“provides that at any facility where abortions are performed the physician who is to perform the abortion, the referring physician, or another qualified person working in conjunction with either physician shall offer any woman seeking an abortion after 7 weeks of gestation an opportunity to receive and view an active ultrasound of her unborn child by someone qualified to perform ultrasounds at the facility, or at a facility listed in a listing of local ultrasound providers provided by the facility, prior to the woman having any part of an abortion performed or induced, and prior to the administration of any anesthesia or medication in preparation for the abortion.”
This bill has caused quite a stir and is being decried as a violation of a woman’s right to an abortion even though no one is denying anyone anything. In fact, rather than denying, this bill aims to give the mother one last opportunity to consider the ultimate consequence of her act of aborting the pregnancy. Instead of being denied knowledge, this bill gives a mother as much “informed consent” as any patient gets when having to determine a course of action relating to a medical issue. Certainly this is a just, positive, and compassionate way to holistically consider the best course of action for mother and child. If a cancer patient were about to make a decision regarding the right course for treatment of a tumor, I would assume that a scan of the affected area would be a natural part of the consultation. Considering that by seven weeks of gestation the baby’s brain is growing by 100 cells per minute and given that a baby is much more than a tumor, an ultrasound consultation just seems like plain ole’ good medicine. You would think.
Many years ago, before I had children of my own, I would spend my Saturdays in front of one of the many abortion clinics in Houston, Texas, hoping to talk to the women arriving for their abortion appointment. Usually, the woman was accompanied by a boyfriend, or a father, or both. I couldn’t help but notice that the men seemed to be in control of the situation. In one particular instance, a father and boyfriend, each holding the arm of a young woman, angrily flagged me away as they propelled her forward toward the clinic door. The men clearly wanted to make sure that I not have a chance to encourage a change of heart. That scene is still etched in my memory. It was hardly the picture of a woman in control of her body. Sometime later she emerged from the clinic, sobbing, and was once again propelled past me and into the back seat of a car where she curled up in a ball and cried. I can’t help but wonder if she would have found the courage to stand up to the men in her life if she had been given the opportunity to view an ultrasound of her developing baby. Just maybe the natural attachment to the baby would have overridden her fear of a future as a single mom without the financial and emotional support of the father and her family.
Twenty-one years ago I made an appointment with my obstetrician after confirming that I was pregnant with my fifth child. After the exam, my doctor, for the first time in our relationship, told me of the prenatal testing that was available. I was dumbfounded for a split second and then my anger got the best of me as I told him that there would be “no reason to have that testing unless I was planning on aborting the baby should there be abnormalities and since I wouldn’t abort under any circumstances, he could keep his tests.” It was the doctor’s turn to be dumbfounded by my anger at which point he gently told me that he was obligated by law and prudence(to avoid law suits) to inform all patients of the availability of these tests so that the pregnant woman would have access to all the options for her and her child. The irony here is that according to current pro abortion propaganda, it is a good and just thing to require doctors to offer their patients prenatal testing to determine if there are fetal abnormalities, at which point the most likely reaction would be the mother opting for an abortion. However, these same pro aborts do not see the compassion and justice in requiring a doctor to offer the mother the opportunity to glimpse into her own womb and behold the flesh of her flesh for just one moment before issuing the final death sentence. Would it be so bad if the mother elected to continue the pregnancy?
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139: 13 - 16