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"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton



Friday, 21 October 2011

On Ultrasounds and Manipulation

I came across the argument today that pro-lifers try to manipulate abortive-minded women by forcing them to view their unborn child in an ultrasound.

I can't even begin to tell you how angry this argument makes me. It is complete, utter B.S.

First off - if most women change their minds about abortion after they view an ultrasound, what does that tell you about the conviction with which these women believed that they needed an abortion in the first place? To my mind at least, it tells me that these women were unsure. Helping them come to a decision by showing them the reality of their pregnancy is not manipulation, it is being informed. And why are women who view ultrasounds and decide to keep their children "manipulated", according to pro-choicers, but women who are given no information and are rushed into making a decision are somehow empowered.

Abortion is the only issue I know where suppression of information is considered empowerment.

Secondly - I can't tell you how many times I've read both pro-life and pro-choice stories about women who, before and at the abortion table, are terrified, crying and just wishing that they could escape their entire situation. Out of all the abortion stories I've read, only one has had an abortion doctor send a women away because he could see that she was obviously upset. But she ended up getting an abortion anyway, after returning to the clinic because her boyfriend was pressuring her. How can anyone think it is ok to perform an elective, permanent surgery on someone who is so fearful, so obviously unsure, and so uncomfortable about what is going on? Did it ever occur to pro-choicers that women who are in this situation might feel empowered by viewing their baby's ultrasound - that someone who is scared and unsure might finally come to a true decision upon seeing exactly what it is that they are thinking about destroying? And who exactly is trying to manipulate here? The abortion clinics and doctors who perform abortions on terrified, sobbing women without a thought to whether or not this is truly what these women want; or the pro-lifers that give women information and encouragement on their pregnancy in the form of an ultrasound that shows them exactly what is going on inside their womb, and information and resources that will allow women to protect and nurture the new life within them.

In my opinion, the answer is pretty clear.

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