Anti-abortion legislators have mandated exactly what doctors must tell patients before they are allowed to have an abortion. This script includes medically irrelevant information, like suggesting a false link between abortion and breast cancer. Even if a doctor believes the information may cause harm to the patient, the doctor could risk losing their medical license if they do not follow the script. Doctors already counsel patients and obtain informed consent based on the risks and benefits of the treatment; abortion is the only medical procedure about which lawmakers have mandated exactly what doctors must tell their patients.
Signed into law: 2003
Abortion is the *only* healthcare procedure that has been singled out and regulated in this way. There is no other healthcare procedure where state law dictates exactly what doctors must say to their patients. Mandating what doctors must say to all of their patients, regardless of the situation or the medical opinion of the doctor, is not only dangerous to the health of patients, but wrongly puts politicians in control of the conversations we have with our healthcare providers. Just as dangerous, the state-mandated lecture doctors must give to patients before receiving abortion care requires doctors to direct their patients to informational materials hosted on a government website. A recent study found that one third of these materials contained medically-inaccurate information.