The survey of 187 women seeking obstetric and gynecological services at a Wisconsin women's health clinic was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in July. The women were given a short survey in which they were asked to state their preferences for information about elective medical procedures [including abortion]. They ranked the degree of information they preferred regarding alternative treatments and complication rates, and rated the severity of different types of complications, ranging in severity from headaches to death.PK Coleman, DC Reardon, MB Lee, "Women's preferences for information and complication seriousness ratings related to elective medical procedures," Journal of Medical Ethics, 32:435-438 (2006).
The results showed that 95 percent of patients wished to be informed of all the risks of a procedure and 69 percent wanted to be informed of all alternative treatments, not just the alternatives preferred by their doctor.
Moreover, in their ranking of the seriousness of complications, mental health complications ranked as very serious, only slightly below the risk of death or heart disease. This finding may be especially important to the abortion debate since recent peer-reviewed studies have linked abortion to increased rates of mental health problems, such as suicidal behavior, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and sleep disorders.
I'd now like to see a survey where 18,700 women answered these questions about abortion, and not just in Wisconsin but in red and blue states everywhere.
Or better yet, a records-based study, where these questions are part of existing intake records all along, so there's no room for potential interview bias.
But then, pro-choice lobbyists won't tolerate such questions being asked willy-nilly, especially in their pro-choice states.
Ironic, isn't it? So much for women's rights. I guess we have the right to everything abortion-related except the right to know everything abortion-related.