The growing importance of state health department-run websites providing real-time sonography of the developing unborn child

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday, Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life legislative director, wrote a very informative article for NRL News Today which helped the reader appreciate the importance of a law passed in 2009 that gives women an alternative to seeing their child’s ultrasound taken inside the abortion clinic–a state health department-run website with real-time sonography of the developing unborn child.

That site–www.womansrighttoknow.org—is well worth your time to visit. To quote Kathy, it provides “a scientifically accurate description of prenatal development accompanies a breathtaking day-by-day view inside the womb.”

For the period May 2010 through June 2012,  Kansas officials said the website got 152,173 visits (“hits”).

“In 2008 (before the website), 10,642 pregnant women entered Kansas abortion clinics; in 2009, 9,701 did so,” Ostrowski wrote. “In 2010, 8,615, and in 2011, 8,033 women did so. Thus, nearly 2,700 women never stepped inside a Kansas abortion business, due to their access to a state informed consent website!”

There is additional good news on this important educational front. Writing for Capitol Media Services, Howard Fischer cynically explains that the Arizona Department of Health Services “this past week erected a website designed to give those considering an abortion a list of things that can go wrong.”

His next two sentences are more even-handed: “The site, mandated by lawmakers and the governor earlier this year, also has an ever-developing list of services available to women who decide to keep their babies, from adoption services to diaper banks. And it has medically accurate illustrations of what a fetus looks like at two-week intervals.”

State Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, the sponsor of the legislation, told Fischer that the site is designed to ensure that women truly give “informed consent” to an abortion. Yee “said having it available on the Internet ensures that women, on their own, can seek out the information they need,” Fischer writes.

To the reporter, this is a throwaway line. To pro-lifers, this is a vitally important fact. As Ostrowski explained

“A pregnant women considering abortion in Kansas, whether due to personal ambivalence or coercion, no longer has to actually contact the abortion business or wait for printed materials to arrive in the mailbox. Now, thanks to this state website, the pregnant woman has direct, private access to gaze at ultrasounds of children the same age as her unborn child… without time limits. Website access to informed consent warnings and prenatal ultrasound allows her to contemplate–at her own pace–the real person already living inside her, without clinic pressure or misinformation.”

Earlier today, a friend forwarded a story from a Nebraska newspaper. Here’s the lead paragraphs from the article in the Journal Star, which shows how NRLC affiliates work together:

“An anti-abortion group wants Nebraska lawmakers to pass legislation that requires four-dimensional ultrasound images of human fetuses to be posted on a state website.

“So-called 4-D ultrasounds take images of the fetus from several angles, which show things such as facial features and can capture movement.

“Nebraska Right to Life said Tuesday it has been in contact with Kansans for Life about legislation passed in Kansas that resulted in such images being shown on the state’s Department of Health and Environment website as part of its ‘informed consent on abortion’ statute.”

Tomorrow, Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL-ETF Director of Education & Research, will provide us with Part Two of his analysis of the most recent CDC abortion numbers which show a decline of 5% from 2008 to 2009. Some of the states experiencing declines are bastions of pro-abortion sentiment. One of the explanations that makes sense is the impact—the widespread nature–of ultrasounds which are quite rightly described as “baby’s first photo.”

If that exposure can be institutionalized, as it were, in state websites like Kansas’, this will help women experiencing a crisis pregnancy on a larger scale. From that we can reasonably expect a continued decline in the number of abortions!

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