There’s a years-long debate happening over whether or not a woman getting an abortion should be offered the opportunity to view the images of her baby’s ultrasound before an abortion, or to hear her child’s heartbeat. Pro-lifers have argued that proper informed consent requirements such as these not only properly inform women of the reality of abortion, but may inspire a woman to keep her baby , sparing her a possible lifetime of remorse and regret over the loss of her child. Abortion advocates disagree with laws requiring abortionists to offer this opportunity to women or to describe to them the picture of her preborn child.
One post-abortive mother recently took to her blog to wonder aloud to the world how different her life might be if she had been able to hear her preborn child’s heartbeat before her abortion took place. And her wonder is heartbreaking.
Ashley Flores blogs at I’m Always Ashley and what she had to say should be read by everyone involved in the debate. Flores is the mother of two beautiful children: Felicity Grace and David Alexander, but in her blog post about her work with Save the Storks, she starts off by telling us that she has another child – a son. His name is Evan.
“[…] I will never forget my first son. Evan,” she writes. “The son who I never met, even though his presence will always be felt.”
In 2008, she and Evan’s father decided to have an abortion. Flores admits they were scared, confused, and even selfish in making that decision. She wonders if she would have changed her mind if she had be given the chance to hear her son.
“I wonder how different my life would be, if when we took that drive to Florida the nurse would have let me hear his heartbeat,” writes Flores. “[…] I wonder what his heartbeat would’ve sounded like and if I would have immediately jumped up from the table and told his father I couldn’t go through with it. Could you?”
Flores goes on to say that most abortion facilities won’t let their patients view ultrasound images or hear their own children’s heartbeats. Why is that? If they had their patients’ best interest at heart or wanted their patients to truly make informed “choices”, then what would they have against ultrasound images and heartbeats?
How do parents feel when they first hear their child’s heartbeat or see their image on the sonogram screen? For parents who are not aborting, it’s a beautiful moment. It’s the first glimpse of the life they created. For parents who are aborting, it might be a moment of panic that this pregnancy is real. That moment might be beautiful as it causes them to have a change of heart and decide not to abort. Or it might not.
Flores believes that abortionists think ultrasound images and heartbeats are “hindering” because it would cut into their bottom line if women got up from the table and refused the abortion. No abortion, no big money, right? But abortion advocates claim that viewing the ultrasound or hearing the heartbeat doesn’t change women’s minds about their abortions. If that’s true, why are these same abortion advocates so against allowing women to view the ultrasound or hear the heartbeat? Could it be that they’re not being honest?
Ultrasounds and heartbeats must make a difference, otherwise, these supposed “women’s rights/female empowerment champions” would want women to have all of the information available to them – especially if it meant they were still going to abort.
Because of this obvious flaw in the pro-abortion argument against showing women ultrasounds, and her own experience with abortion, Flores has teamed up with Save The Storks, a group that she believes gives women actual choices. Flores is now the social media ambassador for Save The Storks to help them give women all of their options, not just the ones that favor the abortion industry. Save The Storks provides women with free ultrasounds, and if they choose life, those women will have the support of Save The Storks and access to their resources.
Evan would be eight years old today. He would be a big brother to Felicity and David, and Flores wonders what his laugh would sound like. She might be hearing that laugh herself right now if she had been allowed to hear that first sound of Evan’s heartbeat. Flores doesn’t want other women to live with that same wonder, haunted by the “what if”.
She knows firsthand, so we should listen.