Thanks to improvements in ultrasound technology, a discernible shift in the abortion conversation

By Dave Andrusko

I never tire of reading about the impact of ultrasounds. Especially improvements.

As the New York Post’s Rikki Schlott recently wrote, “Today, ultrasounds are more advanced than ever. Gone is the era of the traditional, black and white, grainy 2D images. Now, through 3D, 4D, and HD ultrasounds — which were developed and entered commercial use in the 1990s — women are able to access clear, photo-quality images of fetuses and even video footage of the fetus’ movement. ”

In particular I glommed on to the work GOP pollster Wes Anderson.  We learn from “How next-gen ultrasounds are changing the abortion debate” that he has “spent the last 16 months conducting more than a dozen intense focus groups with American voters about abortion. He says he’s noticed a discernible shift in the conversations about the issue, thanks to improvements in ultrasound technology.”

Anderson, who has 28 years of experience as a pollster, says, “The conversation has changed because of the advancement of medical imagery more than anything else.” He told Schlott, “It sounds overly simplified, but it’s not. Ultrasounds are actually the driver.” 

What did the focus groups bring up again and again? “The  ultrasounds — and the refinement of ultrasounds and 3D ultrasounds—and they just said, ‘Well, that’s a baby,’” Anderson explained.

“The science of imaging has moved to a point where your average voter now says, ‘I’m not going to argue over whether that’s a baby. I know it’s a baby. Now, let’s talk about how we balance all this out, and balance that with the rights of the mother.’”

And it’s the younger women in the focus groups–18-29– who were most intrigued by advancements in ultrasound technology. 

The people who cite ultrasounds as a reason they question the ethics of abortion tend to be young women.

Danielle Pitzer is content producer for Focus on the Family. She told the Post “When a woman has an unexpected pregnancy, there can be a lot of fear… [but] an ultrasound cuts through the noise, the fear, the ‘what ifs’ and helps a woman see the life inside her.”  She added, “Ultrasounds make the pregnancy real.”

Needless to say, pro-abortion individuals and organizations fiercely oppose informed consent legislation, which often requires that abortion-minded women be given the opportunity to see their unborn child. For example, the pro-abortion American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists calls them (at best) “ill-advised” while the fiercely opposed Guttmacher Institute describes ultrasounds as “a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade an individual from obtaining abortion.”

“Personifying the fetus?” Does that mean treating unborn children with minimal respect? Or giving women a chance to breathe before she goes through with a life-and-decision? Or actually accepting the principle of informed consent?

I guess not.

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