FOR THE PRESS
A POST-ROE TEXAS
A lack of federal protections for abortion nationally lead to additional abortion bans at the state level. These bans increase the threat of criminal prosecution for pregnant people and those helping others access abortion. It has forced some organizations and abortion funds to shift services, but TRA continues to pave the way for Reproductive Justice through policy advocacy, organizing, and outreach. We’ll continue to provide resources and support to those seeking reproductive care.
Don’t try to contact individuals who are crossing state lines to seek an abortion.
Do contact local abortion funds or reproductive rights organizations and give them more than 48 hours to reply.
Don’t ask for information about where, when, and how a person had an abortion.
Do give people space to tell their stories without asking for specific details that could put them at risk of criminalization. This includes asking for specific dates, travel methods, external financing, clinic information, and identities of individuals who accompanied the person or provided care.
Don’t visit a clinic on a day that they’re caring for patients.
Do contact the clinic one to two weeks before you plan to visit.
Don’t include quotes from anti-abortion extremists in articles about abortion access. This practice amplifies medically inaccurate misinformation and stigmatizes health care.
Do include perspectives from experts in the reproductive space—from providers to policymakers.
Do call out the harm perpetrated by the anti-abortion movement.
If you do give a platform to someone with extreme anti-abortion views, always include their personal or financial ties to extremist groups.
As you report on the state of abortion in Texas, follow the below guidelines
Much of the language used in mainstream reporting on reproductive health care mimics the rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement. These terms are often medically inaccurate and stigmatize abortion care. Follow the below guidelines to ensure you’re using abortion-forward language.
Euphemisms like "women's health care," "reproductive choice," etc.
"Health care" encompasses a range of medical care. Using euphemisms for the word abortion gives opposition control over the narrative. If the media isn’t willing to say “abortion,” it makes the term taboo rather than define what it is: essential health care.
Heartbeat bill or six-week ban
Near-total abortion ban
“Heartbeat” language is medically inaccurate because an embryo does not have a developed heart around six weeks gestation. The “heartbeat” is sporadic embryonic electrical activity and the sound itself is manufactured by the ultrasound machine (and only through a transvaginal ultrasound). “Six-week ban” is also inaccurate, since the pregnancy clock begins at the first day of the pregnant person’s last menstrual period (often before they are pregnant) and embryonic electrical activity can be detected before or after six weeks gestation. Many people do not even know they are pregnant at the six weeks gestation mark.
Late-term abortion, partial birth, or born alive
Abortion later in pregnancy or later abortion
“Late-term,” “partial birth,” and “born alive” are all medically inaccurate and harmful terms.
Coat hanger abortion, back-alley abortion, DIY abortion, chemical or medical abortion, or illegal abortion
Self-managed abortion, medication abortion, or abortion with pills
These terms are used to describe situations that are no longer primary experiences of people who manage their own abortions. Self-managed abortion with pills is FDA approved. The greatest risk associated with self-managing an abortion with pills (when taken as directed) is the criminalization of the pregnancy outcome—not a medical risk. Abortion is safe and it’s a human right, even in states where it’s banned.
Abortion provider or abortion care provider
Staff at abortion clinics are providers, not “abortionists.” They provide essential health care services to their patients.
Abortion migrants, other gendered language that excludes trans and nonbinary people