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Holding abortion providers accountable

A legislative effort to stop the exploitation and protect the authentic rights of women and their children



Requiring professional accountability


Most abortions are unwanted or coerced, many are forced. It would only take a few minutes for abortion providers to ask highly pertinent questions, such as: "Is someone else encouraging you to have this abortion?  Do you want this abortion or are you doing it at the request of someone else?  Are you feeling pressured to have this abortion by any other person? Are you feeling forced to abort because of violence, fear, threats or pressure?  Do you feel any attachment to this pregnancy or any desire to keep it?"


These questions could prevent countless unwanted abortions, protecting the rights of minors and others being coerced and of women being abused, deceptively counseled or forced into unwanted abortions. 


These questions will also help ensure that women can access referrals to available support, family and intervention counseling, or shelters from abuse, which could help thousands of women avoid unwanted, coerced and forced abortions. (Evidence indicates most abortions involve some form of coercion.)


These questions can help save lives of both the unborn and women. By advocating for a woman's right to be free from unwanted, coerced or forced abortions, or abortions used to conceal abuse or even serial sexual assault, we are protecting the rights of both unborn children and mothers whose rights are being neglected or even abused, or those being denied full information and authentic and practical support.


Measures such as screening and good referrals can also help women respond proactively to pressure from their support network, authorities, employers or other parties. 


But today, abortion providers are free to ignore these questions. And sadly, most do. 


The unfortunate reality is that many abortion providers simply do abortions on request, no questions asked. Whenever they fail to screen for coercion or other risk factors, they are neglecting even the most basic professional and ethical standards and missing the opportunity to help many women in the ways they want, need and deserve.


Americans are concerned about coercion and support accountability legislation


Even though many Americans haven't been told that most abortions are unwanted or coerced and that forced abortion is happening in America, too, most are aware of a problem, even if they are unaware of its magnitude.


Nearly half of voters surveyed believe that coerced abortion is common. Polling data show that they would support leaders who advocate legislation holding abortionists liable for failing to screen for evidence of coercion.


Legislation that holds abortionists accountable for unwanted abortions


Our model legislation, "The Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act," simply defines that it is an act of medical negligence not to make at least a good faith effort to screen for evidence of coercion and for factors for psychological problems after abortion. It further provides that only the woman can hold the abortion provider accountable for any failure to do proper screening. It allows women to better hold doctors accountable for providing adequate screening and counseling.


Similar legislation has been passed in South Dakota and Nebraska. To learn more about this legislation, and how you can help get it enacted in your state, please contact the Elliot Institute at 1-888-412-2676 or elliotinstitute@gmail.com.



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