Influencing Strategy: 5 Tips for a Successful Attorney-Consultant Dialogue

As law firms continue to evolve, expand and shape thought leadership across growing practices, the field of legal marketing has grown in tandem as a result. While the days of putting an advertisement in the yellow pages are long gone, firms still use these essential advertising, business development and marketing strategies in modern practice. As mediums and platforms developed, so did the need for effective consultants well-versed in communications and marketing to strategically spearhead the changing landscape of big law.

Legal marketing professionals have the opportunity to interact with attorneys from a variety of practice areas, departments and backgrounds. These relationships, often both challenging and rewarding, must be approached with the necessary sensitivity and knowledge required of any advisor-advisee relationship. While attorneys are often less comfortable with promotion and display, marketing professionals look for business and growth opportunities through showcasing attorney thought leadership. How do legal marketing professionals navigate these nuances? Read my five tips below for a achieving a successful dialogue.

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Seek a relationship, not an outcome.

"Big law" is called "big law" for a reason. At a firm with a significant number of attorneys, business staff members and legal assistants, it is sometimes difficult to begin and maintain individual relationships with the lawyers for whom you're marketing.

My suggestion: treat attorneys like they're your clients.

In reality, they are. You are marketing for the firm, but you're also marketing for the individual attorneys. Like any successful relationship with a client, gaining trust is an integral aspect of maintaining a positive working dialogue.

For example: Rather than simply contacting an attorney when you'd like to promote a publication, ask to pay a visit to his or her office, have a quick cup of coffee (of course considering time constraints) or even stop by to introduce yourself. By creating this dialogue before marketing work needs to be confronted, the attorney will feel more comfortable working with you.

Be a strategic consultant.

As a legal marketing professional, you likely have a versatile skill set grounded in one or a combination of the following disciplines: communications, business development, risk management, event planning, creative services, and/or public relations.

My suggestion: Use and promote your strong suits.

Regardless of your field, no one likes a show-off. However, what colleagues and managers do like is a confidence in one's abilities with an openness to feedback and suggestion. Many attorneys are not familiar with marketing or the complexities that are involved with the subset of legal marketing. In order to gain their trust and confidence in your abilities to effectively manage their work and promote their thought leadership, assume they are unfamiliar with your background and skill set.

For example: When meeting with an attorney (preferably during an introductory meeting), explain why you decided to pursue your chosen career and how your background has shaped your success in the legal marketing field. By doing this, the attorney has likely not only become confident in your abilities, but has become more informed to your role as a trusted advisor rather than an order-taker.

Base suggestions in fact.

Working with attorneys can sometimes be challenging, especially when legal marketing professionals constantly want to try new things, progress into new territory and explore new mediums.

My suggestion: Bring a suggestion or an argument for a specific action to an attorney that is based in fact and/or past example.

You will likely be met with doubt, reluctance and rejection if you make an unfamiliar suggestion to an attorney without any evidence to back it up. Similar to writing a research paper, substantiate your argument by using examples. It will make your suggestion look and sound more appealing-- hopefully inducing a positive outcome.

For example: If the attorney is new to Twitter and you'd like to promote one of his/her recent articles in a Tweet, don't simply say "let's tweet this." Instead, bring examples of past articles that you've promoted digitally. Even better: show him/her a positive effect one (or more!) of these tweets caused. Maybe another attorney was contacted about a speaking engagement after a related organization saw the tweet. Discuss the potential effects and answer any questions honestly.

Consider client sensitivity.

While some practice areas are typically more confidential than others, all attorneys work on confidential issues at some point during their careers. That means you do, too! Acknowledge this fact before you begin a quest for promotion, and you'll be better off in the long run.

My suggestion: Assume client sensitivity exists before contacting the attorney.

Attorneys are often reluctant to promote their work because it directly contradicts what they learned in law school and in their fields. Client sensitivity hinders a legal marketer's work because it prevents promotion, but don't just assume there's no work to be done.

For example: When working with an attorney on promoting a publication or sending out a client alert, do your homework. Clear a conflicts check before you ask if it's okay to discuss a case. Then, be sure to listen to the attorney about any client sensitivity that exists behind the scenes before moving forward with a project.

