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Minnesota’s Woman’s Right to Know informed consent law was enacted in 2003. The law empowers women with basic factual information prior to undergoing abortion—so that they can properly give their full consent before submitting to a surgical or chemical abortion procedure.

Woman's Right to Know hearing in Minnesota

Pro-lifers at a Woman's Right to Know vote

Woman’s Right to Know requires that, 24 hours before an abortion takes place, a woman must receive the following information:


  • The medical risks associated with the abortion procedure (such as infection and hemorrhage) and with carrying the child to term;

  • The gestational age of the unborn child;

  • The medical assistance benefits and child support payments available to her.


A woman must also be offered materials made available by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The MDH booklet, “If You Are Pregnant,” is available both in print and online. It includes photographs and descriptions of prenatal development, descriptions of abortion methods, explanations of the risks of abortion, information about alternatives to abortion, and more. Free copies of the color handbook—including large print, Braille, and cassette tape versions—may be ordered from MDH via the website.


In 2005 and 2006, the following additional requirements were added to the Woman’s Right to Know law:


  • When a woman is more than 20 weeks pregnant, she must be told whether an anesthetic or analgesic could alleviate pain to the unborn child caused by the abortion;

  • A woman whose unborn child has been diagnosed with a terminal condition must be informed of available perinatal hospice services as an alternative to abortion.

Annual statistics from MDH show that many abortion-minded women have opted against abortion after receiving the Woman’s Right to Know information.

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