Sunday, March 25, 2007

Abortion And The Politics Of Ultrasound

According to this fine editorial by Star Parker yesterday, South Carolina appears close to becoming the first state in the country to require that women considering an abortion view an ultrasound image of their fetus before deciding to undergo the procedure.

Of course the anti-life proponents characterize the legislation as "intimidation" and "emotional blackmail." According to NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan,

The women of South Carolina are fully capable of asking their doctor for information they need to make private, personal medical decisions. Politicians don't belong in the examining room.

No surprises there.

However, Star provides a valuable corrective to this rhetoric and makes some excellent observations about the reality of women’s choices in the matter of abortion and the very practical [and sobering] role which ultrasounds can serve.

An increasing number of crisis-pregnancy centers now have ultrasound equipment that allows clients to see the child developing within them. Their experience shows that there is little question that this materially impacts the decision that women make. Centers report that anywhere from 62 percent up to 95 percent of women who had intended to abort changed their minds after seeing the images.


When these young women see fingers, toes and a beating heart, they understand the emerging life within them. This is a profound moment of personal growth. It's what causes their change and opens the door to their own rebirth and a life with new possibilities.

Be sure to read Star’s editorial.

The good news is that seventeen states already have or are considering legislation that would ensure that ultrasound viewing is available to women considering abortion. But South Carolina would be the first to make the viewing mandatory.

Jill Stanek recently posted on the subject of compulsory ultrasounds. Read Informed consent or intrusion?

These kinds of laws would save unborn lives just as effectively in Canada but sadly as a nation we are nowhere close to being as concerned as the Americans.

We have lots of work to do.


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