Prominent Abortion Backer Slams Ultrasound-Rape Comparison

Opinion   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Mar 2, 2012   |   11:13AM   |   Washington, DC

When even a veteran pro-abortionist says “no more,” we can at least hope that it may signal a return to a sane discussion of ultrasound legislation in general, Virginia’s ultrasound bill in particular.

Carole Joffe, a professor emerita at the University of California-Davis, wrote at yesterday that she has “considerable concerns about what calling [transvaginal] ultrasounds ‘rape’ and ‘unnecessary’ will mean for abortion patients and providers.”

Joffe’s op-ed is written against the backdrop of a media-frenzy that is as over-the-top as it is disconnected from reality. With truth counting for nothing, pro-abortionists and their allies unmercifully pummeled Commonwealth legislators and the governor of Virginia, carrying the day by characterizing as ‘rape’ the very same procedure abortionists routinely use: a transvaginal ultrasound.

UltrasoundJoffe, to her credit, cuts right to the heart of the issue in her opening paragraph. She quotes a longtime abortion provider, who asked (either tongue in cheek or out of a genuine concern), “Are we now going to have to convince our patients we are not raping them?”

To Joffe, this “demonstrates what is wrongheaded about the rhetoric that abortion rights supporters have been using to oppose ultrasound laws. In the short run, the labeling has sent pro-life legislators running. But in the long run, it risks turning a benign and routine part of the abortion procedure into cause for alarm.”

Get that? A “benign and routine part of the abortion procedure” has been turned ”into a cause for alarm.” If you or I wrote this (and, as it happened, I have, numerous times), we would be dismissed as pro-life ‘fanatics.’

Joffe tells us she is “heartened by the rare sight of a partial retreat by anti-abortion forces, and by evidence of new energy among abortion rights supporters. “ Perhaps her conscience came a calling, however, because Joffe admits that “The reality is that most abortion patients do receive an ultrasound to date their pregnancies” –the very same ultrasound that opponents labeled  “rape,” “unnecessary,” and worse!

More specifically, ultrasounds that use a trans-vaginal probe are used in the first trimester for the very simple reason that they are “the most effective method for viewing early-stage pregnancies.” It’s up to the abortionist and the woman which ultrasound method is used (the other is an abdominal ultrasound), but “Most of the time, however, the transvaginal ultrasound is a useful and common tool that helps providers perform abortions safely and well.”

Joffe loathes ultrasound legislation because (guess what?) it “intervene[s] in the doctor-patient relationship.” But, she writes,

“now that women have heard abortion supporters describe this form of ultrasound as ‘rape,’ will more of them be terrified when they arrive at a clinic and are informed they will have such a procedure? Or might they be scared off altogether? Will abortion clinic staff who perform the ultrasound be seen as ‘rapists,’ as the provider I mentioned earlier worried?”

As an abortion supporter, Joffe maintains that ultrasound legislation is not a last-chance, quite probably the only chance, a woman will have to see whom it is whose life she is about to end. It’s just “pointless and manipulative.”

However—talk about ironies—she ends her piece with, “But let’s find better language to make our case.” But I wonder if after reading her own piece, whether it might have occurred to Joffe to consider:

Exactly who has been “manipulative”? Precisely whose argument has been pointless—or, more specifically—potentially dangerous to women because it would persuade them NOT to have an ultrasound?

Even though Joffe has to bow to the orthodox pro-abortion creed, she deserves a thumbs-up for telling the truth: ultrasounds are good medicine.

You can read “Crying Rape: Pro-choice advocates should quit calling ultrasounds rape” in its entirety. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his Natioanl Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.