The purpose of informed consent is to have a doctor (not other clinic personnel) inform the person who will have a surgical or invasive procedure of the following:
- A clear explanation of what will be done
- A clear explanation of how it will be done
- A clear explanation of which medications will be used
- A complete list of the inherent risks in performing this procedure, including the increased risk of suicide, and
- Adequate opportunity to ask questions.
The doctor is obliged to encourage you to seek alternatives for any and all invasive procedures. This includes abortion, whether performed surgically or medically.
The Wisconsin Abortion Law Brief includes these guides for informed consent:
- Probable gestational age and probable anatomical and physical characteristics of the fetus. (How far along am I in my pregnancy?)
- Details of the medical or surgical procedure to be used as well as all of the risks they entail. (What are you going to do, and how could that hurt me?)
- Making ultrasound images available of the fetus or the opportunity to listen to the fetus’ heartbeat. (Can I see the fetus and hear the heartbeat?)
- There is Medical Assistance available for you to pay for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care to cover the costs of delivering this baby if you choose to do so. (Is there financial help available to me if I continue my pregnancy?)
- The father is liable (legally responsible) for the baby’s financial support after birth. (How is the baby’s father supposed to help me?)
- All women seeking abortion are allowed to change their minds before the abortion has been performed.*
* If you decide not to have an abortion, start with the abortion facility by obtaining a refund of the money you paid. Abortion facilities cannot charge you for procedures that did not occur. You may be charged for lab tests and the ultrasound, but you should not be charged for “services” not performed. If they refuse to refund the money you paid for an abortion, which you no longer wish to have, you may want to call and make an appointment with the Women’s Care Center. Tell them about the money you paid for an abortion, how you changed your mind, and how the clinic will not refund you. There is no guarantee, but they may be able to assist you. You would be required to go to their center. Their Toll-Free number is: 877-908-2341.