A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE
TO INFORMED CONSENT
REGULATIONS FOR ABORTION

The Satanic Abortion Ritual and Informed Consent
Introduction to Informed Consent

Informed consent for an abortion process encompasses both prerequisite procedures and a doctor’s information that is given to patients regarding abortion processes altogether. What constitutes one giving their informed consent, however, varies from state to state. Some states elaborately map the different phraseology doctors must use and prewrite language into the written materials provided to patients; other states absorb the informed consent process for abortion under their general medical procedure laws. In the latter cases, state legislatures may indicate that freedom to choose either to continue or terminate a pregnancy remains an individual’s decision.

Research Methods

The following information was gathered from current abortion statutes as provided by each state’s legislature websites, from reading materials that states publish regarding their unique abortion process, and from the informed consent forms provided by clinics when publicly available on their websites. Some information, such as the reading materials or the informed consent forms, may not be publicly available, depending on the state and/or clinic. In these instances, clinics only distribute such information to patients seeking an abortion. The following information defaults to the rules and regulations each state legislation provides and is elaborated upon alongside other state source materials.

The Satanic Abortion Ritual

The Satanic Temple has announced that its religious abortion ritual exempts TST members from enduring medically unnecessary and unscientific regulations when seeking to terminate a pregnancy. This exemption only applies to states that have enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). TST members and those sharing our deeply-held beliefs who choose to perform our ritual are not required to undergo mandatory waiting periods, be forced to view sonograms, affirm inaccurate information about abortions, or fulfill other state demands that require them to violate their deeply-held beliefs of bodily autonomy and scientifically-reasoned personal choice. Because these prerequisite procedures contravene Satanists’ religious convictions, those who perform the religious abortion ritual—which involves the recitation of TST’s Third and Fifth Tenets and a personal affirmation ceremoniously intertwined with the abortion—are exempt from fulfilling these requirements and can receive first-trimester abortions on demand.

States often root their informed consent statutes in regulations that serve no medical purpose, do not offer better outcomes when performed, and assert scientifically-inaccurate information. RFRA legislation exempts Satanists from complying with any informed consent statute that forces them to undermine their sincerely-held religious beliefs. Informed consent requirements vary from state to state, so it is essential to understand the objections a Satanist can make in the state in which they enact the ritual. Such knowledge ensures that Satanists can authentically practice the religious abortion ritual in deference to Satanic beliefs.

The Medically-Necessary Steps to the Informed Consent Process

The necessary informed consent components for an abortion procedure include the medical disclosures of taking abortion medication or obtaining surgery to terminate a pregnancy. Doctors should carefully describe each abortion method to patients, including expected side effects and potential risks for a particular abortion procedure. Common disclosures of risks include the possibility of infection, heavy bleeding, the continuation of a pregnancy, any reaction to medications, blood clotting problems, a tear in the cervix or uterus, or injury to nearby organs and the bowel. A patient may also need a second surgery, such as a hysterectomy, if certain complications arise. As with any type of medical procedure, doctors must disclose to patients that death is possible. However, life-threatening complications are rare with abortions and are even less probable than the instances of complications that may arise with the continuation of a pregnancy. These disclosures are accompanied by information about post-procedure care, including complications for which a patient may need further treatment.

Upon starting the informed consent process, doctors must confirm that patients are good medical candidates to undergo an abortion. Medical examinations performed at this stage are qualitatively equivalent to a receiving blood test before an appendectomy. Gathering one’s medical history and taking the patient’s common vitals are routinely performed to ensure patient health. Doctors must perform a pregnancy test to confirm the presence of fetal tissue. Doctors may want to perform an ultrasound prior to the abortion procedure. Sonograms performed to confirm the fetus’s gestational age and to affirm that the pregnancy is located inside the uterus are considered medically necessary. The fetus’s size affects which abortion method is most safe to use, and those who have an ectopic pregnancy are not considered medically-appropriate candidates for an abortion. In some cases, blood tests are used to confirm a patient’s blood type. If a patient’s blood test reveals that they are Rh-negative, they may have to obtain another medication called Rhogam prior to an abortion so that any conflict between the blood type of the patient and fetal tissue does not harm the patient post-procedure. Routine STD testing may also be conducted depending on the individual clinic.

These disclosures about the abortion process and prerequisite medical procedures are necessary for an abortion to ensure the health and safety of the patient and are performed by all abortion clinics for all abortion candidates. Patients must have proper information for what to expect during the procedure, how best to perform post-procedure care, and what to do and who to contact if unexpected side effects appear.

Unnecessary and Unscientific Additions to the Informed Consent Process

States commonly force clinics to add superfluous steps to the informed consent process and include unnecessary and unscientific information in their written materials so that a patient is dissuaded from obtaining an abortion. For every patient, inclusions of this nature offer no apparent medical benefit compared to states that do not require these procedures.

As Satanists believe in bodily autonomy and scientifically-reasoned personal choice, The Satanic Temple religiously objects to the following procedures and inclusions of information because they delay and inhibit the abortion ritual’s sincere practice.

Procedural Objections
  • Mandatory Waiting Periods
  • Many states require that a patient waits a certain number of hours between the initial consultation with the doctor and obtaining the actual abortion procedure. Waiting periods range from 18 to 72 hours, often necessitating two distinct clinic visits. This causes an increase in incurred expenses and time off of work or school to accommodate a state’s waiting period mandate.

    Satanic Exemption: The patient receives no tangible medical benefit from a waiting period. The waiting period is only designed to instill guilt and shame for a patient’s decision, and the process delays and, therefore, inhibits a Satanist’s ability to practice the religious abortion ritual.

  • Being Offered to View the Sonogram and/or Hear the Fetal Tone
  • When an ultrasound is performed in some states, doctors may be mandated to offer patients an opportunity to view the sonogram’s image and hear the fetal tone. Patients may accept or decline these offers.

    Satanic Exemption: The imposition of this law poses no medical benefit. When a doctor removes an inflamed appendix, they do not typically save it and show it to the patient upon waking from anesthesia. The primary reason for this law is to instill guilt and shame as based on a state’s arbitrary, religious position that fetal tissue is human life. Under TST’s Third and Fifth Tenet, laws suggesting fetal tissue is separate from the person carrying it, and requirements that Satanists fulfill laws serving no medical purpose violates TST’s religious beliefs.

  • Being Forced to View the Sonogram and/or Hear the Fetal Tone
  • When an ultrasound is performed in some states, the legislature may mandate that doctors position images in patient view and audibly play the fetal tone. It is generally not relayed to patients in such circumstances that they may avert their attention, implying it is a requirement to see the sonogram or hear the fetal tone with no logical indication otherwise.

