by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life advocate says that the new trend in state legislation toward requiring abortion practitioners to allow women to see an ultrasound image of their unborn child prior to the abortion is changing hearts and saving lives. Gary Bauer, the former GOP presidential candidate, says more states should follow the lead.
Ultrasound images have worked in pregnancy centers. When women see a technologically amazing picture of their baby, they typically realize abortion is the worst decision they could make.
This July, Mississippi and Georgia became the latest states to help women see a picture of their unborn baby — something abortion facilities don’t normally show.
"The new ultrasound laws underscore a dramatic development that’s taken place in the pro-life movement, one unparalleled in the over 30 years I’ve been involved in working to build a culture of life," Bauer explains in an editorial on National Review Online.
"It’s a strategic shift in emphasis away from battles over abortion restrictions and toward those concerning women’s access to information," he added.
Bauer says the new legislation is an acknowledgment that when women are given information about their baby and the risks of and alternatives to abortion that they will be more likely not to have one.
"The promotion of ultrasound legislation — often called ‘window to the womb’ laws — is only part of a broadened pro-life agenda whose purpose, in part, is to offer women a more complete picture of what abortion is, and to use the power of conscience to change hearts and minds," Bauer writes.
The head of the group American Values and chairman of Campaign for Working Families also touted bills that have been approved in a few states and proposed in a couple dozen others that provide women with information about the pain their baby will feel during the abortion procedure.
He said those, combined with the ultrasound bills and informed consent legislation, are making a difference.
The bills represent a strategy "that allows pro-lifers to talk about abortion in a more complete way: not only in terms of the unborn child’s right to life, but also in terms of a woman’s right to full information."
"So while abortion supporters speak of protecting and expanding women’s right to choose, pro-lifers — seizing the liberal mantle of science and free inquiry — now focus on informing women exactly what it is they are choosing," he said.
Bauer says the trend and change in focus is working.
He pointed to a recent Gallup poll that "reveals that the share of Americans who consider themselves ‘pro-life’ has risen 12 percentage points … in the last 12 years, while the proportion of ‘pro-choice’ Americans has fallen."