USA Today has published a column in which authors Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Michael Green encourage physicians to violate the law if they disagree with informed consent statutes in their states.
The authors take particular objection to laws passed in over 20 states, which ensure a pregnant mother has the chance to view an ultrasound image prior to an abortion. Providing a pregnant mother with the full range of information before making an inalterable decision is fundamental to truly informed consent.
The authors conveniently omit that ultrasounds are performed in the course of abortion procedures, with or without a state law giving the woman the right to see the image. Ultrasounds are required to accurately determine the gestational age of the child, to confirm implantation in the uterus and in some cases, even to direct the abortionist’s instruments in the course of an abortion.
The authors of the column direct fellow physicians to “make it clear that they will not perform procedures, such as ultrasound examinations, unless they are medically indicated and desired by their patients.” Well, according to the National Abortion Federation, which lays out the guidelines for the operation of abortion facilities, ultrasounds are merely part of the standard of care. In addition, ultrasounds are commonly used by abortion facilities after abortion in order to confirm the procedure did not occur with complications. In other words, there isn’t a case when an ultrasound isn’t “medically indicated and desired by patients.” An ultrasound is integral to an abortion in the first place.
If the recommendations of the authors of the column were followed and abortionists neglected to do ultrasounds, women’s health would be in serious peril. Without a pre-abortion ultrasound, an abortionist could begin an abortion only to find out the child had actually implanted in the fallopian tubes and not in the uterus. Without a pre-abortion ultrasound, an abortionist would not be able to accurately age the child. This is critical in determining which type of abortion procedure can be performed. Opposing a safe and routine medical test for fears a mother may change her mind just underscores how deeply some are committed to abortion, even at the expense of women and their children.
Ultrasounds have been standard medical practice for decades in all realms of pregnancy, whether the child is destined for life or destined for abortion. Evidently, the authors of the column would like to return to a pre-Roe vs. Wade era in which little was known about the humanity of the unborn child. Ultrasounds have become a window to the womb allowing society a glimpse into the child’s life before birth. Public opinion has moved along with the advance of this technology. It has become virtually indefensible for abortion advocates to claim life begins at the moment of birth or that the unborn child is merely a “blob of tissue.”
Not only does the pro-abortion movement want to hide from mothers what happens to an unborn child in abortion, but they seek to conceal what happens to women as well. The authors of the USA Today column decry laws allowing women to be informed about the after-effects of abortion. They urge physicians to “refuse to provide inaccurate information about the consequences of abortion, or to follow any other prepared script in counseling their patients, particularly when it involves treating women like children.” The authors also deliberately ignore the existence of scientific evidence, which shows post-abortive women at a higher risk of mental health problems, addictions and even suicide.
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The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists has detailed at great length the mental health risks associated with abortion. The organization has also compiled startling data showing post-abortive women attempting suicide at a much higher rate than the general population.
The pro-abortion movement has been tireless in their efforts to label anything in contrast to their agenda as part of a “war on women.” However, it appears that the real war on women, their health and their families is coming from the pro-abortion movement itself. Advancing abortion on demand has come at the cost of real women’s health. It is not the pro-life movement that is rolling back the clock on women’s rights; it is the pro-abortion movement. Denying women scientifically accurate information about their bodies and their pregnancies is a disservice to women. A movement that claims abortion is a woman’s right but informed consent is not is anything but “pro-woman.”