    Satanic Exemption: The same reasoning from above applies to this instance. With this law’s imposition, Satanists have no choice but to endure a medically-unnecessary procedure rooted in the arbitrary position that fetal tissue constitutes human life. For Satanists, to be forced to affirm and endure the state’s arbitrarily-defined position is a violation of the Third and Fifth Tenet.

  • Being Forced or Offered to Hear A Description of the Sonogram
  • Some states require that doctors offer patients a thorough description of the sonogram image. Such descriptions may include but are not limited to: the position of the fetus inside the uterus, the presence of a fetal tone, the number of fetuses, any fetal anomalies, the presence of internal and external fetal organs, and the anatomical characteristics of the fetus.

    Satanic Exemption: While it is routine and necessary for a doctor to confirm the pregnancy’s gestational period through using a sonogram, such descriptions of the sonogram serve no medical purpose for the information regarding a Satanist’s ability to undergo an abortion. The description is designed to dissuade a person from undergoing an abortion by forcing Satanists to contextualize this information as evidence of fetal tissue being human life, which conflicts with their religious beliefs. This information violates the Third and Fifth Tenets and inhibits the authentic practice of the abortion ritual.

  • Compulsory Burial or Cremation of Fetal Remains
  • In some instances, states may require that expelled fetal tissue is either buried or cremated upon removal. Often, patients incur costs for these services.

    Satanic Exemption: Satanists believe that non-viable fetal tissue is part of the person who carries it. As such, state impositions of ceremonial requirements dictating its disposal, barring any plausible medical or sanitary concerns, violates a Satanist’s ability to contextualize the termination of a pregnancy on their terms with deference to their own religious beliefs.

  • Psychological Evaluations
  • Some states require doctors to perform a psychological evaluation of patients prior to abortion procedures. In these instances, doctors gather information about the personal history of the patient to determine in what cases they would have emotional trauma and familial or social difficulties if they undergo an abortion. Doctors must determine these “risk factors” and inform the patient of their possible shortcomings.

    Satanic Exemption: It is in contravention to religious liberty laws for the government to determine a person’s ability or readiness to partake in religious rituals. In addition, any psychological evaluation delaying the abortion procedure is medically unnecessary for pregnancy termination and implies arbitrary opinions that may conflict with a Satanist’s beliefs regarding the context of the religious abortion ritual.

Informational Objections
  • Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
  • As a stipulation of informed consent in some states, doctors must inform patients that abortion procedures may cause an increased risk of breast cancer. This information may also be asserted in the state-prepared reading materials and on informed consent forms.

    Satanic Exemption: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Cancer Society, the Collaborative Group of Hormonal Experts in Breast Cancer, and the US National Cancer Institute, among other research institutions, all agree that spontaneous or induced abortion does not increase one’s risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, this fact is “well established” among the scientific community. Forcing Satanists to acknowledge and affirm this fictional clause as fact violates the Fifth Tenet’s affirmation of the best available science, and this information undermines the sincerity of the abortion ritual.

  • Life Begins at Conception
  • Some states may include information in their reading materials and informed consent forms, or require that practitioners verbally tell patients, that “life begins at conception” and/or that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

    Satanic Exemption: The idea that life begins at conception is an arbitrary, pseudoscientific position that is rooted in foreign religious doctrine. As Satanists regard fetal tissue as part of the person who carries it, a Satanist may disregard the current or future condition of fetal tissue when making medical decisions that affect their own body. To force a Satanist to regard fetal tissue as the undeniable equivalent to human life contravenes the TST’s values of bodily autonomy and the value of science.

  • Detrimental Psychological Effects
  • The ranges of emotional reactions to an abortion are something to consider. However, some states mandate that patients be informed in written materials and/or verbally by a doctor that an abortion poses a risk of detrimental psychological effects, which include but are not limited to depression, suicide, suicidal ideation, lethargy, and decreased sexual function.

    Satanic Exemption: It is commonly accepted among the scientific community that undergoing an abortion does not increase one’s risk to experiencing detrimental psychological effects. The American Psychological Association has concluded that obtaining an abortion does not pose a psychological hazard for most women. According to Planned Parenthood’s fact sheet, which cites information from various peer-reviewed studies from the scientific community, “The highest quality studies have indicated few, if any, differences in mental health between women who had abortions and those who did not.” For a state to mandate that a patient must be told anything other than verifiably-correct medical information is a violation of Satanic beliefs.

  • The Exaggeration of an Increased Possibility of Infertility
  • Many states require the disclosure that having an abortion tangibly increases one’s chances both of infertility and of problems with future pregnancies. The language often used poses infertility and issues with subsequent pregnancies as a real and imminent threat of an abortion.

    Satanic Exemption: A rare post-procedure infection of the fallopian tubes and ovaries called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) after an abortion can be treated with antibiotics. The National Health Service states that such an infection poses a threat to one’s fertility only when it is left untreated by a medical professional. Any responsible practitioner would treat the patient with antibiotics before the infection reaches that stage. Therefore, as PID is rare in the first place, infertility and issues with future pregnancies are not a large concern with doctors who competently understand one’s health and adequately treat their patients. For a state to mandate that a patient must be told anything other than verifiably-correct medical information is a violation of Satanic beliefs.

  • Fetal Pain Can Occur at Less Than 24 Weeks
  • Some states require that patients be informed, either by the doctor or in written materials, that the fetus may feel pain at less than 24 weeks of gestational age. False claims about when the fetus can start to feel pain range from 16 to 22 weeks of gestational age. Some states require patients over a certain gestational period to sign a “fetal pain checklist” where they must acknowledge certain misleading and unscientific characteristics of the fetal nervous system at this stage of pregnancy.

    Satanic Exemption: No medical basis exists to the claim that the fetus can feel pain at less than 24 weeks of gestational age. Live Science reported that studies from various sources have concluded that the neurons connecting the spinal cord to the brain’s pain receptors do not develop until 23 to 24 weeks, making it impossible to experience pain earlier. Some experts even suggest that a fetus cannot consciously perceive a stimulus as pain until the 27th week of gestation. Claims that a fetus can feel pain at any time prior to 24 weeks of gestation have no basis in reality, and for a state to mandate that patients be told anything other than verifiably-correct medical information is a violation of Satanic beliefs.

