Shelly and I are going to be aunts again this year! Our brother and his wife are happily expecting their third bundle of joy towards the end of the year, and Shelly’s sister-in-law (on her husband’s side) is expecting their first baby two weeks earlier!
Talking with my sister-in-law about her recent ob/gyn appointment brings back a flood of memories of the fear, anxiety, and excitement that a new pregnancy brings to the expectant parents. She showed me the picture of the new baby at 8 weeks gestation and told me how exciting it was to see the baby on the ultrasound screen. Even after two previous pregnancies, she is still in awe of how, even at 8 weeks, an ultrasound can clearly show the baby’s forming arms, legs, and eyes. Even the tiny heart beating. It is an amazing sight. Even at this young age, you can see the human life growing in the womb. For me, this first ultrasound always made pregnancy very “real”.
Recently Oklahoma passed legislation, overriding the Governor’s veto, requiring women who present themselves for an abortion to have an ultrasound and be given information on the fetal development. Florida legislators also passed a bill requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion, with a right of refusal in certain circumstances. Gov. Christ, who is seeking the Florida Senate seat in November, vetoed this bill. We’re watching to see whether the Florida legislature overturns his veto.
The Louisiana House unanimously passed a bill this month that requires abortion minded women to be offered the opportunity to see their baby via ultrasound before the procedure. The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
In Michigan, where the law already requires a women presenting for an abortion to have an ultrasound, the legislature is looking to ensure women get the best available information by requiring the medical professional use quality ultrasound machines for a clear image. Abortion providers are allegedly using older, low quality ultrasounds to show clients a grainy, poor quality image of their baby. They then use more modern, higher quality ultrasound machines for the abortion procedure itself.
Since abortion centers, such as Planned Parenthood, have been exposed as misleading pregnant women by telling them a fetus is not a baby, that there is no heartbeat until the third trimester, and what they are aborting is simply a mass a cells; these laws are necessary to provide pregnant women and girls with needed information and an opportunity to be educated on the truth behind an abortion and their pregnancy.
If a person is an advocate for abortion or simply labels himself as pro-choice, the question to ask is, “Do they believe in an informed choice?” Should a woman or girl who is abortion minded be given all the facts and information before undergoing an irreversible medical procedure that stops a beating heart? Why are abortion groups afraid of women and girls seeing an ultrasound of the baby they want to abort? We know the answer. Because, in the words of Salon.com staff writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, “…having a choice and seeing that choice are two different things. Because, uncomfortable as it may be for many of us to acknowledge, a human heartbeat is a powerful thing.”