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Accurate information a woman needs about abortion and alternatives
In the landmark 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to review factual information about abortion complications and alternatives prior to undergoing the procedure, a 24-hour reflection period and other protections. Minnesota’s Woman’s Right to Know (WRTK) law (MN Statutes 145.4241-145.4249), styled after the Casey decision, is considered the best of all 22-plus similar state laws, and is the first state to ensure that women receive scientific information about fetal pain suffered during abortion.
The Woman’s Right to Know law requires that 24 hours before an abortion takes place, a woman will be given the following information:
After nine long years of resistance from abortion advocates who want to deny women important information, the MCCL-backed Woman’s Right to Know Act finally became law in 2003. Prior to the bill’s signing, women were denied information about abortion, fetal pain, and the beautiful world of a developing unborn child.
Empowering women in Minnesota with the opportunity to see the various stages of fetal development and to learn about abortion’s complications and alternatives before she arrives at a clinic to undergo an abortion, Woman’s Right to Know ensures that the information necessary for a woman to properly give her full informed consent before a major surgical procedure, including chemical abortion, is provided. This allows a woman to get the information, have it in her hands, and think about it before she’s commits to any decision, especially since in most cases women are expected to pay the deposit for the abortion before the procedure. Under the law, women have the right to sue abortionists who fail to provide this information.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) launched its initial website and published a Woman’s Right to Know handbook, "If You Are Pregnant," providing women with vital abortion facts. The site and handbook feature beautiful images of unborn babies throughout the 40 weeks of gestation. Minnesota adoption agencies and centers offering alternatives to abortion are listed. Women are informed about abortion risks and complications, methods of abortion, fetal pain, the birth father’s responsibilities and more.
Free copies of the color handbook—including large print, Braille and cassette tape versions—may be ordered from MDH by calling 1-888-234-1137 or via the website.
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