  • Possibility That a Medical Abortion Can Be Reversed
  • Some states require that patients be told either by a doctor or through state-mandated written materials that medical abortions can be reversed if the patient has only taken the first mifepristone pill. This clause may contain a list of agencies patient can contact if they decide to seek medication to reverse their abortions.

    Satanic Exemption: The medical abortion reversal process is extremely dangerous. Firstly, the medical abortion reversal procedure poses extreme danger to the health and well being of the patient. The Washington Post reported a study about medical abortion reversals that had to be cut short before its completion because many of the patients that received the abortion reversal treatment were sent to the hospital for extreme, life-threatening hemorrhaging. Secondly, it is commonly accepted among the scientific community that upon the first dose of medical abortion medication, deciding to carry the pregnancy to term would often result in threateningly severe defects to the fetus. According to The Washington Post, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards.” For a state to mandate that patients be told anything other than verifiably-correct medical information, especially when such information is dangerous to the well-being of the patient, is a violation of Satanic beliefs.

  • Being Offered Lists of Alternatives to Abortion, Including Adoption and Parenting, Childbirth, Neonatal, and Perinatal Hospice Services
  • In many instances, states require that patients receive information regarding alternatives to abortion, which includes information about carrying a pregnancy to term and parenting or placing the subsequent child up for adoption. This information is often accompanied by the availability of a geographically-indexed list of all of the childbirth, adoption, and neonatal agencies in the state that provide services to those seeking abortions, sometimes free of charge. In some states, if the doctor identifies the fetus as having a lethal anomaly, the doctor must provide resources to the patient about perinatal hospice services, which also includes an index of agencies throughout the state that provide such assistance.

    Satanic Exemption: When a Satanist declares that they are undergoing the religious abortion ritual, they are invoking their religious rights to practice their beliefs free from state interference. A Satanist decides to invoke the religious ritual as an expression of their deeply-held beliefs, so the assertion that there are alternatives to undergoing the religious ritual contravenes religious liberty laws and violates a Satanist’s right to exercise their religion without unnecessary and undue burden from the state.

  • Language Indicating that the Fetus is a Separate Entity from the Pregnant Person
  • Often the language in state legislature, reading materials, and informed consent forms may refer to the fetus as a “child”, “unborn child” and/or a “baby”. In some instances, the pregnant patient may be called a “mother.”

    Satanic Exemption: Under the Third Tenet, Satanists regard fetal tissue as part of the person who carries it. Language that constitutes fetal tissue as human life violates a Satanist’s ability to contextualize their abortion in deference to their religious beliefs of bodily autonomy.

Statutes
  • Alabama
  • Alabama requires a waiting period of 24 hours where a patient will be given a set of reading materials and will be offered an optional counseling video entitled, “Did You Know?” The mandatory reading materials will cover the gestational stages of the fetus up to 38 weeks with images and developmental characteristics, abortion methods and medically-associated risks, and the array of emotional reactions. The materials will provide information about adoption and its benefits as an alternative to abortion, information about paternal responsibility, birth control methods, the possibility of the decreased ability to have children with repeat abortions, and information about carrying the pregnancy to term. Doctors will assert some of this information in person, as well. Alabama also asserts in their reading materials that the state strongly urges patients to call adoption agencies (with the directory that will be offered to the patient) before making a decision. An ultrasound where the practitioner offers the patient to view the sonogram must be performed. State legislation uses language that refers to the fetus as an “unborn child.” A near-total abortion ban, proposed in 2019, is temporarily blocked as of the date of this publication.

  • Alaska
  • While no waiting period exists, patients in Alaska must engage in the informed consent process through Alaska’s Department of Health's website and print a signature page for submission to the clinic that acknowledges they have read the state-prepared materials before being permitted an abortion. The information provided on the website will also be discussed in person with the patient and doctor. Information included in the written materials pertains to various gestational periods of the fetus with associated characteristics from fertilization to 38 weeks of gestational age with options to view fetal images at every stage. Included information also concerns the risks of pregnancy, emotional and logistical information about carrying a pregnancy to term, the risks of drug use during pregnancy, the importance of establishing paternity, abortion methods and associated risks, the array of emotional reactions to abortion, and birth control methods. The information concludes with a directory of state-prepared resources regarding adoption and behavioral health services. Certain information on this informed consent website asserts the possibility of a breast cancer link, although it concedes that more research is required. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child”.

  • Arizona
  • Arizona requires a waiting period of 24 hours during which patients will be offered a set of reading materials. The reading materials contain images for various gestational stages of the fetus and associated developmental characteristics for every two weeks of gestational age up to 40 weeks. The reading materials also cover the process of obtaining informed consent -- including the affirmation that the patient will receive counseling and an ultrasound -- along with information about abortion methods and associated complications. The materials also discuss the emotional reactions to abortion (although they heavily focus on the negative emotions), assert the possibility of infertility, include information about carrying a pregnancy to term, and conclude with information about child support and neonatal services with an offered directory. Much of this information will also be reasserted by a doctor. Medical information provided to patients also inaccurately asserts that a medical abortion can be reversed. An ultrasound must be performed in which patients are offered to view the image, hear an explanation of the sonogram, and listen to the fetal heartbeat. Language refers to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Arkansas
  • Arkansas requires a waiting period of 48 hours, during which patients will be given a set of mandatory reading materials and an informational DVD. These reading materials discuss the possibility that a fetus may feel pain at 20 weeks of gestational age. The materials include information and images about the gestational stages of the fetus and associated developmental characteristics for every two weeks of gestational age up to 36 weeks. Also included are methods and associated risks of various types of abortions, the possibility of an abortion reversal if the second pill of the abortion medication is not taken, mostly negative emotional reactions to abortion that center around making hard life choices, the medical risk of childbirth, and paternal responsibility. An opportunity is extended for patients to review an index of adoption and child care services throughout the state. In addition to signing an informed consent form, patients at 20 weeks of gestational age or more are required to sign a form acknowledging that fetal pain exists at this stage and that they have been offered the opportunity to view the state-prepared fetal pain materials. This information will also be verbally reiterated to a patient by a doctor. In addition, perinatal hospice services are also available to the patient upon request. Language in the reading materials often refers to the fetus as an “unborn child” and, in some cases, a “baby.” If a sonogram is performed, which it generally is, the doctor must offer the patient an opportunity to view the sonogram images.

  • California
  • California does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By the discretion of the clinics, patients will be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks. Legislature indicates that the state may not interfere with a patient’s right to obtain an abortion prior to viability.

  • Colorado
  • Colorado does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks.