Listen to the attorney's ultimate decision.

As a qualified legal marketing professional, your ideas and thoughts are valid, and, if you listened to my third tip, likely substantiated with evidence. However, like any advisor-advisee relationship, there will always be suggestions that are not taken.

My suggestion: Don't be offended by the attorney's ultimate choice.

At the end of the day, you are the attorney's strategic consultant. Your suggestion is simply that: a suggestion. It is the responsibility of the attorney to make a decision he or she feels best suits the work.

For example: You may have pitched a fantastic digital plan for promoting an attorney's recent client alerts. You may have brought hundreds of examples and statistics regarding the effectiveness of the actions described in your plan. Even so, the attorney may still decide not to pursue the plan's contents. That's okay. While it's frustrating, it doesn't mean he or she has a vendetta against you. Don't take it personally. Instead, ask the attorney what he or she would like to see in the future, and what his or her goals are with marketing. That way, you can formulate your ideas based on the feedback you're given.

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I hope you found my tips useful! Legal marketing always has newfound challenges due to the complexities of the work and relationships with attorneys, but it is possible to create and manage successful systems for effective promotion through thoughtful strategy.

Fragrances on your face?

Though it might be tempting to dab some of that sweet-smelling body lotion on your face after applying it to your arms and legs, be cautious when using any fragrance lotions or creams on more sensitive areas! Lotions designed for the body can irritate our faces because they normally include oils, fragrances, pigments, or metals/minerals that could have adverse effects on sensitive skin areas. While our arms and legs aren’t as susceptible to the potentially harmful effects of fragrance lotions, our faces have naturally thinner skin textures. Facial skin, typically filled with more sebaceous glands than the skin elsewhere on our bodies, make the area much more sensitive. Though these lotions are normally dermatologist-tested, they pass safety precautions for our bodies, not our faces. Using lotions designed for our bodies may cause breakouts, rashes, or irritations on our faces, so steer clear!

Happy skincaring, and remember to only use moisturizers on your face designated for sensitive skin!

Winter Chills: Let's Prep!

If you’re anything like me, the winter months can be super harsh on your skin. Strong winds and cold temperatures leave my skin feeling dry and irritated. While we're still a few months out, it's important to think about prepping for your skin during the winter months! Sometimes, even more serious skin problems can occur from having extreme dryness due to harsh weather. These conditions may include cracking, flaking, or even eczema, an inflammation of the skin. Regardless of the severity of any of your ‘winter skin’ issues, paying attention to the effects of the changing seasons is essential to creating a complexion you’ll love into the future! In order to combat the long winter and its harsh effects on exposed skin, cleansing and moisturizing are extremely important! Here are a few tips on how to keep skin moisturized and smooth throughout the winter:

1. Change up your moisturizer. You may love the moisturizer you use during the spring, summer, and fall, but winter brings along with it colder temperatures that could dry out your skin more than usual! Switching to an oil-based moisturizer from one that is water-based will lock in hydration for a significantly longer time period. Oil-based products create a protective layering on your skin that will help provide extra strength against cold temperatures and harsh winds. Though we tend to stay away from these products in order to prevent our skin from looking too greasy, the oil base in the moisturizer will balance out the dryness of your skin during the winter months, leaving your face feeling and looking great! Many products labeled as ‘night creams’ are oil-based, but check the label for details before purchasing!

2. Protect against UV Rays. Even in cold temperatures, the sun can still have damaging effects on your skin! Between sunlight and a glare from any snow on the ground, your exposed skin is very vulnerable to UV rays. Using sunscreen daily, or a moisturizer infused with any sort of broad-spectrum protection, will keep your skin feeling hydrated throughout the winter. It will also help prevent against burning, irritation, or rashes.

3. Steer Clear of Astringents. Though masks and peels work wonders on our skin, it’s important to proceed with caution when using them in the winter. Many of these products sometimes strip away essential oils from our skin, leaving our faces exposed, raw, and dry. Instead of using clay-based masks or peels that tend to extract necessary moisture, switch to one that states its ‘deeply hydrating’ effects on the skin. Additionally, using gentle foaming or milk-based cleansers can counteract the stripping of oils that your skin may experience.

