When it comes to abortion, trust that women know what they want. - Grist


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When it comes to abortion, trust that women know what they want.

A new study from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at UCSF indicates that women who choose to get abortions are actually quite certain in their decision. In fact, they report having less doubt than with other medical decisions, such as getting a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 (!) states require medical providers to counsel a women seeking abortion, and 27 of those mandate a waiting period between the counseling and the procedure. These laws make up many of the freshest threats to abortion rights in the country.

Previous research has backed up the claim that these waiting periods are medically unnecessary, but this is the first of such studies to scientifically compare a woman’s certainty about getting an abortion to, say, finally getting that mole removed. (Check out the study here.)

“These laws presuppose that women are conflicted in their decision about abortion, but need additional time or information to make a decision,” lead author Lauren Ralph told us. “[Our research] directly challenges the narrative that decision-making about abortion is exceptional or different from other health decisions.”

The takeaway? Never assume women aren’t assured in their medical decision-making — it’s patronizing, scientifically inaccurate, and just not a good look.

Why are we writing about abortion? Click here to learn more.