  • Connecticut
  • Connecticut does not require a waiting period, nor does the state require any specific disclosures mandated by law. That said, clinics will provide patients with information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure. Legislature indicates that the decision to terminate the pregnancy is solely that of the patient and the patient alone, provided that the physician deems it medically safe to perform the procedure.

  • Delaware
  • Delaware does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks.

  • Florida
  • Florida’s waiting period is no longer in effect. Patients must be offered state-prepared reading materials that discuss the gestational development of the fetus, accompanied by pictures at various stages of pregnancy, as well as a list of agencies offering support for alternatives to pregnancy, and detailed information about the medical assistance benefits for prenatal, neonatal and childbirth care. As part of the informed consent process, patients will be informed by the attending physician about the risks of the proposed abortion procedure. Doctors must perform an ultrasound and communicate the fetus’ gestational age to patients. Patients are offered a description of the ultrasound and an opportunity to view the image.

  • Georgia
  • Georgia requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which patients will be offered the opportunity to view state-prepared reading materials. The introduction to these reading materials restates Georgia’s law, which will be further reiterated in this section. This is followed by descriptions of the gestational development of the fetus, accompanied by pictures, for every two weeks until the end of the pregnancy. It also includes relevant information about the projected survival of the fetus at various stages of pregnancy. The reading materials transition into various abortion methods and their associated medical risks and side effects. In addition, the materials assert that the fetus is able to feel pain at 20 weeks gestation and that anesthesia is available for the fetus at this stage to alleviate such pain. Paternal responsibility and resources for medical assistance and for the alternatives to abortion, such as adoption and parenting, are provided. The materials focus on a range of emotional side effects, heavily focusing on the possibility of a negative psychological reaction. It is also suggested that counseling prior to an abortion might alleviate one’s stress. The reading materials end with the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term and a list of agencies that assist patients in their pregnancy. An additional list of agencies that provide alternatives to abortion is also available. Much of this information will be verbally reiterated by an attending physician. A sonogram must be performed in which the doctor offers the patient an opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat and view sonogram images. Regardless, a doctor is required to tell a patient if there is a detectable fetal tone. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child” and the pregnant patient as a “mother.”

  • Hawaii
  • Hawaii does not require a waiting period, nor does the state require any specific disclosures mandated by law. That said, patients will be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedures. Legislature indicates that the decision to terminate the pregnancy is solely the patient’s, and the state may not pass legislation to interfere or deny a patient’s right to choose the outcome of a pregnancy.

  • Idaho
  • Idaho requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients are given a set of mandatory reading materials. On the first page of the reading materials, the state declares that they “prefer, by all legal means, live childbirth over abortion.” The materials then discuss the various methods of abortion and their associated medical risks. One sentence says when talking about labor induction that the “medications will cause the death of the human fetus.” Emotional effects of an abortion are discussed, with an emphasis on obtaining counseling to quell negative feelings prior to obtaining an abortion. The medical risks and emotional outcomes of childbirth and adoption are also discussed. Much of this information will be reiterated by the attending physician. If the doctor performs an ultrasound to confirm the gestational age of the fetus, the doctor must offer the patient an opportunity to view the image and listen to the fetal heartbeat. The doctor must also inform the patient that fetal imaging services are provided for free at many locations around the state and must offer to provide an index of these services to the patient. Language in the reading materials refers to the fetus as a “human fetus” while state legislation refers to it as an “unborn child.”

  • Illinois
  • Illinois does not require a waiting period. Patients will be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedures by the clinics. The legislature indicates that the decision to terminate the pregnancy is solely up to the patient, and the state may not pass legislation to interfere or deny a patient’s right to choose the outcome of their pregnancy.

  • Indiana
  • Indiana requires a waiting period of 18 hours, during which patients will be given a set of reading materials. The reading materials assert the availability of fetal heart tone and ultrasound services, that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” and discusses the developmental characteristics, accompanied by pictures, of the fetus every two weeks until the fetus is full-term. Fetal viability at varying gestational ages is discussed, as well as the inclusion of the Indiana statute that states, “Childbirth is preferred, encouraged, and supported over abortion.” Methods of abortion and their varying medical risks, including stressing the risk of infertility and the risks of death with abortion, are included. Pregnancy risks are briefly discussed. Counseling materials indicate that the fetus, once passed, must have a cemetery burial or cremation, and it asserts that a clinic will provide patients with a form announcing the availability of counseling after an abortion. Responsibilities of the biological father, plus information on adoption and the Safe Haven Statutes, are discussed, as well as the availability of medical assistance benefits made available for post-birth services. An ultrasound will be performed prior to an abortion, and patients must be offered an opportunity to view the sonogram, take the image home with them, and hear the fetal tone. Patients will be required to sign a separate ultrasound form certifying provision of these opportunities.

  • Iowa
  • Iowa requires a 72-hour waiting period, during which patients will be given state prepared reading materials. The materials include an index of prenatal, adoption and childbirth services throughout the state. In addition, the materials will explain the benefits to adoption and the fact that the state objectively prefers adoption over abortion. The last component discusses the various abortion methods with their associated risks and side effects, as well as the possibility of “detrimental psychological effects” regarding abortion. Attending physicians are required to reiterate this information to patients, including descriptions of various risk factors -- physical, psychological, or situational -- that might increase the risk of negative outcomes to one’s abortion. Doctors must perform an ultrasound in which patients will be offered to view ultrasound images, hear a description of the ultrasound, and listen to the fetal tone. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child” or a “child.”

  • Kansas
  • Kansas requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which patients will be given a set of reading materials. The reading materials examine the developmental characteristics of a fetus, with images, staged at 2-week increments, until the pregnancy is full term. The materials also twice assert that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Various abortion methods and their associated medical risks and side effects are described. In particular, when talking about the method of abortion, the hysterotomy, it is stated that “the unborn child is killed in the uterus prior to removal.” The reading materials greatly exaggerate the proposed danger of infertility, the effects of future childbearing, and the increased risk of breast cancer. The materials only focus on the inaccurately high probability of negative psychological effects. The risks of carrying a pregnancy to term, the paternal responsibility, and the assertion of adoption as an alternative are also discussed. Attending physicians are required to give patients a directory of resources in Kansas that offer alternatives to abortion. This information will also be reiterated to the patient verbally. An ultrasound must be performed at least 30 minutes prior to the abortion, in which patients are offered an opportunity to view sonogram images and listen to the fetal heartbeat at no additional expense. Language in various resources may refer to the fetus as a “baby” or “unborn child.”

