Most women are highly certain about abortion decisions

Some laws restricting abortion access require women to clear additional hurdles, such as mandatory waiting periods or extra counseling. Some argue these restrictions protect women seeking abortions because they may be uncertain about their decision. A recent study led by ANSIRH researchers showed that women visiting abortion providers had equal or greater certainty about their decisions than other patients do about reconstructive knee surgeries, common cancer treatments and myriad other health care decisions.

Although, on average, the women expressed a high degree of confidence in their abortion decisions, some felt less certain. They tended to be younger, more religious and more likely to believe misinformation about abortion.

This study raises important doubts about burdensome barriers to abortion access, such as waiting periods. If the uncertainty these laws purport to address does not exist, then how can the burden they impose on women be justified?