BuzzFeed News and other outlets are overreacting to and lying about Texas’ new abortion law, which effectively bans most abortions six weeks after conception.
“A 6-Week Abortion Ban Took Effect In Texas After The Supreme Court Didn’t Take Immediate Action To Stop It,” reads BuzzFeed News’ headline. The outlet blames the Supreme Court for not acting on an emergency petition filed Monday to block S.B. 8 from taking effect.
“The justices may still rule on the law, but just allowing it to go into effect, however briefly, marks a monumental shift in abortion rights in the United States,” BuzzFeed News’ article says. “Texas’s [S.B.] 8 makes abortion illegal once a heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around week 6. At that point, just two weeks after a missed period, many people may not even realize they’re pregnant.”
That’s false. The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days. For women in their 20s and early- to mid-30s, 80% of cycles last 21 to 45 days. In other words, contrary to BuzzFeed’s claim, only about 20% of women – not “many people” – may not realize they’re pregnant six weeks after conception. Even fewer than 20% of women would choose not to undergo a pregnancy test after a missed period.
But those facts don’t matter to BuzzFeed or HuffPost, either. The latter also lies about the facts of pregnancy, saying that six weeks is “a time at which many people don’t yet realize they’re pregnant.” It says so in a story entitled, “Supreme Court Allows Extreme Texas Abortion Ban To Go Into Effect.” HuffPost thus blames the Court for not taking an activist approach.
It also fearmongers about “the return of back-alley abortions.” So does Mic, saying that women wanting an abortion “will be forced to turn to unsafe methods.”
That’s also false. As HuffPost admits, such women can “travel to neighboring states — most likely Louisiana or Oklahoma — for the procedure.” Or they can put their children up for adoption.
Both HuffPost and Mic build to a crescendo of panicking about the law.
Mic says, “As organizations continue to fight Texas’s laws, the reality for people in need of abortion care in the Lone Star State is a grim one.”
HuffPost takes it one step further, citing a source who said, “Make no mistake, this law paves the way for anti-choice extremists to turn their dystopian vision into a horrifying reality – not just in Texas, but around the country.”