  • Kentucky
  • Kentucky requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients will be given reading materials. These materials examine developmental characteristics, accompanied by images, of the fetus at varying stages of pregnancy until it is full-term. Patients are also offered an indexed list of prenatal, neonatal, and adoption organizations to assist after pregnancy. The attending physician must verbally inform patients about the procedure of the abortion, proposed risks, alternatives to abortion, and the gestational characteristics of the fetus. Physicians also declare the possibility that a medical abortion can be reversed if a patient desires and recommends how to obtain information about abortion reversal. It is also stated that the “father” is liable to pay child support if the fetus is carried to term. Patients also must be informed that they have the right to view state-prepared materials and must sign a form indicating that they were afforded this opportunity. An ultrasound must be performed in which sonogram images are displayed in view of the patient, and the fetal tone is played audibly. The attending physician must describe the sonogram’s findings to the patient, including the fetus’s anatomical characteristics. A patient may avert their eyes away from the sonogram’s image and may ask for the fetal heartbeat’s volume to be decreased, if applicable, without penalty. Language in state legislation may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child,” a “fetus” and/or a “child.”

  • Louisiana
  • Louisiana requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which patients will be given a set of reading materials. These materials examine the developmental characteristics of the fetus at every two weeks of gestational age, with images of the fetus and accompanying information about their survival rates outside of the womb. The materials assert that the fetus has the ability to feel pain. The state proclaims that they strongly urge patients to contact counseling and adoption agencies prior to obtaining an abortion. The various abortion methods and their associated medical risks are discussed, including the possibility of increased susceptibility to breast cancer, an inaccurate portrayal of negative feelings after an abortion, and exaggerated negative portrayal of the impact on one’s future fertility. Risks to carrying the pregnancy to term are discussed as well as the responsibilities of the biological “father.” Patients will be provided a list of counseling, prenatal and adoption agencies that accompany the state-prepared resources. This information will also be affirmed to the patient verbally and in person. Twenty-four hours before an abortion is performed, a patient must undergo an ultrasound in which the doctor is required to display the sonogram’s image, give an explanation of the sonogram’s findings, play the fetal tone audibly, and offer the patient a physical copy of the sonogram. Patients may avert their eyes or not listen to the heartbeat without penalty. Language in legislation, reading materials, and state forms may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Maine
  • Maine does not require a waiting period. Attending physicians are required to inform patients that they are a certain number of weeks pregnant, while also relaying information about proposed abortion methods and their associated risks. At the patient’s request, a resource directory of agencies that offer alternatives to abortion may be provided.

  • Maryland
  • Maryland does not require a waiting period and does not have any state prepared materials. No specific disclosures are required; although attending physicians may provide patients with information about the directions for their abortion and the medical risks and side effects of their abortion procedure. The state legislature indicates that Maryland may not interfere with one’s decision to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, if the procedure necessitates a medical emergency, or if the fetus is affected by a fatal anomaly.

  • Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts does not require a waiting period and does not have state-prepared reading materials. Patients are required to sign an informed consent form that discusses the various abortion methods, with their associated side effects and possible complications, post-procedure care, alternative options (adoption and parenting), and the availability of public assistance. Medically-associated discussions of this information will also be reiterated to the patient by the doctor.

  • Michigan
  • Michigan requires a 24-hour waiting period. The Michigan Health Department has created an online module that constitutes the informed consent process, ending with the signing of an informed consent document that is valid for 14 days upon its signature. The consent materials introduce extensive information and resources about how it is illegal to coerce a person into undergoing an abortion. The materials then present various methods of abortion with their medically-associated side effects and risks, maintaining the possibility of complications to future pregnancies. Psychological effects are discussed, acknowledging that negative emotional side effects are rare, but only listing the negatives nonetheless. This section concludes with a statement about resources that proffer alternatives to abortion. The materials then review gestational development with associated characteristics and images of the fetus at various stages and list agencies that supply free prenatal ultrasounds. The materials examine what a patient should expect when receiving prenatal treatment (hypothetically assuming that the patient is going to continue the pregnancy to full term), followed by parenting information that includes child developmental characteristics from birth through high school, state definitions of parenting, and general characteristics of the family. Attending physicians are required to verbally reiterate some of this information. The patient also is required to receive a list of adoption, prenatal and pregnancy-related services. If an ultrasound is performed at any time prior to the abortion, doctors must offer patients an opportunity to view the sonogram and receive a physical image of the ultrasound.

  • Minnesota
  • Minnesota requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which the patient will be offered state-prepared reading materials. The introduction to the reading materials review various legal requirements, which will be illuminated later in this section. The materials then examine the process of conception and the gestational development characteristics of the fetus, accompanied by pictures, every two weeks up until 40 weeks of pregnancy. In this section, it is characteristically unclear as to when the state asserts that the fetus begins to feel pain. The materials scrutinize methods of abortion with their various side effects and medical risks, maintaining the possibility of complications in future pregnancies. The materials correctly claim there should be no drastic effects on fertility, future childbearing, and the materials posit that breast cancer is not associated with an abortion. Only the negative emotional complications, as well as the assertion that one should talk to a counselor before having an abortion, are analyzed. The reading materials close with proposed risks of childbearing, paternal responsibilities, adoption as an alternative, and an information directory containing contacts for childcare and adoptive services able to assist patients. Attending physicians are required to verbally deliver an overview of the above information. If the patient’s fetus has a certain anomaly, the physician must inform the patient of the availability of perinatal hospice services, and the patient must either consent or decline these services as an integral step to the informed consent process. In addition, if the patient’s pregnancy is over 20 weeks of gestational age, the doctor must inform the patient of the effectiveness of a fetal anesthetic to alleviate supposed fetal pain (depending on fetal development). Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which state-prepared reading materials are offered to patients. The reading materials examine the developmental stages of the fetus at every two weeks of gestational age with pictures and associated characteristics. The materials also discuss the risks of pregnancy, the abortion methods and their medically-associated risks and side effects, and the range of emotional reactions to abortion, asserting that it would be a good idea to talk with an objective professional prior to obtaining an abortion. Adoption, the role of the biological “father” and various birth control options are also explored. Attending physicians will reiterate this information verbally and will also announce the possibility of breast cancer and the possibility of infertility, while also offering an index of adoption and prenatal services to the patient. An ultrasound will be performed prior to obtaining an abortion, during which the physician offers the patient the opportunity to view the image, to hear the fetal heartbeat, and to take a physical image of the sonogram home with them. Patients must sign a certification form indicating they were provided this option. Language in the state legislature and in the reading materials refers to the fetus as an “unborn child” in various places.

