A recent study published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, “Informed or Misinformed Consent? Abortion Policy in the United States,” by Cynthia R. Daniels, Janna Ferguson, Grace Howard, and Amanda Roberti, found that women considering abortions receive medically inaccurate information nearly one third of the time in states that require doctors to provide informed consent materials to their patients.
Since 2010, the United States has witnessed a dramatic expansion of state-based restrictions on abortion. The most common of these are informed consent statutes, which require that a woman seeking an abortion receive a state-authored informational packet before the abortion procedure can be performed.
The Rutgers study team defined medical accuracy as information that was both “truthful and nonmisleading,” constitutional standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania et al. v. Robert P. Casey et al. in 1992. “Our findings suggest these laws may produce ‘misinformed consent’ and may require the court to rethink the constitutionality of abortion-related informed consent laws as a whole,” Cynthia Daniels, lead author and head of the Informed Consent Project, concluded.