Imagine a woman who just found out she was pregnant. Having never been pregnant before, she’s unsure of what to do, what to think, what’s normal, what’s right. A surge of emotions go through her. . . joy, fear, apprehension, unknown, expectation.
She certainly has questions.
Some questions are meant to be reflected on with the one she loves. Questions of what the future holds, of changes that will undoubtedly take place. Are we ready? Will our child be adequately provided for? How am I going to know what to do? Who are we going to tell first?
Many questions can only be answered by a doctor. Can I still have my morning coffee? Am I really eating for two? I heard something about vitamins, oh, and not being able to take medication? She makes an appointment to get her concerns addressed.
She finds out the doctor has some questions for her too. Have you had any complications with a previous pregnancy? Are there any disorders or diseases that run in your family? Do you have a drug or alcohol habit? And he’s going to need to run some tests. No need for concern, these are just routine…physical exam, bloodwork, and then of course, an ultrasound. He wants to be sure of the baby’s age and make sure everything looks alright.
Since the mid-80’s, ultrasound has become standard practice. Gone are the days of not knowing you’re having twins until they are delivered. Or surprised by a boy when you thought you were having a girl. Ultrasound technology makes these kinds of determinations relatively easy, considering the patient is inside a woman’s body. For a normal pregnancy, the ultrasound is used to determine the age of the child, as well as to be more informed about possible risks to both mother and child particularly towards the end of the pregnancy. In higher risk pregnancies, it is used to closely monitor the health of the child and mother as the specific high risk issue is kept in check being able to effectively “see” the child grow for 9 months.
Having recently been pregnant myself, I have experienced being continuously asked by family and friends about my ultrasound. Have I seen or heard the heartbeat? Am I going to find out what I am having, or do I want it to be a surprise? Do I have any pictures to show? Do you get to do the new, really cool, 4D ultrasounds, where you can actually see the child’s face because the picture is so clear? I would never turn down a request for an ultrasound. It is a clear picture of what is blindly happening inside. Of course I would want to use this medical option in order to get the best possible care for pregnancy.
Which is why I find it ironic that what is considered standard operating procedure by doctors across the board is being met with such resistance.
This standard operating procedure, when the child is wanted, will now be standard operating procedure, when the child is not.
But for those determined to “secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women”, incredibly, an ultrasound is considered “biased and inappropriate information with the intent of dissuading women from exercising their reproductive rights”. Wait? Exercising one’s reproductive rights only means choosing to end the life? And the biased and inappropriate information being talked about is going through a medical procedure that every other pregnant woman goes through?
Proponents are fearful. Fearful of the truth. Because something happens when a woman can see what is happening inside her own body. Something is getting in the way of making that choice to end the life of an unwanted child. And it is just that…life. Virginia Women’s Center writes,
For many women, the first peek of their baby on the screen is one of the truly wondrous moments of their lives. Suddenly, the baby is real, and the sense of a growing family gains immediacy and legitimacy…an important bonding experience.
This reaction does not depend on whether the child is wanted or not. The baby is real. An important bonding experience. Hope.
An ultrasound can truly inform and educate a woman with what kind of choice she is really making. As with most difficult decisions we all must make throughout our lifetime, there are so many different sides of a coin, barriers to choosing what is right. But there are options. And many who made the choice to have an abortion wish they had this information, regretting they were uninformed and unaware. Being offered a chance to truly see what is inside one’s body can be a life-altering request. As it should be.
Abortion proponents have long stopped fighting when life begins. Merle Hoffman founded one of the nation’s first abortion clinics. In her written memoirs, she argues women do know what an abortion is.
They knew it, but my patients who made the choice to have an abortion also knew they were making the right one, a decision so vital it was worth stopping that heart. Sometimes they felt a great sense of loss of possibility. In the majority of cases, they felt a great sense of relief and the power that comes from taking responsibility for one’s own life.
Sadly, she creates a wildly outrageous and revealing statement of those who choose to abort…
The act of abortion positions women at their most powerful, and that is why it is so strongly opposed by many in society.
…because, see, she and the leaders of the pro-choice movement around the world have decided that women do not need more information. They do not question whether there truly is a life inside that body. They want the power to control their lives. And they see the ending of a parasitic relationship with a fetus as giving that control. “Women have abortions because they care about themselves.”
Help women to get all the information they need. Help them to be informed. The ultrasound option does not force women to view the ultrasound, it merely gives them a choice. If Ms. Hoffman is correct in her assertion that all women know they are stopping a beating heart, this legislation should be of no threat. Not an image nor statement could change that. But if the many women, who have come out in regret of their abortion, are correct, this legislation can only begin to repair the deception brought on by folks like Ms. Hoffman. Women can begin to feel the connection to their child. Women can make an empowering decision to choose life.
* Since 2004, Focus on the Family has been providing grants to pregnancy resource centers across the nation in order to provide ultrasound technology. This includes converting the center into a pregnancy medical clinic, as well as providing training for clinic staff and purchasing ultrasound equipment. Option Ultrasound Program (OUP) knows first hand that viewing an ultrasound can make a difference. “For women who are abortion minded, seeing that little life on the ultrasound monitor can change their hearts and minds about choosing life for their baby.”
* Please call, write or email your VA delegate and ask him or her to support HB 462. The full Senate has passed SB 484, but there is still opposition in the House to HB 462. Your delegate needs to hear from you today!