  • Missouri
  • Missouri requires a 72-hour waiting period, during which state prepared reading materials are given to patients. The reading material’s introduction will first declare that “the life of a human being begins at conception. Abortion will terminate the life of a separate, unique, living human being.” The introduction will also affirm the state’s ultrasound laws, counseling laws, and other informed consent requirements that are reiterated later in this section. The reading materials transition into examining the gestational development of the fetus, including images, from conception at increments of two weeks up to 40 weeks, including viability statistics for a fetus born at various stages. The reading materials contrast different abortion methods with their associated medical risks and side effects. Missouri correctly reports no long-term risks to infertility, but the materials portray the emotional reaction to abortion as overwhelmingly negative. Materials extensively outline that the fetus can feel pain at 16 weeks, while also arguing which steps of the abortion procedure would supposedly hurt the fetus. Information about establishing paternity and its various governmental benefits is discussed in great detail. The “Alternatives to Abortion” program is posited at the end of the booklet, proclaiming the many benefits Missouri will provide patients who choose to carry a fetus to term. Accompanied by this manual, the clinician must also provide the patient a list of fetal ultrasound providers, pregnancy assistance information providers, and an extensive look at the “Alternatives to Abortion” program providers. The Informed Consent checklist also asserts the possibility of “adverse psychological effects.” This information will be reiterated verbally by the attending physician, who also must perform a psychological evaluation of the patient where they will identify and inform the patient of any risk factors specific to their situation prior to the medical procedure. An ultrasound must be performed before the start of the abortion, and the patient must be given the opportunity to view the ultrasound as well as hear the fetal tone. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child” or a “child.”

  • Montana
  • Montana does not require a mandatory waiting period unless a patient asks to review the state prepared written materials. In that case, a waiting period of 24 hours is installed if the materials are received in person and 72 hours if they are received by mail. The reading materials include an index of agencies that offer an alternative to abortion. Attending physicians are required to inform patients of the gestational age of the fetus and proposed medical risks of abortion, including the risk of breast cancer, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and the possibility of infertility. Physicians must also disclose the risks of continuing the pregnancy, alternatives to abortion, paternal responsibilities, and must offer the state prepared reading materials. The reading materials examine the gestational development at two-week increments with drawings, including information about the viability of the fetus at various stages, the possible “detrimental” psychological effects to abortion and adoption, and the risks of carrying a fetus to term. A directory of abortion alternatives will also be provided. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Nebraska
  • Nebraska requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients are offered the opportunity to review state prepared materials. The materials begin by examining gestational characteristics, accompanied by images of the fetus at various pregnancy stages with information about fetal survival where applicable. The book transitions into guidelines for a healthy pregnancy. The various abortion methods with their medically-associated side effects and risks are analyzed, including the possibility of a reversal of a medical abortion. The materials only focus on the negative complications of abortion, followed by the subsequent dangers of multiple abortions on fertility and carrying a pregnancy to term. Complications to continuing a pregnancy, including psychological complications, conclude the booklet. Patients may also review an index of prenatal, childbirth, and adoption services the state prepared as alternatives to abortion, as well as a secondary list of services to consult about abortion reversals. One hour prior to the abortion, an attending physician must inform the patient about their various risk factors of the procedure, which may include physical, psychological or situational risks. A required ultrasound displays fetal images to the patient while an attendant explains the images and offers the opportunity to hear the fetal tone. Patients are often unaware of their right to decline sensory engagement with the ultrasound. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Nevada
  • Nevada does not require a waiting period and does not have any state-prepared reading materials. The doctor is required to disclose to the patient a certification of pregnancy and by how many weeks, as well as information regarding medical procedures, side effects and risks associated with abortion. The patient will be required to sign a form indicating that they have been given this information by the doctor.

  • New Hampshire
  • New Hampshire does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks.

  • New Jersey
  • New Jersey does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks.

  • New Mexico
  • New Mexico does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks.

  • New York
  • New York does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with the associated side effects and medical risks. Legislature indicates that the state may not interfere with a patient’s right to choose to obtain an abortion prior to viability.

  • North Carolina
  • North Carolina requires a 72-hour waiting period, during which patients are offered the opportunity to view state-prepared materials. The materials begin by examining gestational characteristics at certain stages of pregnancy, as well as images that accompany the descriptions. The different abortion methods with their associated medical risks and side effects are contrasted, including a convoluted description of the increased risk of premature births in future pregnancies. The materials assert the possibility of depression as a long-lasting side effect to abortion as part of the legislature’s mandate to include “possible detrimental psychological effects” to abortion. The materials advocate birth control while supplying an index of pregnancy outreaches, adoption services, and medical assistance programs designed to help patients continue their pregnancy. The attending physician is required to reiterate this information to the patient, including more detailed information about the alternatives to abortion. The doctor must also provide a list of providers of free ultrasounds and fetal tone services. If a doctor does not have admitting privileges to a local hospital, that information must be communicated to the patient. If an ultrasound is performed, the doctor must put the image in view of the patient (although the patient may avert their eyes) and provide a simultaneous description of the image. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child,” a “child” or a “baby.”

  • North Dakota
  • North Dakota requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which patients will be given mandatory state-prepared reading materials. The reading materials must address the public and private agencies available before and after a pregnancy, including those agencies providing adoption, prenatal, childbirth, and neonatal care. The materials state that North Dakota strongly urges each patient to contact these services prior to undergoing an abortion. The reading materials also examine the gestational characteristics of the fetus at every two weeks of development, including images and other relative information about the possibility of the fetus’s survival outside the womb. Information about child support and paternal responsibilities are also included, as well as the potential medical risks and associated side effects of various abortion procedures. Such risks include “danger to subsequent pregnancies and infertility” and “the possibility of detrimental psychological effects.” These claims are followed by the medical risks of carrying a fetus to term. Agencies that offer abortion, as well as information about abortion reversal and those that offer this service, are also included. Attending physicians are required to relay much of this information to patients, as well as relaying the position that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Doctors must offer patients an ultrasound 24 hours prior to obtaining an abortion, and they must insist that the ultrasound allows patients to view sonogram images and listen to the fetal heartbeat. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child” or a “child” and the patient as a “mother.”

