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Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delays


Women seeking abortion care shouldn’t face judgment, shame or unnecessary delays in accessing that care, and nobody should be lied to about their health care.

We trust women to make the reproductive-health-care decisions that are best for themselves and their families. That includes the decision to have an abortion. Women seeking abortion care shouldn’t face judgment, shame or unnecessary delays in accessing that care, and nobody should be lied to about their health care.

Anti-choice lawmakers think they know what’s right for every woman. They force their opinions on women seeking abortion care by requiring doctors to give patients anti-choice propaganda full of inaccuracies about pregnancy and the dangers of abortion.

These laws are insulting to women—implying they can’t make decisions for themselves—and intrude on the doctor-patient relationship.

Anti-choice politicians also have passed laws that force women to wait before having an abortion. These laws usually require patients to make one visit to the doctor and then wait at least 24 hours before they can go back to have the procedure.

Biased counseling and mandatory delay laws are usually paired. Politicians say they want to make sure women have time to think about their decision, but make no mistake: These laws are really about shaming women and making it harder to access abortion.

Mandatory delay laws disproportionately affect low-income people and those in rural areas. Many families live hours from the nearest abortion clinic. Attending just one appointment at a clinic often means taking time off work (frequently without pay), finding child care, and making a long and expensive journey by car or bus. Mandating a delay and a second appointment further increases the costs, lost wages and time involved. It also leads women to have abortions later in pregnancy, which can carry greater risk as well as cost.

Like any other patient, a woman considering abortion should receive full and unbiased information from her doctor about her medical options. She should not be subjected to biased propaganda and be forced to wait unnecessarily before accessing the health care she needs.

Fact Sheets


Congress Should Not Legitimize the Mythical “Post-Abortion Syndrome”
The Safety of Legal Abortion and the Hazards of Illegal Abortion
The Women’s Health Protection Act: Reclaiming a Woman’s Right to Choose
More Reports & Fact Sheets

Current State Laws: Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delays


These states have laws that subject women seeking abortion services to biased-counseling requirements and/or mandatory delays.

I had to decide whether to go back to work soon after giving birth, or quit my job to give myself time to recover and ensure my newborn's well being.

Kristin Şekerci
/
NARAL Member
Read more

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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