Ethical Choice Architecture in Preabortion Counseling

AMA J Ethics. 2020 Sep 1;22(9):E792-795. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2020.792.


Most women requesting pregnancy termination have already decided to undergo an abortion. Physicians are required to obtain informed consent after offering objective and accurate descriptions of abortion and its risks and benefits. Some jurisdictions also require concurrent counseling and ultrasound viewing. This article discusses potential benefits and harms of providing emotionally charged or biased content about abortions at the time of service, considers what constitutes ethical content, and explores when ethical content should be part of abortion decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Morals
  • Pregnancy