August 22, 2012 — Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) "inane belief that women's bodies can somehow magically prevent pregnancy by rape is extreme, but it's not the only fantasy distorting the debate over abortion," a USA Today editorial states.
The editorial notes that "many state laws misinform women or twist medical evidence in order to scare them." For instance, laws in five states perpetuate the myth that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer, as part of "informed consent" laws that require women to receive certain information before an abortion. "Blatant falsehoods don't inform. They misinform," the editorial states.
Meanwhile, eight states falsely link abortion with a higher risk of mental health problems. "None of the eight requires discussion of potential psychological consequences of going through with an unwanted pregnancy," the editorial notes (USA Today, 8/21).