Catholic University Law Review


In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down regulations that it believed would inhibit a woman’s ability to receive meaningful personal consultation and support before choosing to have an abortion. The Court thus echoed what it had emphasized in Roe v. Wade more than 40 years earlier—that an abortion decision would follow an extensive discussion between a woman and her physician. An ob/gyn who provides a woman with regular care likely is best equipped to offer this type of consultation, but most ob/gyns do not perform abortions, and there is evidence that physicians who perform abortions do not always engage in robust dialogue with the women whom they see for that purpose. In light of these realities, this article suggests that states adopt measures to facilitate consultation by a woman considering abortion with a physician whom she has chosen to provide her with comprehensive care. The article proposes model legislation designed both to achieve this end and to respect a woman’s constitutional rights.