Women’s Right to Know

In January of 2014, Catherine Eagles, a federal judge for North Caroline deemed a portion of the Women’s Right to Known Act as unconstitutional. This portion of the act would require the abortion provider to perform an ultrasound for the women to watch during her abortion. According to Eagles, this service served no medical purpose. This is in violation because requiring any health care provider to deliver a state’s, non-medical based message as if it were their own is a violation of the first amendment rights. Despite this advance, women are still required to attend a counseling session 24 hours prior to the abortion procedure.

In order to analyze this Act, anthropologists have studied the scripts that abortion clinics have written. They have found that most abortion providers find the required counseling session to be condescending. Women are given proper medical information about the procedure and this counseling session is a way for legislatures to inadvertently take away a women’s right to her body. These scripts have given anthropologists insight into how the routinized scripts in medicine serve both an informative and performative task. The performative aspect of the counseling center is there to give one last scare to the abortion patient so they will possibly back out. However, it is also informative because these risks could potentially happen.