The abortion industry has had a love/hate relationship with ultrasound ever since its advent in the ‘70s. On one hand, it has enabled abortion providers to be more “safe” and effective in their practice. But on the other hand, the increased visibility of life in the womb has progressively turned the tide of opinion against abortion.
Simply put: ultrasound is the No.1 game changer in the abortion battle and the single most powerful piece of informed consent. No other medium has been more effective in turning the hearts of the mothers to their children. It screams “LIFE!” to the mother. Having a pro-life pregnancy counselor at every abortion consultation would not be more powerful than the window to the womb. Ultrasound saves lives.
This fact is not lost on our opponents. The numbers don’t lie. They have openly admitted that ultrasound is responsible for the swinging pendulum of public opinion. Which is precisely why the abortion industry is moving away from this technological marvel of science. With the passing of “woman’s right to view” laws in many states and more and more women choosing to keep their children, the abortion industry is ready to part ways with the greatest obstetric breakthrough of modern times. The technology has become a Trojan horse allowing the child in utero to change the outcome of the battle.
The abortion industry in Europe has already abandoned the use of ultrasound, and the United States will soon follow. They can’t afford to continue to lose clients and converts to the cause of life. When the cons outweigh the pros, it becomes necessary to change methods.
This is why it is imperative that we require an ultrasound test on women seeking an abortion. In the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the state has a “legitimate interest in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.” We cannot allow the window on the womb to close shut or Women’s Right to View laws won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on. We cannot allow them to take away the mother’s right to see who is being affected by what she is deciding.
What has been baffling is the number of self-described pro-life conservatives who are perfectly OK with letting the window to the womb close shut. I have heard a number of excuses ranging from political fallout in primary contests to libertarian nonsense that this bill goes too far in mandating a medical procedure. These conservatives expect a free pass because of their declaration of support for pro-life values other than this one. But declaring support for personhood in the womb while denying support for informed consent laws, would be like JFK announcing plans to put a man on the moon and at the same time closing down NASA. Every piece of pro-life legislation moves us closer to the goal of personhood. Those who think we have gone too far apparently think that we have come far enough.
Before the 14th Amendment was passed to our Constitution, abolitionists worked tirelessly for decades to pass antislavery laws. These laws were viewed as government intrusion and nothing short of an invasion of privacy and the right to personal property. Today, we view that logic as lunacy because we recognize that a person’s fate hung in the balance.
Ultrasound is the only chance of visibility that these children will have in their brief existence. Neutrality is not an option. How can we say that every child has a right to live if we deny them the right to be seen and heard?
Jason Herring is the president of Right to Life Idaho.