  • Ohio
  • Ohio requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients will be given a set of reading materials. In addition, they will also be offered the opportunity to view or be given the site address to a resource directory of various neonatal, childbirth and adoption agencies that offer alternatives to abortion. The reading materials examine, with illustrations, gestational ages of the fetus with associated characteristics every two weeks up to 38 weeks. Adoption as an alternative to abortion is discussed. Various family planning methods are also enumerated. Much of this information will also be reiterated by the doctor verbally, including the medical risks of carrying a pregnancy to term. An ultrasound will be performed where the patient is offered the opportunity to view the sonogram’s image. If a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the patient must be informed of the statistical probability of the fetus’s survival if it is carried to term, and they must sign a form acknowledging they received this information. The reading materials refer to the fetus in medically-accurate gestational stage terms.

  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma requires a waiting period of 72 hours, during which patients are offered to view state-prepared printed materials. The materials examine gestational characteristics, accompanied by pictures, of the fetus every two weeks of gestation up to 40 weeks. This information also includes relevant information on the potential survival of the fetus outside the womb where pertinent. The materials assert that “abortion shall terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Various abortion methods are considered, as well as their associated risks and side effects, asserting a rare possibility of infertility due to infection. The materials stress the potentially-increased risk of breast cancer and that one should seek more information to be informed. The range of emotional responses are reported, as well as the risks and emotional side effects of childbirth. This information will be reiterated verbally (either by telephone or in-person) by the doctor. A list of resources that provide alternatives to abortion, including childbirth and adoption agencies, will be offered. The patient will be required to sign a form certifying that they were offered the opportunity to review these resources. At least one hour prior to having an abortion, an ultrasound must be performed where the doctor is required to place the sonogram in view of the patient. The patient will be offered the opportunity to listen to the fetal heartbeat and will be given a simultaneous explanation of the sonogram’s findings. The patient may avert their eyes from the image without penalty. Language in the reading materials and state legislation may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Oregon
  • Oregon does not require a waiting period, nor are there any state-prepared materials. By discretion of the clinics, patients may be given information necessary to understand the mechanics of their medical procedure with associated side effects and medical risks.

  • Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients are given state prepared reading materials. The materials examine gestational characteristics, accompanied by pictures of the fetus, of every two weeks of gestation up to 40 weeks. Included also is any relevant information regarding the fetus’ chance of survival outside the womb. Various abortion methods are considered, including their medically-associated risks and side effects, as well as the medically-associated risks of carrying the fetus to term. The materials also discuss the “possible detrimental psychological effects” to abortion. Offered to the patient, along with these materials, is a list of services that offer prenatal, neonatal and adoption care. An attending physician will reiterate these things to the patient verbally, and the doctor will also explore the medical assistance benefits that may be available for childcare, including paternal responsibility. The patient must sign a form indicating they received this information and were offered the chance to review the materials as part of the informed consent process. Language in state legislation may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island does not require a waiting period. The patient must be informed of the estimated gestational age of the fetus, the medical nature of the abortion and its appropriate side effects and risks, and any other information the doctor deems necessary for an informed consent. Patients are required to sign consent forms containing a reiteration of the verbal disclosures.

  • South Carolina
  • South Carolina requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients will be offered the opportunity to review the state-prepared reading materials and a list of agencies that offer information on alternatives to abortion. The materials examine the system of human genetics, the gestational characteristics of the fetus every two weeks of gestation up to 40 weeks, the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term, the methods of abortion, and their associated risks and side effects. (Third-trimester abortions, if performed for a medical emergency, require both the consent of the patient and, if married, their spouse.) This information will also be verbally reiterated to the patient by a doctor. Although the state does not mandate that ultrasounds are performed at every abortion, if one is performed, the patient must be offered the opportunity to view the image. In addition, if an ultrasound is performed, the abortion may not start sooner than 60 minutes after the completion of the ultrasound.

  • South Dakota
  • South Dakota requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients will be offered the opportunity to review reading materials and a website the state has prepared. These materials include information that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and that “the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that relationship enjoys protection under the US Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota.” This is followed with the clause that “by having an abortion, her existing relationship and her existing Constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated,” according to the state legislature. Information about the gestational ages of the fetus with its associated characteristics is followed by the risks and medical side effect of abortion, including “depression and related psychological distress, increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide, a statement setting forth an accurate rate of deaths due to abortions, including all deaths in which the abortion procedure was a substantial contributing factor, and all other known medical risks to the physical health of the woman, including the risk of infection, hemorrhage, danger to subsequent pregnancies, and infertility.” A statement about the possibility of a medical abortion reversal also must be included. Information about adoption services, alternatives to abortion, the paternal responsibility, and information on what to do if a patient is currently sexually abused is also included. Much of this information will be reiterated to the patient by the doctor. The website also generically asserts that “findings from some studies suggest that the unborn fetus may feel physical pain.” Other resources on the website, such as the benefits and risks of carrying a fetus to term and annual reports about induced abortion, are also discussed. The doctor must perform a sonogram where the patient is offered the opportunity to view the sonogram, hear the fetal heartbeat, and have a description shared as to the contents of the ultrasound. Language may refer to the fetus as “unborn human being,” “child” and “unborn child,” and language may refer to the patient as a “mother.”

  • Tennessee
  • Tennessee requires a 48-hour waiting period. The patient will be required to sign an informed consent form that indicates they are pregnant, the possibility of fetal viability at 22 weeks past conception, the possibility of services to help the patient through their pregnancy if they decide to carry the fetus to term, including adoption and childbirth agencies, and the “foreseeable medical benefits, risks, or both” of undergoing an abortion or continuing the pregnancy to term, according to the state legislature. The form also outlines the state’s ultrasound laws and asks the patient to confirm that the clinic abided by them. If an ultrasound is performed, a patient must be offered the opportunity to learn the ultrasound results, and the medical attendant must tell the patient if there is a fetal heartbeat. Doctors must verbally inform patients of the risks of continuing a pregnancy, as well as the risks of undergoing the associated medical procedure. This information may be offered to the patient in written form. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Texas
  • Texas requires a waiting period of 24 hours, during which patients will be offered an opportunity to view written materials and a directory of resources that provide alternatives to abortion. An exception to the waiting period rule considers if a patient lives over 100 miles away from the abortion clinic; in which case, the waiting period is decreased to two hours. The materials outline the gestational characteristics of the fetus every two weeks, accompanied by pictures, from four to 40 weeks of gestation, with pronounced chances of fetal survival where appropriate. The reading materials then transition into examining abortion procedures with their associated medical risks and side effects, including an exaggerated risk of infertility and future childbearing deformities. The materials also assert the possibility of breast cancer. When analyzing the Dilation and Evacuation procedure, the materials graphically outline the procedure, ending with the fact that the “unborn child is delivered dead.” The reading materials unrealistically exaggerate negative emotional side effects, and they include some PTSD-like symptoms in their discourse. Pregnancy and childbirth are also discussed, as well as information about how one obtains child support. The information in the reading materials will be reiterated verbally by a doctor. An ultrasound must be performed where the patient is required to view the sonogram image, hear a simultaneous explanation from the doctor, and listen to the fetal heartbeat. The patient may avert their eyes from the image if they wish. An exception to hearing the fetal heartbeat and hearing an explanation of the sonogram is when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest or if the fetus has an irreversible medical condition. Language may refer to the fetus as a “baby,” a “child” or an “unborn child.”

