorrect. This percentage was on the lower side for states included in the study.
 
 
However, MDH’s pamphlet hasn’t changed since the department scrambled to put it together in 2003, basing it on other states’ booklets — including those in Kansas, where pamphlets have a 43.4 percent rate of inaccuracy. 
 
 
Minnesota officials said it could be at least three to six months before an updated pamphlet is ready.
 
 
Women weighing abortion face a contentious choice. In Minnesota, they also face difficulties accessing the procedure. The state houses more than 20 crisis pregnancy centers, but only five large clinics actually offer the procedure.
 
 
Facing unplanned pregnancies puts women in a vulnerable position. They deserve accurate information from their doctors and their government. We find the rate of inaccuracy in our state’s pamphlets appalling, and we urge MDH to hasten its work to fix these mistakes.