4. Humidify. During the winter, central heating systems in houses and apartments can leave indoor air very dry. To combat the negative effects this dry heat has on your skin, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Increased moisture inside will help keep your skin from drying out. If you have numerous, small humidifiers, place them throughout your living space to help spread the moist air evenly.

5. Be warm instead of hot. Similarly to any lasting exposure to dry heat, hot water temperatures can dry out your skin. Though you might want to jump in a hot shower after a long day in the cold, take warm showers and baths instead of cranking the knobs to the hottest possible limit. Extremely hot water actually breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, allowing moisture out and dryness in. In addition to using warm water instead of hot, try to take shorter showers or baths. Staying in warmer water for shorter periods of time will help counteract exposure to dry heat and hot temperatures. If you suffer from one of the aforementioned conditions resulting from extremely dry skin, try taking a bath with oatmeal or baking soda added into the tub. These substances relieve itchiness and flakiness through a gentle and natural cleansing process.

6. Hydrate. Even though the colder temperatures may not make you thirsty, it’s important for both your skin and your overall health to drink enough water. Staying properly hydrated ensures the replenishment of moisture in your skin and throughout your entire body. Though it seems to be a common misconception that drinking more water will automatically ensure perfect skin, hydrating frequently will only aid in your attempts to lock in moisture and create a glowing complexion.

I hope these suggestions help you combat the negative effects winter weather may have on your skin! Happy skincaring!

Pores-No-More

Tired of super-visible pores? Want your skin to look healthier and cleaner? Charcoal naturally binds to dirt and impurities in nature, and does the same thing on your skin! When pores fill with dirt and oil, their appearance is magnified, making them more noticeable and seemingly larger. Using charcoal-based products helps reduce pore size by extracting dirt from inside and under the skin that a normal cleanser won’t always reach. Try these products to minimize apparent pores and refine your skin!

So far, I’ve tried the “Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser” as well as the “Charcoal Pore Minimizing Scrub.” After just one use, I already can see a reduced appearance of pores on my cheeks and nose! Below are descriptions and instructions for using both the cleanser and the scrub.

  • Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
    • Why should you use it? This cleanser’s charcoal base works to draw out and collect twice as much dirt as compared to a regular cleanser. It purifies your pores and does a thorough, ‘deep clean’ of your skin. After only one use, this cleanser leaves your skin refined and your pores twice as clean.
    • How to use it: Use the cleanser once daily. First, make sure face is completely wet. Then, work the cleanser into a foam in your palms and massage over entire face. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Charcoal Pore Minimizer
    • Why should you use it? This pore minimizer is a scrub that works to gently exfoliate (key word “gently;” see my post about caring for your face in the winter!) and deeply clean dirt and impurities to rapidly reduce the appearance of pores. The formula is activated with water to draw out dirt and oil from below the skin’s surface. The use of micro-crystals helps to leave skin smoother and cleaner. After just one use, the scrub helps to reduce the appearance of pores.
    • How to use it: Use up to 2-3 times per week. Wet both hands and face with warm water. Use one pump of substance into hands and work the scrub into a lather. Gently massage entire face and immediately rinse completely using warm water.

Hopefully pore-conscious readers find this post helpful and the line useful! I’m really excited to try some of Biore’s other charcoal-based products. Happy skincaring!

Biore has an affordable line of charcoal-based products specifically dedicated to minimizing the appearance of pores. Buy any of these products at a local CVS/Walgreens for less than $10 each.

Biore has an affordable line of charcoal-based products specifically dedicated to minimizing the appearance of pores. Buy any of these products at a local CVS/Walgreens for less than $10 each.

Daily Regimen

Daily care regimens vary greatly, but simply having one is immensely important for healthy skin! Regimens should depend on one’s skin type, product preferences, and time and monetary constraints. After lots of product tests and trial-and-errors, I’ve finally found a daily regimen that’s quick, easy, affordable, and great for my skin type!*

My current regiment utilizes Mary Kay products. You can find the skincare packages for normal, dry, and oily skin, as well as other Mary Kay signature products, by clicking here.

