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By Gail Attberry

Anyone who has ever undergone a surgical procedure knows that it is common practice for the attending physician to receive the patient's consent prior to the actual procedure. Before entering the operating room, the surgeon explains everything involved, including possible complications and alternative solutions. Cooperation between patient and physician is understood and expected.

With abortions, however, it is a common assumption that women know what is will happen to them. Health centers and abortion clinics provide only minimal information prior to the actual procedure.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of women undergo abortions. Many of these women later suffer years of emotional trauma as a result of deciding to abort without a basic understanding of the emotional and physical implications of the procedure or the alternatives available to them.

Women often decide to abort while under severe emotional stress, sometimes within a few days of learning that they are pregnant. The decision is often made as a result of pressure from the woman's partner or other family members.

The United States Government is presently considering passing a law requiring all health centers and abortion clinics to provide women requesting an abortion with full medical information including details of the procedure and information about various options.

Women have a right to receive full information before making a decision to terminate a pregnancy. Implementation of this law will assure that from now on, women will receive the information necessary to make an informed decision.

It is up to women to advocate that this law is passed, since a decision to terminate a pregnancy is a decision for life.