Last week, I took part in a very interesting conversation that involved a former Planned Parenthood employee. One of our mutual friends wanted people’s thoughts on ultrasound laws. He was specifically talking about the ultrasound law being proposed in Indiana’s legislature. Plenty of false information is floating around about the bill, even from so-called medical professionals.
For example, Dr. Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, who teaches at an Indiana medical school, stated:
I can only assume that the ultrasound mandate — a mandate for a costly, invasive test that confers no medical benefit to the woman subjected to it — speaks to the lack of clinical understanding and expertise of the authors of the bill….If not for lack of understanding, I would have to conclude that the mandate speaks to a lack of regard for the bodily sanctity and integrity of Hoosier women at large.
USA Today quotes the Guttmacher Institute (originally founded as a branch of Planned Parenthood) on ultrasound requirements:
Ultrasounds are not considered medically necessary for first-trimester abortions, the Guttmacher Institute says.
‘The requirements appear to be a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion,’ its policy paper says.
The problem is that such rhetoric is patently false. Anyone involved with abortion – and especially those who provide it – are well aware that the best way to determine gestational age and the only safe way to ensure that a woman is not suffering from an ectopic pregnancy is by conducting an ultrasound. In fact, in a gruesome twist, ultrasounds are actually what most abortionists use to determine the type of abortion they will perform. Without accurate information on gestational age, women’s lives can be put at risk, and many more babies would be born alive – not exactly the goal of abortion providers.
Many abortion providers – including Planned Parenthood – directly state on their websites that an ultrasound will be performed prior to an abortion. Arguing against a required ultrasound is ridiculous because they already perform them.
The Downtown Women’s Center writes:
All patients at the DTWC receive an ultrasound examination prior to their abortion. This examination is a simple and painless test which uses sound waves to determine the size of the pregnancy. Gestational age and viability can be determined by an ultrasound at our clinic. … The exact type of abortion that we schedule for a woman depends on the gestational age of her pregnancy and her unique circumstances.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (currently the defendant in a lawsuit for a forced, botched abortion) posts the procedures for a medication abortion on its website. This information comes from a general page that Planned Parenthoods across the nation use.
Before taking the abortion pill, you will need to…have a physical exam. This usually includes an ultrasound.
The former Planned Parenthood employee involved in the conversation on Indiana’s proposed law had this to say:
[W]hen I worked at Planned Parenthood ultrasounds were required for the medical abortion option because often the pregnancy was so early in its gestation that a before and after ultrasound was the only way to confirm that the pills were effective. It wasn’t meant to be invasive but to ensure a complete and safe procedure as it can lead to problems[.] …
And there’s the real truth for you. This woman is pro-choice, so she has no goals to expose Planned Parenthood. She simply admitted the truth for what it is. Despite the abortion industry’s objection to ultrasound laws, they already require such ultrasounds themselves.
Unfortunately, shortly after exposing the truth, the former Planned Parenthood employee told a complete lie. She stated:
[W]e never showed women the screen unless they asked to. At such an early gestation (often for medical abortions women are only 4 weeks, 5 or 6 weeks pregnant) there is not an obvious form of “baby” there…it looks like an amorphous blob…only a few millimeters…and no heartbeat, lady.
In fact, the fetal heart starts beating at a mere 21 or 22 days, which is almost always before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Sure, ultrasounds don’t enable women to hear their babies’ heartbeats at 4-6 weeks, but they can allow women to see the heart beating.
The words shared by this former Planned Parenthood employee provide a perfect example of the lies women are all too often told. They are told their babies have no heartbeat when their tiny hearts are beating quite rapidly. They are still told their babies are shapeless “blobs” even though their arms, hands, feet, and fingernails are developing. Instead of telling mothers that their 6-week-old unborn children have tiny lips and mouths and that their brain waves can be detected, the babies’ tiny size is used to discredit their humanity.
The bottom line is simple. Planned Parenthood lies to women.