Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Abortion Rights vs. Sonograms

I remember a little over five years ago when my daughter and son-in-law invited me to go with them to witness the sonogram during which they'd find out if their baby would be a boy or a girl. Of course during the sonogram, the technician would also take measurements and do other checks to make sure the baby was developing normally. I was excited. When I'd had my two pregnancies back in the 70's, I had felt fortunate to hear the baby's heartbeat via a stethoscope. That seemed like a pretty advanced medical achievement at that time. I had never even heard of sonograms.

As I went into the sonogram room, I told my daughter and son-in-law that I would sit off to the side. My intention was to be an observer and not intrude in any way on their experience as the baby's parents. My resolve to stay in the background lasted about a minute.

As the technician moved the wand (is that what it's called?) over my daughter's belly, suddenly there on the screen was the baby! So clearly! I jumped up to get closer so I could see more clearly. As the technician moved the wand, she pointed out the baby's beating heart, the backbone, the brain. We could already see the fingers and toes and face. When the technician told us it was definitely a girl, we all cried, "Lily!" because that was to be her name. We watched as she moved her arms and then began to suck her thumb. We were all crying with joy at the absolute miracle that was Lily - still growing inside her mother, but alive and well and very much a real baby. She was no longer a depersonalized "fetus". She was our Lily.

When looking at a pregnant woman's abdomen, it's hard to visualize a baby underneath all those layers of skin and tissue. A sonogram makes it real. After seeing with clarity the baby's features, there is no denying the human life that is there.

And that bring me to my topic. I was reading Cozy Reader the other day and saw this post referencing this article in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The article reports that a pro-life clinic in Lexington has installed a sonogram machine. It's effective. What do patients see during their sonograms?

"We've had babies wave. ... We've had babies smile. We've had babies suck their thumb. If they've had a little bit of caffeine, they're jumping around," said Frost, the center's nurse manager.

Kim Conroy, Sanctity of Human Life director for Focus on the Family, says two-thirds of the women who view their fetuses on an ultrasound machine at a pregnancy resource center end up rejecting abortion.

I can understand that. Once a woman realizes that it isn't a "fetus" but a real, live, active baby in there, abortion suddenly becomes not such a welcome choice.

However, some abortion-rights activists have opposed the use of sonograms. These are the people who claim they want women to make informed decisions. Instead of wanting to make sure that women who choose to abort their baby understand fully the ramifications of their decision, they claim that the use of sonograms puts inappropriate pressure on women.

"It's a manipulative tool," said Ginny Copenhefer, a former lobbyist with the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. "I don't think it's fair to heap guilt on them because they feel they have to terminate a pregnancy. That's just the most cruel form of abuse that I can imagine."
Again, this remark and attitude exposes the often two-faced nature of many on the left. All the talk about "pro-choice" is merely a popular sound bite. They talk the talk of informed choice but can't walk the walk. Women should be able to make truly informed choices and understand that there are reasonable options to abortion. Better for a woman to KNOW what she is "terminating" than to live with a lifetime of regret once she learns that she ended the life of another human being - her own child.

Although the pro-abortion proponents would have us believe otherwise, the debate on abortion truly isn't about "choice." It isn't about government trying to dictate what we do in the privacy of our homes. It isn't (as I read on a pro-abortion site earlier this evening) about Christians trying to grow more Christians. That's just silly. It's a life and death debate about protecting babies.

Yes, there are some serious issues about unwanted children, poverty, maternity health care, child care, and many others. As a society we have trouble handling the children that are already here. And if there are laws against abortion, what do you do with women who get abortions anyway? There are major issues involved in making laws against abortion. However, there is a bottom line. There are some matters that are open to interpretation and belief. On others issues, civilized nations need to draw a line in the sand. Human life is precious. We don't decide who has value and who is worth saving based on another person's feelings. We should do everything we can to protect those who can't protect themselves.

No comments: