Fulfilling the Promise of Roe: A Pathway for Meaningful Pre-Abortion Consultation
80 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2016 Last revised: 11 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 3, 2016
According to a 2014 poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the decision whether to have an abortion is one that should be left to a woman and her doctor. And this view is not surprising, for it is the one reflected in Roe v. Wade, which contemplated that an abortion decision would follow a robust discussion between a woman and her physician. An ob/gyn who provides a woman with regular care likely is best equipped to offer this type of consultation, but most ob/gyns do not perform abortions. Therefore, a physician who provides abortion services to a woman often will encounter her solely for that purpose, and it is unrealistic to expect that a simple intake form and a few questions will provide the depth of knowledge necessary for meaningful, patient-specific guidance. In light of these facts and consistent with the importance the Affordable Care Act places on primary care physicians in managing a person’s healthcare, this Article suggests that States adopt measures to facilitate consultation by a woman considering abortion with a physician whom she has chosen to provide her comprehensive care. The Article proposes model legislation designed both to achieve this end and to respect a woman’s constitutional rights.
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