Abortion is an Information Issue

Hope E Reilly


In the years following the 1992 Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, abortion has been subjected to a wide range of legal restrictions, and the impact of these restrictions has not been adequately studied. While this process of increasingly restrictive regulation may be considered a public health issue, the natures of these laws also make them relevant to information studies. Biased counseling laws mandate that an abortion provider disseminate information specifically designed to discourage a woman from obtaining an abortion. This paper examines the impact of these laws on both the abortion patient and provider. Biased counseling information has a demonstrable effect on the health information access of abortion patients and on the intellectual freedom of abortion providers. However, there are also chilling effects on the intellectual freedom of the abortion patients themselves. This paper establishes abortion as an information issue and calls for future study into its effects on information access and intellectual freedom.



abortion, information access, intellectual freedom, biased counseling laws, reproductive health


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