Walking into an Abortion Clinic, Part I
Since 1996, Center for Arizona Policy has successfully supported over 27 pro-life measures that have become Arizona law. In a two-part 5 Minutes for Families we will highlight some of the laws regulating abortion, and outline how they apply when a woman walks into an abortion clinic.
Before walking into an abortion clinic
- It is illegal for anyone to coerce a woman into getting an abortion. This would include for example, her parents, boyfriend, husband, employer, or intended parents of her surrogate baby.
- If a minor losses financial support from her parents because she refuses to have an abortion, she is eligible for public assistance.
While in the abortion clinic waiting room
- There must be a sign indicating that she has the right not to be coerced.
- The clinic’s license must be posted.
- The clinic must meet basic standards for keeping clinic sterile and clean.
- She cannot be required to pay for abortion-related services at the first visit.
- She cannot be given a prescription for abortion-inducing drugs.
- She shouldn’t be given informed consent paperwork until she meets with the doctor.
- She cannot contractually be required to have an abortion.
Informed consent at least 24 hours before the abortion
- She must individually consult with clinic medical staff orally, in person, and in a private room.
- A doctor must inform her of:
- Name of the physician who will perform the abortion.
- Nature of the proposed procedure or treatment.
- Immediate and long-term medical risks.
- Alternatives to abortion.
- Probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed.
- The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed.
- The medical risks associated with carrying the child to term.
- A physician, nurse, or licensed counselor must inform her that:
- Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care.
- Father of the unborn child is liable to assist in the support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for the abortion.
- Public and private agencies and services are available to assist her during her pregnancy and after the birth.
- It is unlawful for any person to coerce a woman to undergo an abortion.
- She is free to withhold or withdraw her consent to the abortion at any time.
- She must certify in writing that she was given this information.
Ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion
- Ultrasound must be performed by either a physician or an ultrasound technician.
- Same procedure and protocol must be followed as with any other ultrasound.
- If an ultrasound is not performed at the clinic, she must have a referral signifying that she had the ultrasound performed.
- She must be given the opportunity to view the active ultrasound.
- She must be given the opportunity to hear the heartbeat, if audible.
- If the woman wants to see the active ultrasound, the clinic staff must offer to explain what’s on the screen.
- She may have a printed picture of the ultrasound image if requested.
- She certifies in writing that she had the ultrasound and the opportunity to hear the heart, and have a printed photo.
To be continued . . . In Part II, we will address laws related the abortion procedure, judicial bypass for minors, and what happens after the abortion.
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