Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Abortion, Ultrasounds, and the Rush to Judgment

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Abortion, Ultrasounds, and the Rush to Judgment

The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill on March 21st that would require women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound image of the unborn baby before going through with the procedure. The bill passed with incredible ease and is now in the process of going to the Senate for the bill to be made into law. There is not another state which has such a law.

Oran Smith, executive director of the Palmetto Family Council, is quoted saying:

It all comes down to informed choice. As long as Roe is the law of the land, we have a choice, but if it's going to be choice it needs to be informed choice.

The issue at stake here is obviously an emotional one. I am not so sure how much more "informed" a woman will be after seeing an ultrasound image of the baby living inside her. I doubt too many pregnant ladies seeking an abortion will be surprised by the fact that there is a child inside of them. Perhaps when Smith says "informed" he is referring to a concrete realization that might occur when a woman sees her baby with her own eyes. A realization that the pending procedure is a very serious matter that may be worthy of further consideration.

I once heard from a movie some advise given to a defendant who was awaiting the verdict from the jury. His lawyer told him that if the jury looked at him when they came back into the courtroom, it was a good sign. But if they would not make eye contact, prepare for a guilty verdict. No one wants to see the person who they are condemning, even if it is the right thing to do.

On a side note, some women who have had abortions speak of the procedure as being rushed, with no real possibility for considering another path once inside the abortion clinic. I do believe some states require some kind of counseling. How much of a responsibility should the clinics themselves have for making certain the woman is confident in her decision?

I have not yet heard how pro-choice people have responded to the bill. Probably they will see the potential law as just a cheap way for pro-lifers to make the women feel guilt for their decision. Will this kind of law help lessen the number of abortions in SC? We will see.


Anonymous Rexwilder said...

"Probably they will see the potential law as just a cheap way for pro-lifers to make the women feel guilt for their decision." And they would probably be right (although I don't know what you mean for sure by "cheap"). As you reference, this does not add to the "informed" choice, it is an emotional ploy. If the law said you can't have an abortion without proving it was an "informed choice", I guarantee Oran Smith would not say, well if she has looked at an ultrasound of her baby and is ok with it, that's an informed choice, go ahead and abort. And I'm not necessarily condeming the emotional card, which people on every side of the fence attempt to use, not just pro-life...such as, for example, defense lawyers showing baby pictures, etc. of a convicted defendant to keep him from death row...they have nothing to do with his culpability, but try to get the jury to say "he was cute once, so let's not kill him." I'm just pointing out that SC must decide (as we all do) where the emotional line that is acceptable should be (is it okay to force a woman to hold a newborn baby for an hour before an abortion, to view pictures of aborted fetuses before an abortion...what are you comfortable with?). Again, I'm not trying to make an pro-abortion or pro-life argument, just a thought on the law.

Remembering, as always with these types of issues that regardless of your feelings on the actual issue, you must also decide the underlying question of what are you comfortable allowing your government to force you (and others)to do.

April 17, 2007 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Floyd said...

I am not personally sure how I feel about this. The end does not always justify the means.

April 18, 2007 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Why don't we stop kidding ourselves and describe it as it is...pro-life and pro-death. What does choice have to do with it.

April 20, 2007 6:39 PM  

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