Why are ”Pro-Choice” groups actually “anti-ultrasound?” Are they afraid informed women won’t make the choice they are pushing?
In most cases, liberals claim to be proponents of “empowering the people” by demanding that they are educated enough to make informed decisions. After all…choice implies that there are options, and the best way to ensure people know their options is to give them all information that is available. Right?
- Liberals have relentlessly lobbied for state-funded sex education programs that provide medically accurate, non-religious information about both abstinence and contraception. They believe by giving all of the facts to teens, it will help them make more informed, responsible decisions.
- Anti-smoking lobbyists have fought for warning labels on all tobacco packaging, and have even pushed for a requirement that cigarette packages exhibit grotesque images of cancerous lungs. After all, the public should have the right to know the possible repercussions of their choice to smoke.
- The recording industry has been required for years to apply warning labels to their productions—making sure the listener understands exactly what is contained in the product.
- Movies and TV programs are assigned a rating in order to pre-warn of potentially offensive material, so viewers can avoid content they choose not to view.
- The food police have successfully campaigned to have detailed labels on virtually every food item sold today—outlining every calorie, fat gram, and chemical composition of all packaged grocery products.
To be clear, I am not opposed to more information. I enjoy knowing what is in the foods I buy, I appreciate ratings systems that protect young movie-goers from adult-oriented content, and I believe dangerous products should come with a warning label.
What is confusing to me is the liberal, Pro-Choice community’s opposition to providing all of the facts to expectant mothers as they explore their ‘reproductive options.’
Approximately 10 years ago, General Electric began running an emotionally gripping TV commercial for their technologically astounding 4D Ultrasound Imaging System. As the tune “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” plays, the commercial begins with a close-up of the loving gaze of an expectant mother. The frame then shifts to the photo-quality image of the face of an unborn baby generated by GE’s 4D technology. As it shows the two parents staring at the image of their child, their emotional connection with this “clump of cells” is obvious and touching. The ad finishes with a shot of the parents holding their child—now a newborn baby, and a narrated voice saying “When you see your baby for the first time on the new GE 4D Ultrasound System…it really is a miracle.” (watch the video here)
Not surprisingly, Pro-Abortion activists hated the ad, which clearly shows that the child growing inside of a mother could never be described merely as a clump of cells. Instead, it put a human face to the child. This technology provided such clarity and detail that parents were able to view their unborn babies opening and closing their eyes, sucking their thumbs, and even smiling. This certainly didn’t fit the Pro-Arbortionist agenda. Instead, it exposed their systematic lie that abortion is no different than removing a cancerous growth.
The Abortion Industry was up in arms—accusing GE of “promoting the pro-life agenda.” How horrible! Naturally, the Pro-Abortion movement feared the impact this technology might have on their billion dollar industry, and they put pressure on GE to stop running the ad—which they did.
In truth, education and viable alternatives are discouraged by the abortion industry. The more factual information a woman has, the less likely she would be to make the choice to have an abortion. This is why women’s health clinics that don’t push abortion are demonized by Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Women’s Health Center, and other Pro-Abortion groups.
The website of the Feminist Women’s Health Center has a page titled “Beware of Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Crisis Centers,” where women are warned to stay away from centers that stress alternatives to abortion. Consider the motivation behind the following excerpts:
these groups want to be the first contact a woman makes when she thinks she might be pregnant, so they can talk her out of considering abortion.
Some of these centers offer ultrasound (also known as sonograms). But that does not mean the personnel operating the equipment have received quality medical training.
IF you discover you are seeking help from an anti-abortion facility, protect yourself from further harassment. Leave immediately and do not return. When you do locate a professional clinic that offers information about all options, be sure to tell them about your experience at the fake clinic and let them help you sort out the facts from the religious views or outright lies you have been told.
They go on to instruct women on “How to Locate a Reliable Honest clinic” (obviously, the reliable honest clinics are those that push abortion).
Select clinics that provide the full range of contraceptive alternatives.
Ask on the phone if they provide or refer for abortion services. Avoid centers that refuse to give a straightforward answer.
Do not use the ones listed in yellow pages under Abortion Alternatives.
WATCH OUT for deceptive (anti-abortion) pregnancy centers. Their true purpose is to steer women away from abortion.
Clearly, these abortion mills are desperate to get to a scared, impressionable, pregnant woman before anyone else has a chance to give her all of the facts. They know that the more a woman becomes educated about what is really going on inside of her body, the more likely she is to make the choice to NOT kill her unborn child. This is simply unacceptable to these dealers of death.
In a February, 2005 New York Times article, the role of ultrasounds in the abortion debate was discussed. The piece begins with the story of a 24-year-old woman who was seeking a clinic where she could get an abortion, and just happened to contact one of these “fake clinics.”
Sixteen months ago, Andrea Brown, 24 years old and unmarried, was desperate for an abortion, fearing the disappointment of her parents and the humiliation she might face.
While frantically searching the telephone book one day, she came across the Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center and Medical Clinic, a church-financed organization that provides counseling and education about sexual abstinence. The receptionist told Ms. Brown that the clinic did not perform abortions or make referrals but that she could come in for an ultrasound to make sure her six-and-a-half-week pregnancy was viable. When she did, everything changed.
“When I had the sonogram and heard the heartbeat – and for me a heartbeat symbolizes life – after that there was no way I could do it,” Ms. Brown said recently as she revisited the clinic and watched her daughter, Elora, now 9 months old, play at her feet.
It’s clear why the abortion industry goes to great lengths to discredit and demonize these ‘abortion alternative’ clinics, along with their use of the ultrasound as a means of educating the expectant mothers. Suzanne Martinez, former vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood told the NY Times that the use of ultrasounds by pregnancy centers is “coercive.” She went on to say, “From the time they walk into these centers, they are inundated with information that is propaganda and that has one goal in mind. And that is to have women continue with their pregnancies.”
Nancy Keenan, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), said that ultrasounds “shouldn’t be misused to badger or coerce women by these so-called crisis pregnancy centers.”
Alison Herwett, former director of government relations for NARAL said this about these abortion-alternative clinics, “They just want them to go to crisis pregnancy centers, where women will be exposed to this weapon (ultrasounds) at taxpayers’ expense.”
I find it interesting that ultrasounds—tools used to give more information to women about their reproductive health—are considered weapons by those who are so desperate to coerce expectant mothers into killing their unborn babies. One of the consistent themes among Pro-Abortion activists is that Pro-Life advocates want to force women to abandon modern technology, and return to the day of the ‘rusty coat hanger.’ Isn’t it odd that these same people are now fighting against the use of the most modern tool in women’s health–the ultrasound?
In the same NY Times article, there is a reference to a survey conducted by the Heidi Group, a Christian evangelical nonprofit organization that advises such centers on fund-raising and administration. The study reported the following statistics taken from those who had visited one of these pregnancy crisis centers.
…those using counseling alone reported persuading 70 percent of women considering abortion to abandon the idea. In centers with ultrasound machines, that number jumped to 90 percent.
In a different 2005 study reported by Focus On The Family, the statistics, although slightly different, demonstrate a similar effect of providing an expectant mother with the other side of the abortion argument.
Among women considering abortion, surveys indicate that 57 percent will keep their babies after receiving counseling at a pregnancy resource center. That figure jumps to 79 percent when expectant mothers see an image of their baby on an ultrasound machine.
Ironically, virtually all abortion clinics use ultrasounds in the abortion process. In fact, they are the most common method used by abortion doctors to establish developmental phase of the fetus, so they can determine the most ‘appropriate’ method by which to kill the baby. Ultrasounds are also used as an integral part during most abortion procedures. However, don’t go getting any ideas that these abortion-pushers would use the ultrasound to help the mother make her decision. In most cases, the abortion clinics go out of their way to keep the mother from even seeing the ultrasound image, or letting her hear the heartbeat of the child that will soon be stopped. The screens of these ultrasound machines are intentionally turned away from the pregnant women.
Planned Parenthood’s Martinez stated that the use of ultrasounds at these abortion alternative clinics “isn’t a matter of providing more knowledge, but an attempt to manipulate women.” It sounds like Ms. Martinez believes she should decide for women which knowledge is useful, and which is manipulative.
That would explain why Rebekah Nancarrow, who visited a Planned Parenthood in 2001 was denied her request to view her baby on an ultrasound. After finding out she was pregnant, and being pressured by her boyfriend to have an abortion, Nancarrow visited Planned Parenthood. She received an ultrasound to determine how far along she was so they could determine the best method to kill the baby. She requested to see the results of the ultrasound, but was not allowed, being told “that will only make it harder for you.”
Not liking their answer, Nancarrow decided to visit a local pregnancy resource center. She told them she planned on getting an abortion, and gave them one chance to convince her otherwise. After viewing the ultrasound, and seeing the image of the human life growing inside of her, she instantly changed her mind. She reported, “I honestly have to say that had I not had the sonogram, I would have had the abortion. But that sonogram just confirmed 100 percent to me that this was a life within me, not a tissue or a glob.”
That’s exactly what the likes of Planned Parenthood want to avoid.
In the Spring 2012 newsletter for the National Network of Abortion Funds, they affirm “…that we trust women to make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives…” Of course, it seems they only trust women to make their own decisions if they are only given one side of the story.
Any attempt to provide pregnant women with alternatives to abortion is considered coercion, manipulation, and a denial of her reproductive rights. It seems on this issue, like nearly every other issue, the liberals have things backward. In order to empower women to have real choice…options and alternatives must be provided. Why is it that the Pro-Abortion crowd wants to deny women…choice?