  • Utah
  • Utah requires a 72-hour waiting period, during which patients will be required to complete an online informed consent module prior to undergoing an abortion. The module first starts with asking the patient the presumed gestational age of their pregnancy and if their pregnancy is the result of rape. It then transitions into a screen declaring Utah prefers childbirth over abortion, and it is unlawful for anyone to coerce a person into undergoing an abortion. The module examines the anatomical characteristics of the fetus at various gestational ages, including pictures to illuminate the fetus’ structure. The module asks the patient to answer true and false questions about fetal survival and the length of a full-term pregnancy. The module transitions into fetal development where the videos of an ultrasound with the fetal heart tone playing are displayed for various gestational ages. Pregnancy’s medical risks are then explored, including the emotional risks of pregnancy. Two multiple-choice questions ask about the complications associated with pregnancy and the emotional reactions associated with pregnancy. Information about obtaining an ultrasound at no cost is followed by information of the paternal responsibility. Various abortion procedures, their associated medical risks and side effects, and the possibility that a medical abortion can be reversed are discussed. A true or false question asks if an “abortion is the ending of a pregnancy and will result in the death of the embryo or fetus”. The text then explains potential long-term risks of abortion, such as emotional reactions, which focus overwhelmingly on negative aspects and that one may experience alleviation of such feelings by talking to a counselor prior to an abortion. Two multiple-choice questions ask the patient about the emotional side effects and the medical risks of abortion. A patient next has to read through information about fetal pain, which says that it is present as early as 20 weeks into gestation. The patient will receive information about disposing of the fetus. They can choose a disposal method, but, if they have the doctor choose for them, the doctor does not have to relay the chosen method of disposal. Information about adoption is presented with statements declaring “the state of Utah prefers childbirth over abortion” and “adoption is a preferred alternative for abortion.” Two multiple-choice questions about adoption-related expenses and the state’s adoption preference follow this information. There is an interactive map with various pregnancy, prenatal, and adoption services segregated by the county that follows. A patient then has to sign a form indicating that they completed the module. A doctor will reiterate much of this information to the patient. If a sonogram is performed, the patient is required to view the image unless they request otherwise. The doctor may also offer the patient the option to hear a description of the ultrasound. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

  • Vermont
  • Vermont does not have a waiting period or state prepared reading materials. Vermont does not require by law any special disclosures that are specific to abortions in order to obtain informed consent. The doctor may still provide information to the patient regarding the specific medical procedure and the risks and side effects one should expect. State legislature guarantees that the government may not pass laws that inhibit one’s ability to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

  • Virginia
  • Virginia does not require a waiting period, but patients may be given a small pamphlet about informed consent. This pamphlet will discuss the risks of continuing a pregnancy, the process of different types of abortions with their associated medical risks, and the accurate assertion that a legal abortion for an unwanted pregnancy does not pose a psychological hazard in most cases. The informed consent forms are required to contain information about the various abortion procedures and their proposed side effects and medical risks, an alternative to abortion, benefits to abortion, along with a discussion of various legal disclosures.

  • Washington
  • Washington requires no waiting period. Washington will not impose any mandatory prerequisite procedures or informed consent practices onto their patients outside the normal, medically-accurate consent to the abortion. Legislature asserts that the state shall not enact any law that prohibits a patient’s ability to terminate their pregnancy, and, in the future, if the state provides resources about alternatives to abortion, they also must provide equally-substantial information on how to obtain abortion resources, as well.

  • West Virginia
  • West Virginia requires a 24-waiting period, during which patients will be offered state-prepared reading materials. The introduction of the materials outlines the summary of the booklet, the state’s various laws, as well as the availability of an index of adoption and pregnancy-related services. The booklet examines gestational characteristics of the fetus at various stages of development, including information about the survival of the fetus when applicable. Abortion methods and their associated medical risks and side effects are analyzed. The book transitions into discussing the possible psychological effects of abortion, exaggerating and misappropriating the negative psychological effects. The risks associated with childbirth are discussed, asserting the possibility of postpartum depression. The booklet concludes with information regarding the financial assistance available for prenatal and childbirth services. Attending physicians are required, as stated in West Virginia’s legislature, to reiterate this information to the patient, including with their summary information about “danger to subsequent pregnancies and infertility” and agencies that offer alternatives to abortion. If an ultrasound is performed, the patient must be offered the opportunity to view the ultrasound. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child,” a “child” or a “baby.”

  • Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin requires a 24-hour waiting period, during which patients are given a set of reading materials. The reading materials examine the developmental characteristics of the fetus at various gestational ages with accompanying illustrations. Various abortion methods and their associated side effects are presented. The materials accurately assert that abortions with no complications should not increase the possibility of infertility, while it inaccurately asserts that the fetus feels pain at 20 weeks of gestational age. The materials discuss the mostly-negative emotional aspects of abortion. The risks of carrying the fetus to term, paternal responsibilities, and the possibility of adoption as an alternative to abortion are also provided. Various adoption and prenatal services, as well as perinatal hospice services, are also supplied in the reading materials. Attending physicians will reiterate this information to patients verbally. An ultrasound is required before the abortion. The doctor must display the image, explain the ultrasound’s findings, and offer the patient the means to hear the fetal heartbeat. A patient may look away from the sonogram’s image if they desire. A person is exempt from these regulations if the pregnancy is the result of sexual assault. Language may refer to the fetus at times as an “unborn child” and the pregnant patient as a “mother.”

  • Wyoming
  • Wyoming currently does not require a waiting period. The state legislature does not require many mandated informed consent disclosures. However, attending physicians may still provide patients information about abortion procedures and their proposed medical risks and side effects. The doctor must inform the patient that they have the opportunity to view an active ultrasound and hear the fetal tone. Language may refer to the fetus as an “unborn child.”

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