  • Morning:
    • Step 1– Remove both face and eye make-up entirely. In the shower or at the sink, wet face and apply a generous layer of the ‘botanical effects’ cleanser for normal skin. Massage gently across entire face.
    • Step 2– Wet the brush attached to the ‘skinvigorate’ cleansing tool. After powering on the tool, gently allow the brush to massage entire face for about 1 minute, spreading time evenly across chin, cheeks, and forehead.
    • Step 3– Rinse face and gently pat dry. Rinse brush on the ‘skinvigorate’ tool and dry tool completely.
    • Step 4– Apply a generous layer of the ‘botanical effects’ hydrating formula (moisturizer) for normal skin.
  • Evening:
    • Step 1– Remove both face and eye make-up entirely. In the shower or at the sink, wet face and apply a generous layer of the ‘botanical effects’ exfoliating mask for normal skin. (This product can be used as an exfoliator in the shower/at the sink as well as a dry mask**). Massage gently to allow exfoliating beads to remove dead skin. Rinse thoroughly.
    • Step 2– Apply a generous layer of the ‘botanical effects’ cleanser for normal skin. Massage gently across entire face.
    • Step 3– Wet the brush attached to the ‘skinvigorate’ cleansing tool. After powering on the tool, gently allow the brush to massage entire face for about one minute, again spending about 15-20 seconds on each of your major facial areas.
    • Step 4– Rinse face and gently pat dry. Rinse brunch on the ‘skinvigorate’ tool and dry completely.
    • Step 5– Spray a small amount of the ‘botanical effects’ freshener for normal skin onto a cotton ball. Gently massage face.
    • Step 6– Apply a generous layer of the ‘botanical effects’ hydrating formula (moisturizer) for normal skin.

The four products described in my daily regimen. From left to right: Freshener, Cleanser, Hydrating Moisturizer, Exfoliator/Mask. Top: Skinvigorate tool.

That’s it! In total, the regimen takes about 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes out of your entire day for clear, healthy skin?! I’ll take it. Happy skincaring!

*Daily regimens should vary depending on personal skin types. Consult a dermatologist if you have difficulty identifying your specific type.*

**Exfoliating products should be used with caution. Depending on your skin sensitivity, you may want to exfoliate more or less often. Those with normal skin types can exfoliate once per day, while those with more sensitive skin types should exfoliate 2-3 times per week. Consult your dermatologist if you have questions about appropriate exfoliating practices.**

Caring for your skin + why it matters

Why SkinCARE?

No one likes acne, but caring for your skin actually entails much more than just covering up a few pimples! Why should we care for our skin? Below, I outline a few reasons:

1. Protection: Our skin is the LARGEST organ in our bodies! It’s really versatile and does many things. Covering our entire body, the skin actually supports bone structure, protects muscles and organs, provides fluidity while we move, and releases harmful toxins. Without its health, the skin can’t help and protect us.

2. Acute and chronic illness prevention: Not caring for our skin can actually lead to both short and long-term illnesses, diseases and discomforts. Painful sunburns, acne, pockmarks (scars left behind from acne), and wrinkles can result from neglecting and not caring for our skin. More seriously, things like skin cancer, scars, burns, and sun damage can have lasting and harmful effects on our overall health. Taking certain precautions, such as wearing sunscreen, can increase our chances of staying healthy.

3. Environmental exposure: Regardless of our age or situation, we are exposed to the elements every single day! Harsh winds, dry air, humidity, pollutants, and excessive heat can all affect our skin in differing and negative ways. By having a daily regimen, we can help ourselves conquer the detrimental effects the elements have on our skin.

4. Aging: Especially for some of us millennial girls, aging seems like the furthest problem away! However, if we start thinking about how to protect and care for our skin correctly now, we can still have glowing, radiant skin when we’re older! As we age, our skin tends to lose its elasticity due to a slower production of cells and collagen. As the existing cells break down quite rapidly, dead skin cells accumulate and can leave the skin feeling bumpy, rough, or blotchy. Starting a daily regimen now allows us to get into healthy skincare habits for the rest of our lives.

