NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Women considering abortions are getting medically inaccurate information nearly a third of the time in states that require doctors to provide informed consent materials to their patients, according to a Rutgers study.
The study, “Informed or Misinformed Consent? Abortion Policy in the United States,” analyzed statements about embryological and fetal development from information booklets produced by 23 states that require informed consent. The study found 31 percent of the information to be medically inaccurate, and that the highest percentages of inaccuracies are found in the first trimester of pregnancy, when 90 percent of women have abortions.
“Given that most abortions are performed in the first trimester, these levels of inaccuracies are deeply concerning,” said political science professor Cynthia Daniels, the lead author and head of The Informed Consent Project at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. “Patients should be confident their doctor is providing them with accurate information. Misinformation is a threat to the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship and to the medical system as a whole, especially in decisions about pregnancy.”