New Arizona Law Strengthens Informed Consent for Abortions

A new Arizona law requires abortion clinics to provide women with informed consent of the dangers of abortion before getting the procedure, as well as requiring parental consent for minors, giving women respect by ensuring that the risks of abortion are as informed as any other surgical procedure.

The law, signed July 13, 2009, states that the woman getting the abortion be told 24 hours in advance about the immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the procedure that a “reasonable patient” would consider material to the decision of whether or not to undergo the abortion. The immediate consequences include: hemorrhage, infection, anesthesia complications and pain.  Ectopic pregnancy, uterine or cervical damage, depression and problems with future pregnancies are among the long-term risks.  A detailed description of the risks and procedures can be found at Option Line pregnancy centers at

Certain provisions of the law were struck down Sept. 29 by Superior Court Judge Donald Daughton. However, most of the law remains. For example, those receiving an abortion under age 18 need parental consent.

Gestational Age and Other Characteristics

The law also requires that the woman be told of the gestational age of the unborn child, its anatomical and physiological characteristics. Mayo clinic offers medically accurate information. The woman is also to be told of any medical assistance benefits available for prenatal, childbirth and neonatal care.

A new study published in the International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction has found that the relationship between women and their partners and the level of support provided by the fathers are important factors in whether or not the woman aborts. In addition, the Elliot Institute, at, studies women who feel they were coerced into an abortion. Social pressures can also play a role in compelling a woman to abort.

The new Arizona law states that it is unlawful “for any person to coerce a woman” to undergo an abortion. The law also removes wiggle room on the part of fathers who refuse to support their children. It states that he is “liable to assist in the support of the child even if he has offered to pay for the abortion.”  An Elliot Institute study found that the father’s role effects women’s abortion decision.  The institute also offers many studies on the physical and psychological risk of abortion.

Women in Phoenix, AZ, as well as Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa, Avondale and other cities can learn more about their legal rights regarding abortion by calling Life Choices Women’s Clinics at 602-305-5100. Or go to