Fulfilling the Promise of Roe: A Pathway for Meaningful Pre-Abortion Consultation

80 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2016 Last revised: 11 Mar 2016

See all articles by Thomas Molony

Thomas Molony

Elon University School of Law

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.

Suggested Citation

Molony, Thomas, Fulfilling the Promise of Roe: A Pathway for Meaningful Pre-Abortion Consultation (February 3, 2016). Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 65, Issue 4, Forthcoming, Elon University Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2727190 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2727190

Thomas Molony (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States
336-279-9284 (Phone)
336-279-8199 (Fax)

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