5. Appearances: I specifically added this reason last because caring for our skin is important for much more than simply how we look! However, so many of us want to feel more confident in our appearance. That being said, looking great comes from taking care of our skin! We all want our skin to look ‘young’ and ‘radiant.’ We see anti-aging products everywhere, and women constantly try to make themselves look younger. In order to keep our skin looking bright and fresh, we can use exfoliating and moisturizing products without harsh chemicals.

Now that you have a few good reasons to take care of your skin, I hope you consider starting a daily care regimen!

Happy skincaring!

Blog Posts: Description

Please note that the blog posts tagged "RepublicanMajorityforChoice" were written for a previous internship and do not necessarily reflect my personal views. As any communications professional, one must adapt to the voice of the organization and its stakeholders to remain effective.

Debate Regarding Women's Health: Not Limited to Region

One of the most staggering things we can see from national data is just how far-reaching the limitations on women’s reproductive health are across the United States. Unlike many other social phenomena that infiltrate our nation’s political scene and typically fall under one ideological view in certain regions, restrictions on women’s reproductive health options are widespread and unlimited. With the exception of parts of the West and Northeast, detrimental laws continue to be passed throughout the United States, inhibiting women in more ways than one. 

According to the New York Times, ten states have imposed more than ten policies that block women’s access to a safe and legal abortion in some capacity since 2011. To put it another way: In just a four year timespan, one-fifth of the United States has created an environment of hardship and lack of solution for women who need access to basic, fundamental healthcare. 

The states that have imposed these harsh measures to prevent women and families the access they deserve are sadly in states with Republican-led legislatures and governors. It has become increasingly obvious that geographic location does not play as much of a role in these issues as party affiliations and political ties. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas continue to be led by conservative lawmakers who are not focusing on real solutions that put individual freedom back into the homes of women and families. At such a crucial time, it is imperative that common-sense Republicans reach out to legislators to voice their displeasure with the continued attacks on reproductive health access. Hundreds of thousands of Republicans disagree with these policies their lawmakers put into place; it’s time that we speak up. 

Republican Majority for Choice is tirelessly working with REAL Republicans who want to preserve the original conservative ideals of personal liberty and individual responsibility. By having conversations with policymakers on both sides of the aisle, we are confident that we can find effective solutions to continue decreasing the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Through advocating for family planning initiatives and preventative measures, we will reach compromises with lawmakers from around the nation to ensure safe options for women that can be discussed with their families and medical practitioners.

A Decrease in Teen Pregnancy and Abortion: Access Influences Positive Results

A new study reveals news that the nation’s teen abortion rate has reached its lowest level since the legalization of the procedure. The Guttmacher Institute, the leading research and policy organization in the reproductive health field, reported this analysis earlier this week.

Not surprisingly, the occurrence of teen pregnancies has also decreased dramatically– with the rate dropping to its lowest level in more than thirty years as of 2011. According to the report produced by the Institute, these significant and historic declines are likely influenced by an increased use of contraception.

With rates dropping so drastically, it is important to recognize the essential factors driving these changes in reproductive health. More access to education and safe, effective birth control has led teens to take personal responsibility and control of their own decisions. Learning about options that are legal and have proven success rates encourage teens to engage in family planning initiatives, thus decreasing the rate of unintended pregnancy and abortion.

The report noted that “there is evidence that contraceptive practices have improved among older teens.” Increased availability to learning about contraception methods has clearly influenced its usage rate– a positive fact among many disheartening laws that attempt to prevent personal liberty and choice. Republican Majority for Choice is proud to propose and support policies that can be appreciated by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle– ones that lower the rate of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

One Week Left: Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

Next week, the US Supreme Court will hear final arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case originating in Texas regarding women’s reproductive health rights. Stephanie Toti, the head litigator for the case with experience in advocating for reproductive health rights, will argue that the growing number of laws restricting women’s access to safe abortions is unconstitutional.

This case has major implications on the state of women’s reproductive health– not only in Texas, but also nationwide. As some lawmakers attempt to circumvent the Roe v. Wade decision using TRAP laws and other regulations specifically targeted at abortion providers, clinics around the country are closing, making it increasingly difficult for women to receive adequate reproductive health care. TRAP laws successfully close clinics by imposing extreme regulations that force providers to pay exorbitant amounts of money for implementation-– making it too expensive to stay afloat and to continue offering their helpful services.

