Issues

ACLU sues Kentucky over ultrasound law, but are the group’s claims valid?

Days ago, Kentucky enacted a new law requiring ultrasounds and fetal development information to be provided before abortions (a proven method of discouraging abortions) and banning abortions past twenty weeks. Because abortion advocates just can’t make peace with the fact that living in a democracy means not always getting your way, the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit in hopes of blocking the ultrasound provision (they’re “reviewing” the 20-week ban, too—I wonder how that will turn out!):

“The law is an example of political interference operating in its most perverse form,” Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement. “A woman deserves to expect high quality compassionate care from her doctor. Instead, this law puts politicians in the exam room — squarely between a woman and her doctor.”

“Puts politicians between patients and doctors” is a curious objection from an organization that enthusiastically supports the ultimate intrusion of government into medicine: Obamacare. And in this case, the “interference” is nothing more than providing factual, relevant information, with the only reason it’s not already provided being that the so-called “doctors”—abortionists who aren’t even legitimate practitioners of medicine, according to any serious understanding of the concept—have a financial stake in their patients not knowing it.

The spin continues on the ACLU’s website:

The law requires that the doctor show and describe the ultrasound images even if the woman averts her eyes or asks the doctor to stop. According to expert testimony presented in the lawsuit, the law violates basic principles of medical ethics and informed consent by compelling doctors to dismiss a patient’s objections.

Notably, the law provides no exception for circumstances where the doctor believes the ultrasound will have a traumatic effect on patients, including for women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest or who face a medical condition or fetal anomaly.

First, as Cassy Fiano covered, “the AP notes that ‘[w]omen are not required to watch the ultrasound and can request to have the volume of the heartbeat turned down.’” Second, how does providing information possibly violate “basic principles of informed consent”?

Third, if we accept that simply knowing what a procedure actually does is inherently “traumatizing,” doesn’t that tell us something about the procedure? Just maybe? Fourth, never mind that helping someone realize what the abortion does before she goes through with it will spare her much greater mental and emotional trauma if she only learns the truth after she can no longer undo it.

But the saintly “women’s health guardians” of the abortion industry and the ACLU don’t care about that.

“Requiring doctors to show every woman an ultrasound image and to describe them to her — even against her will — violates longstanding constitutional principles, including the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity, and First Amendment freedoms,” said William Sharp, legal director of the ACLU of Kentucky.

Simply asinine.

First, I don’t know how one would even argue there’s a privacy infringement in providing information about something someone is voluntarily undergoing (the word “privacy” only shows up once in the ACLU’s complaint, so there’s no elaboration there)—but then, privacy always was nothing more than a magic word for the Cult of Choice.

Second, presumably “bodily integrity” refers to the talking point that ultrasounds can be invasive if administered transvaginally (something the law doesn’t require anyway)… never mind that abortionists admit they already routinely do the ultrasounds anyway, so they can determine gestational age, ensure they’ve fully emptied the uterus of fetal parts, etc. This is only—only—about the fact that abortionists don’t want their customers—sorry, “patients”—to know what they’re doing.

Third, the law supposedly violates abortionists’ “First Amendment freedoms” because the mandated fetal information supposedly qualifies as “government-mandated speech,” and therefore (according to judicial activists on the Fourth Circuit who sided with them in 2014) “interfer[ing] with the physician’s right to free speech beyond the extent permissible for reasonable regulation of the medical profession.”

I don’t know what’s more preposterous: that they expect us to believe the single most significant fact about what abortion does is irrelevant to “reasonable regulation,” or that such an absurdly narrow and selective interpretation of the First Amendment comes from the same people who interpret the Constitution so ridiculously broadly as to contain rights to abortion it never actually mentions.

Gee, it’s almost as if these people are abusing the law for their own agenda….

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