If you support a woman's right to a real "choice" when it comes to obtaining an abortion, then you should be in favor of the Pennsylvania ultrasound bill. Women who are seeking abortions should have the right to know all the information when it comes to making an important, permanent decision such as abortion, and that is why she should be offered to view an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds are already being performed before most abortion procedures. Twenty states regulate the provision of ultrasounds by abortion providers. Seven states requires that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on every woman seeking an abortion, and also require that the abortionist offer the woman the opportunity to view the ultrasound. Nine states require that a woman be provided with the opportunity to view an ultrasound if one is being preformed as part of the preparation for an abortion. Five states require that a woman be provided with the opportunity to view an ultrasound image at some point. (You can find this information on the Guttmacher Institute website, who reports State Policies in Brief for abortion laws in the United States.) Even in the states in which ultrasounds before abortions are not regulated, most abortion providers will perform them for the safety of the woman undergoing the surgery.
X-rays, CAT scans, and ultrasounds are performed before any invasive surgery, and the results are reviewed with the patient before he/she undergoes the procedure. This standard practice required by medical professionals is done with any procedure from the simplest surgeries such resetting a broken bone, to root canals, to performing open heart surgery. Why should this be any different than abortion? After all surgical abortion is an invasive procedure in which the woman receives sedatives, pain medication, and is in many cases "put under" using anesthesia.
Ultrasounds are performed before abortion to ensure that the gestational age and health of the developing baby are verified, and they are necessary to decide which method of abortion would be performed. This bill would not "force" women to view an ultrasound, as many "pro-choice" advocates claim, but give her the opportunity to be completely informed of the very important, forever life-altering "choice" that she is making.
Women deserve to be informed of every aspect of an abortion procedure, including the option to know the details of the living, developing human fetus within her womb. I applaud Representative Kathy Rapp for her dedication to providing women with an "informed choice."
Executive Director of I Stand for Life