South Carolina appears poised on the brink of approving legislation that will require women to view ultrasound images prior to abortion. While all three (yes, that’s right, all three) abortion clinics in South Carolina perform ultrasounds to determine the age of the fetus, the law would require women to view the images, with the probable exemption of rape and incest victims.
Why? According to the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Greg Delleney,
She can determine for herself whether she is carrying an unborn child deserving of protection or whether its just an inconvenient, unnecessary part of her body and an abortion fits her circumstances at that time.
South Carolina law already requires the ultrasound, as well as doctor counseling of the age and development of the fetus, as well as alternatives to abortion. This is nothing more than a bald-faced attempt at intimidation and emotional manipulation of someone who is already in a vulnerable position.
The thing that baffles me the most is, what? You’re going to suddenly see an ultrasound image and decide that no, all the reasons you have for an abortion have flown out the window, and really it’s a great time to be a mother, hooray? Are we suddenly going to see social services increase in funding? Are we going to have outstanding health care, job retraining, free and good state-sponsored child-sitting services? Is South Carolina going to suddenly take away every single obstacle that exists to bearing and caring for a child, so that the only barrier remaining is whether or not a woman thinks this is the right time for her, without consideration to financial/economic concerns?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Originally posted on the American Journal of Bioethics Editors Blog.