Argument: Ultrasounds help women make informed decisions on abortion

Issue Report: Mandatory ultrasounds before abortions


Lisa Billy, R member of Oklahoma House of Reps. “New Law Empowers Women.” USA Today. May 9th, 2010: “For women facing an unplanned pregnancy, there is often a sense of panic, distress and fear that can lead to hasty decisions. That is why I authored House Bill 2780, which requires that women be given information obtained from an ultrasound before an abortion is performed. Many clinics already perform ultrasounds before abortions — something they have acknowledged in legal filings — but women have told me over the past 20 years that they have not had access to that information. Women should have the choice to see that image. I have personally visited with women who obtained an abortion in a panic and were devastated years later to see a friend’s ultrasound and realize: That child is the same age as my baby when … It is a devastating moment of intense sorrow and regret. I filed this bill to empower women, no matter what their circumstance, to have as much information as possible before making a life-altering decision. […] Individuals who argue women are too fragile to face the reality of abortion and make an informed decision do not respect women. The image of a baby on an ultrasound provides amazing clarity of thought. What was seen as a closed door suddenly becomes a world of endless possibilities. Critics say the state should stay out of this issue, but I believe turning a blind eye to women in need is inexcusable, and preventing them from receiving accurate medical information is true cruelty. It appears the pro-choice movement believes it is a tragedy only if a woman exercises her informed right to not have an abortion, but they have no problem maintaining barriers to informed consent that will leave women emotionally shattered for the rest of their lives once they learn the truth.”

Rep. Lee Denney (R-Cushing): “This is a very important decision in a woman’s life and an ultrasound allows the woman the opportunity to make a truly informed decision.”[1]

Gabby Hutchings, a political science and news editorial senior at Oklahoma State University said in April of 2010: “I think it will make women think about what they’re doing before they get an abortion. When you see the baby and hear the heartbeat, it becomes much more real to you.”[2]

Carrie Gordon Earll, a Focus on the Family spokeswoman said to the New York Times in May of 2010: “To be able to put a face on that baby humanizes this process and really allows the mother to connect. Ultrasound is one of the ultimate examples of informed consent because you are seeing what you are giving permission to happen.”[3]