Toti notes the obvious repercussions this case’s outcome would have on the national state of women’s health: “The standard that the Supreme Court sets in this case will affect access to abortion all over the country. If these Texas laws are upheld, similar laws currently subject to litigation in other states will be, too”—in places like Louisiana, Kansas, Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. And if those states follow suit, “it will threaten to eliminate abortion access for women,” she says.

The United States can’t afford to move backward instead of forward on an issue that affects women, families and the economy. We know there are proven, effective ways to lower the rate of unintended and teen pregnancy and the rates of abortion while upholding the constitutional protection of privacy and individual freedom to make medical decisions.

Republican Majority for Choice has been front and center in this debate. We are successfully lobbying Congress to maintain funding for common-sense, effective preventive family planning programs. Additionally, our group has joined the fight at the Supreme Court by filing our first-ever amicus brief by outlining key GOP arguments for why the court must find these TRAP laws unconstitutional.

The RMC team will be at the Court on March 2nd showing our support when the justices hear this case. Our National Co-Chair, Susan Bevan, will act as a key speaker at the rally and press conference ensuring Republican voices are heard and represented.  Pro-choice Republicans are not anti-life-– we are standing up for the core GOP ideals of limited government control and personal freedom. We hope you join us on March 2nd at the Supreme Court to support our efforts, press work and lobby work in person. However, if you can’t be there, you can still show your support and let your voice be heard by donating today.

We need your support to ensure success is these vital efforts that protect personal liberty!

Not my GOP: Marco Rubio's Extreme Stance on a Common-Sense Issue

Though the debate regarding women’s reproductive health rights continues to be an infrequent topic of discussion among presidential candidates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio has taken an extreme stance on the issue of abortion.

Noting his strict anti-choice beliefs, Rubio is opposed to abortion in all cases except to save the mother’s life. This opposition includes exceptions for rape and incest-– exceptions that even many anti-choice activists agree should be implemented. In case this extreme stance isn’t enough, other anti-choice Republican candidates have come out in disbelief regarding Rubio’s statements.

Jeb Bush and Chris Christie noted that his abortion beliefs are “scary,” and that his stance on the issue will cause both moderate and Democratic voters, particularly women, to shy away from the party entirely. Senator Lindsay Graham, a Bush supporter, explained to a CNN reporter:

“The most tragic thing in the world is for a woman to be raped, a child, a pregnancy caused by rape. I’m pro-life, but I can’t go there, I can’t tell that woman you gotta carry that child. That’s a sensitive issue, and I think in a general election that will be a hard sell.”

It’s hard to imagine a presidential candidate with such an extreme stance on this incredibly sensitive and highly important debate. As mainstream Republicans, we fight for personal liberties and limited government involvement. Marco Rubio’s stance on abortion is not only extreme, but also goes against everything Republicans stand for: the right to make their own choices without government intervention.

A Common-Sense Response to Settled Law: SCOTUS Rejects Revival of Arkansas Abortion Ban

The ongoing debate regarding women’s reproductive health law has gained even more attention this week, as the US Supreme Court refused to revive an Arkansas law that would ban abortions after 12 weeks– thus allowing the pre-viablity standard to remain.

The Arkansas law, according to federal judges, was inconsistent with previous SCOTUS rulings that typically tie pregnancy termination rights to viability. Fetal viability, or the supposed ability of the fetus to survive outside the womb, is said to usually be reached at 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. The law was an attempt by anti-choice lawmakers to find loopholes in Constitutional rights for women’s reproductive health and to overturn the basic premise of 1973 Roe v. Wade decision– one that that legalized abortion until viability while allowing states to regulate and restrict the procedure post-viability.

The Supreme Court is set to review two other reproductive health-related laws in the coming months.  This week’s move lends support to the notion that the right to choose is settled law and recognized that decisions about a woman’s pregnancy should be made by herself, her family and her medical practitioner– not by the government.

We look to activists on all sides of this issue to join us in focusing on real solutions that prevent unintended pregnancy in the first place. With greater access to information, education and contraception, we can achieve the mutually desired goal of wanted and healthy pregnancies as well as reducing the rate of abortions.