PETITION TO REQUIRE ABORTION PROVIDERS TO MANDATE ACCURATE INFORMATION ON ADOPTION OPPORTUNITIES
By signing this petition, we urge the lawmakers of our state to require all abortion providers to provide adoption-facilitated counseling to women 24 hours before their abortion procedure. This type of counseling will include the following:
- Adoption will be discussed honestly and accurately by a qualified counselor
- Adoption will be discussed in a positive and welcoming manner by a qualified counselor
- A printed list of adoption agencies and government assistance phone numbers must be given and discussed with every woman considering an abortion
- Assistance by a qualified counselor in locating the appropriate adoption agency or Department of Human Services if the woman is interested
- This counseling will take place in person
- Every woman will sign a written notice stating that adoption resources and referrals were discussed with her during the consultation. This written notice will also explain that adoption is a free service to her.
- Every abortion center worker and counselor will complete free and unbiased pregnancy counseling training through the National Counsel for Adoption (considerthepossibilities.org), so they will have the confidence to comfortably share the option of adoption on an equal basis with all other options, and so they can properly assist clients who are facing an unintended pregnancy in making a fully informed decision
Even if abortion centers are required to provide option counseling, are they providing detailed information on adoption choices for women seeking abortions at their center? Are abortion providers positively and openly advocating other options aside from abortion?
Talk About Adoption
Read the petition
For any medical procedure, women expect comprehensive information from their doctors and medical staff. They want people they can trust to explain all of their health options to them. But most abortion providers do not give women accurate information about their options apart from abortion. Abortion providers operate under a false pretense that abortion is the right choice for an unplanned pregnancy. Therefore, abortion-determined women will not know their options unless they hunt them down for themselves.
Every abortion provider is required by their state law to ensure that a client seeking an abortion will consent to undergoing medical treatment, and that the consent be informed- known as “informed consent counseling” or option counseling. Three factors constitute informed consent counseling: Clients must possess the capacity to make decisions about their care; their participation in these decisions must be voluntary; and they must be provided adequate and appropriate information. Currently, the type of information and manner in which this counseling is being provided to abortion-minded clients varies, and is far from adequate and appropriate.
Twenty-seven state laws direct their state health agency to develop written materials. While only ten of those states require that the materials be given to a woman before her abortion, seventeen of those states require that they only be offered to the mother. Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups adamantly oppose these laws. They oppose them even when reading the materials is not mandatory, and women simply have the choice to view them. A Georgia Planned Parenthood director named Kay Scott summarizes the abortion giant’s position on informed consent:
“Supporters of the Woman’s Right to Know bill say it would allow time for reflection, but this bill is really about deception…women already receive full informed consent before having an abortion…” 1
In every state that is required to offer or give written materials to a woman before her abortion, information about the availability of services relating to abortion alternatives is included. This provides clients with some information about their options, such as contact information for support services for pregnant and parenting women, including adoption services and financial assistance. However, this referral information is sometimes as brief as referring the woman to a toll-free hotline, and does not require her to read over the materials. Furthermore, it’s rarely documented or reported to the state if the mother was even offered the referral information.
In most states, option counseling is completed through mail, fax, Internet, or during a quick phone call. Only eleven states in the U.S. require option counseling to be conducted face-to-face. To make matters worse, option counseling is not required to be completed by a licensed counselor. Any personnel employed at the abortion center can complete it. With a decision as difficult as abortion, this is not only an inadequate way to conduct option counseling, it also does not provide enough information for a pregnant woman to make an informed decision. Many women find that their public health centers are in favor of abortion. The counseling they receive lacks compassion and helpful information. When speaking with post-abortive women, a recurring issue is that so few of them were given factual and unbiased information about other alternatives, especially adoption referrals.
In a survey of women who dealt with post-abortion trauma: 2
- 44% were actively hoping for an alternative to abortion during counseling
- 83% said they would very likely have chosen an alternative, if they had not been so strongly encouraged to abort by their abortion counselors and others
- 93% believed they were not given enough information to make an informed decision
- 66% said their abortion counselor’s advice was biased
What women are told when seeking abortions:
- Babies are too expensive
- Caring for a baby is time-consuming
- Help will be hard to find
- Your education will stop
- You may not find work to support yourself
- The procedure is easy
- The pain is similar to cramping
- It’s not a baby
- Abortion is your best option
After all of this, only 2 percent of women will choose adoption, and 4 out of 10 unplanned pregnancies will end in abortion.3 Research shows that only 1 to 2 percent of U.S. women place their children for adoption, and that the number of U.S. teens who place their babies for adoption has declined sharply over recent decades. 3 It is time to hold abortion providers accountable to the highest level of responsibility. Women deserve to be given accurate and thorough information in a way where option counseling includes adoption-facilitated counseling.
Abortion providers in the U.S. should be required to offer women who enter their center comprehensive information on the option of adoption. Abortion center employees should do more than just offer materials on parenting or adoption alternatives to their clients. They should be required to hand adoption referrals, along with a list of their locations, to clients before their abortion procedure, as well as assist them in reading and understanding those materials. Then, a positive and unbiased discussion of parenting and adoption should take place. Abortion providers should be held accountable to counseling their clients face-to-face regarding the options of parenting or adoption, too.
Urge Lawmakers to Mandate Appropriate Adoption Counseling At Abortion Centers
We must hold abortion providers accountable for their communications. They claim to look out for the best interest of women, so let’s help them do this. Women deserve thorough explanations from their abortion providers about all the options surrounding their unplanned pregnancy. This should not be merely a pamphlet hidden in the corner of the lobby, but rather an unbiased in-person consultation with a qualified professional. The consultation should also include a discussion of printed references of local and regional adoption agencies. We believe every abortion provider should be required by law to offer this face-to-face adoption-facilitated counseling to every pregnant woman who schedules an abortion procedure.