The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

June 13, 2011

CONFER: Mandate ultrasounds for abortions


The Journal-Register

MIDDLEPORT —  

My wife and I are expecting. Needless to say, this is an exciting time in our lives. As first-time parents we are really looking forward to bringing this child — and more in the future — into this world and sharing with them all the wonders that it has to offer.

I’m an old-fashioned soul, so I don’t want us to know the sex of the child before birth. Even so, ultrasounds (without peeking) are a regular occurrence for us, checking up on the health and growth of the little Confer. Modern technology is awesome, as are the feelings we get — the goose bumps — when it shows us our bundle of joy moving about in the womb. The pictures we receive from the doctor’s visits are true keepsakes, as we constantly marvel at the baby’s features.

After I first saw those images and admired what they showed, my joy became sprinkled with a little bit of confusion, if not anger. Readers of this column know that I despise abortions of convenience. These sonograms took that feeling to another level. Only a few months into the pregnancy the images showed a human in form and a human in movement, so I was left asking, how could any pregnant woman who has witnessed an ultrasound allow someone to tear what was a living person from her body?

That question had me wondering about how many patients ever actually see, or are given the chance to see, their children prior to the abortion. Unfortunately, as made evident by the high body count (more than 1.5 million babies per year), not too many are.

It’s obvious that one step to curbing the number of abortions, and dramatically at that, would be mandating ultrasounds. Most states, however, don’t. Last month, Texas and Florida passed laws requiring their use while only four other states — Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana and Mississippi — have such laws on the books.

In all six of those states, the provider must perform the service and then offer the woman the chance to see the images (she doesn’t have to accept). Texas’s law has more teeth because the doctor must describe the image regardless, including the size of the fetus and the presence of limbs. So, even if the woman does decline the viewing she still gets some feeling for what’s taking place inside.

Those recent developments in Florida and Texas and the fact that the legislatures of 14 other states have recently proposed similar measures, shows there is ample support out there. Therefore, anti-abortion activists across America should champion such bills in their states.

It’s a start for ending one of the more callous acts of modern society, since the federal government is so keen on allowing abortions and there’s no chance of overturning the Roe v. Wade decision.

Abortions will always be available and there will be many couples demanding such services. But, if they see what I — and millions of other loving parents — have seen in the doctor’s office, there’s a great chance a baby will be saved and given the ability that you and I have to experience the adventure we call life.