It wasn’t a surprise to learn today that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton just vetoed an informed consent bill requiring that abortionists offer women the chance to view an ultrasound of their preborn child prior to an abortion. After all, Dayton has refused to scrutinize Planned Parenthood, and is so extreme that in 2012, he nixed a bill that would have required state health inspections and licensing for abortion facilities in Minnesota.
What was a bit of a shock was Dayton’s reasoning as to why he vetoed the bill, which would have allowed women to have access to their ultrasounds before they make a decision with life-altering impact. According to the Star Tribune, Dayton said a requirement like this would “interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, legislating the private conversations that occur about a legal medical procedure,” then incredulously claimed that doctors — including abortionists, apparently — “are already fulfilling their legal, ethical, and professional duties to fully inform their patients of the benefits, risks, and alternatives of any medical procedure.” The Tribune noted that opponents of the bill claimed it “was unnecessary because women already have the ability to view an ultrasound….”
But is any of this true? Do women actually already have the ability to view an ultrasound? And are those “doctors” committing abortions really telling women everything they should know about the so-called “medical procedure” they’re about to choose? One word of advice: when it comes to the abortion industry, never assume anything.
Claiming that allowing a woman access to her own ultrasound actually “interferes with the doctor-patient relationship” is absurd. Ultrasound is standard procedure before an abortion to obtain a gestational age and to rule out other possible conditions such as ectopic pregnancy (despite the frequent, hyperbolic comparisons to “rape” you might have heard from incredibly deceptive abortion advocates). Why shouldn’t the patient be shown the scan? It’s her medical record, after all.
If you were having eye surgery, for example, wouldn’t you want to see all of the scans that doctors used to diagnose your condition? Wouldn’t you want to have the procedure fully explained, along with any possible risks and complications of the procedure? Of course you would. And legitimate medical providers are typically more than willing to give you all the information and answer any questions you might have before you sign consent forms.
But when it comes to abortion, keeping women in the dark is the order of the day.
1. Do women visiting abortion facilities really “have the ability to view an ultrasound”?
In one documented case, Planned Parenthood gave a woman an ultrasound of her baby upon request — but the problem was, the ultrasound only appeared to show a round blob that looked nothing like a baby. That’s because it was merely a scan and measurement of the baby’s skull — which, of course, was pertinent to the abortion facility, as this body part has to fit through the dilated cervix. It’s the only information an abortion facility would need to know, since the facility’s job is to remove the child piece by piece:
In another case, a woman asked a Planned Parenthood employee to see her own ultrasound and was told no. “It’s against our policy. There’s nothing to see, it’s just tissue,” staff told her. One Planned Parenthood lobbyist claimed ultrasounds “terrorize women.” A Planned Parenthood abortionist claimed women choosing abortion shouldn’t see their ultrasounds because it would be “torture.” But why, exactly, would looking at a mere “clump of cells” or “tissue” (as women are so often told) before an abortion be a traumatic experience? Probably because a preborn human being is not a clump of cells… and ultrasound is the spotlight on that fact.
Another woman, Shelley, told Silent No More, “I was visibly upset just prior to the procedure when they did the ultrasound in the surgical room. I was not allowed to see the ultrasound, nor was I asked if I wanted to reconsider or be counseled.”
Live Action’s own undercover work reveals that the abortion industry’s leader, Planned Parenthood, lies to women about fetal development:
Will abortion facilities, which make money from every abortion procedure, happily show women ultrasounds of their living children or give them accurate information on their children’s development just prior to abortion? Not likely. Anyone who believes this to be the case is either extremely gullible or willfully blind to the tactics of a predatory industry. So, no, women visiting abortion facilities don’t actually “have the ability to view an ultrasound” as was claimed in the Tribune article.
Clearly, laws are needed, because abortionists and abortion workers aren’t readily giving women information to which they are entitled.
2. Are abortionists really “fully inform[ing] their patients of the benefits, risks, and alternatives” when it comes to their pregnancy options?
Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry “counselors” are doing a great job of playing up women’s fears to convince them that abortion is the best choice for an unplanned pregnancy. So, no doubt, abortion facility staff inform patients of what they deem to be the “benefits” of abortion. But how are they doing on informing women about the risks? The alternatives?
Not so well.
Abortion advocates and industry workers alike tend to downplay the physical risks of abortion, claiming that it’s safer than childbirth. It should come as no surprise that this isn’t exactly the truth. Five years ago, a study on U.S. abortion-related deaths found that “incomplete reporting, definitional incompatibilities, voluntary data collection, research bias, reliance upon estimations, political correctness, inaccurate and/or incomplete death certificate completion, incomparability with maternal mortality statistics, and failing to include other causes of death such as suicides” make “a valid scientific assessment of abortion mortality extremely difficult.”
If this weren’t bad enough, the abortion industry and its friends also pretend as if emotional risks simply don’t exist. The problem with this is that multiple studies have shown that depression, risk of suicide, trauma and trauma-related disorders, and rates of substance abuse are all higher among women who have had abortions than among those who haven’t. The abortion industry simply ignores studies that show any negative repercussions of abortion.
The abortion industry isn’t really in favor of presenting alternatives to abortion, either. Former Planned Parenthood manager Sue Thayer told Live Action president Lila Rose that the idea of presenting alternatives to abortion — or “options counseling” — doesn’t actually happen there, even though, as a recipient of Title X family planning funds, Planned Parenthood is supposed to offer it:
Pregnancy resource centers, many of which offer ultrasounds for women (along with other limited medical services, for free, of course), are places where women can truly hear about all their pregnancy options. These are the organizations which are truly offering help and support to women dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
It’s not “torture,” and it’s not “unnecessary” for women to have the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about abortion before they make a decision — and that includes viewing the ultrasound of their preborn baby.