Planned Parenthood caught in deception surrounding ultrasounds

ultrasoundPlanned Parenthood’s research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, released a “State Policies in Brief,” dated March 1, 2012, concerning “Requirements for Ultrasound.”  In the very first paragraph of the very first page is a very deceptive statement.  Some might call it an outright lie:

Since routine ultrasound is not considered medically necessary as a component of first-trimester abortion, the requirements appear to be a veiled attempt to personify the fetus and dissuade a woman from obtaining an abortion.

Of course, because of all the states currently passing and considering ultrasound laws, Planned Parenthood would like to blame the use of ultrasound technology on all the bad, mean pro-lifers. Naturally, the only reasons to have an ultrasound are to make the unborn baby seem more like the person that she is and to convince her mother not to kill her.

Granted, those are the most common reasons you would hear from pro-lifers. I know from personal experience that an ultrasound makes your baby seem even more personal and alive. I’ll never forget hearing my daughter’s heartbeat for the first time. Also, it’s been proven that watching an ultrasound of her unborn baby can certainly change a mother’s mind about abortion. Not many mothers want to kill a baby they’ve seen, watched, listened to, and identified with. I 100% agree that mothers watching ultrasounds is a nightmare for the pro-abortion crowd.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. Through their research arm, Planned Parenthood is claiming that ultrasounds are not medically necessary for first-trimester abortions and blaming laws requiring ultrasounds on pro-lifers. Of course, through all of this, they claim to care about women as usual. I think we’ve seen enough to know what “care” means to them.

Think this through with me. How many women who aren’t expecting to be pregnant know for a certainty when their last period was? (This is one major way doctors guess gestational age.) How many women have periods – or what they think are periods – even while pregnant? Yep. Plenty. What is the only sure way to know the unborn baby’s age? An ultrasound.

Do we really believe that Planned Parenthood thinks that an ultrasound is not a medically necessary step when they specifically change abortion procedures based on the age of the baby? Well, we’re talking about Planned Parenthood, so I guess anything is possible. But really, let’s look at what abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, tell women to expect during a first trimester abortion.

From the Cherry Hill Women’s Center:

First Trimester Abortion
A first trimester surgical abortion, which is considered up to approximately 11 weeks and 6 days from the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP), is completed by a procedure known as dilatation and evacuation (D&E)…. To ensure your safety on the day of your appointment, you will go through a series of pre-operative assessments with the medical and counseling staff. You will have:

  • Ultrasound – to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy

From the Pro-Choice Medical Center:

First trimester abortion by vacuum aspiration is the most common type of abortion performed after 6 weeks LMP. Dr. Seletz is very experienced performing early vacuum aspiration as early as 4 weeks LMP. Ultrasound is done by the doctor before the procedure for accurate dating, to make sure that the pregnancy is not ectopic (outside of the uterus) and to determine if there are any abnormalities that may affect the procedure. Another ultrasound is performed afterwards to make sure the procedure was complete.

From the Family Planning Associates Medical Group:

About First Trimester Surgical Abortion:  A first trimester surgical abortion, or a D&C, is performed up to 13 weeks of pregnancy, and is a vacuum aspiration procedure … . The fee for this procedure includes pregnancy testing, admitting, pre-operative history and physical, ultrasound…

And finally, from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:

What Happens During an In-Clinic Abortion?

…Before the abortion procedure, you will need to…have a physical exam — which may include an ultrasound[.]

OK, so let me get this right. Abortion clinics – including Planned Parenthood – tell women that ultrasounds may be part of a physical exam, part of the procedure to determinate gestational age, for the purpose of accurate dating or to determine abnormalities, and some clinics even do a second ultrasound afterwards to ensure that no part of the baby was left inside the woman.

As usual, Planned Parenthood is caught in the web of its own deception yet again. Nice try on taking a swing at pro-lifers for a “procedure” abortion clinics themselves deem necessary.

  • StephanieRose

    Wow, the lies continue to get more and more absurd. Thank you for exposing these lies!

  • Wade Felty

    Kristi, are you going to pay for the upkeep of all these feti you save? Are you going to adopt them ? Are you going to be a latter-day Jesus and go and give them loaves and fishes to live off of? are more likely, are you going to be a judgmental false prophet, who spouts hatred and vile? Yeah, I thought so. 

    • guest

      Trying to say that she personally needs to adopt then (especially with people waiting on wait lists for years to adopt children) is like saying that if you oppose rape, you have to pay to supply rapists with prostitutes, or if you oppose drunk driving, you have to pay to provide taxi cabs for all people who drink, or if you oppose slavery, you have to pay to educate freed slaves and pay the slave owners for lost revenue. Just because someone is opposed to something, does not mean he or she has to pay the costs of ending that thing. 

      • Wade Felty

        Actually your wrong, but your fanaticism makes it hard for you to understand things clearly. You want to make women into breeding machines, and sex only for procreation, not as an act of love. Your policies would inflict millions if not billions of unwanted surplus people, who will need jobs, supplies, housing, food, education, and God knows what else. Sensible people oppose this because it’s not a sound public policy. You and your luny fringe group think that it is absolutely necessary that you establish God’s Kingdom on Earth here and now, and for that, we must have lots and lots of babies and women must be made into Handmaids for their male masters. Most people oppose you. Since your policies would result in an economic and biological disaster that most people don’t want, it’s only right that you pay your fair share. Why should I have to pay extra taxes and who knows what else to pay for your policies, which are specific to your “religion?” Abortion doesn’t make any difference to me, so why should I be forced to pay for the consequences of stopping it? Your religion exalts fetuses, zygotes and blastocites, mine does not. 

        • JoAnna Wahlund

           You’re the only one bringing religion into this discussion. Abortion is a human rights issue, not a religious issue. See http://secularprolife.org

        • Elise77

           Actually YOU’RE wrong. Most people in this country consider themselves pro-life, and the majority of those who consider themselves pro-choice advocate at least SOME restrictions on abortion.

          I like sex, and with four children of my own, I’m all done using it for procreation. But if I did end up pregnant via an act of love between my husband and myself, that product of our love would be cherished just as our other children are. An “act of love” that results in a dead baby isn’t very loving. If you engage in sex and are willing to reject and murder the human being you create in the process, what you’re doing isn’t “lovemaking.” There’s a term that more aptly describes that, and it has four letters. You can’t retain the beauty and spirituality of sex while simultaneously tainting it with innocent blood.

          My “religion” has nothing to do with it. I don’t believe in torturing innocent human beings to death, whether or not God exists. Apparently you’re fine with it. But you’re misguided. You’ve been brainwashed to accept the absolutely STUPID rhetoric you’ve been fed. You’ve bought into it hook, line, and sinker. But as a woman, who is not my husband’s “handmaid,” nor is he my “master,” and who is fully capable of realizing my full potential as a human being AND being a mother, please do not think for a split SECOND that you are being women’s “advocate” with the ignorance you spew. I don’t want nor need your kind of “help.” The “modern woman” you claim to represent, who needs the “right” to murder her offspring in order to be a man’s equal, is a weakling. I would be ashamed to be mistaken for her.

          • notimportant

            Hi Elise! I see you’re right on the money, as always! I’d just like to add that abortion only takes from women the biggest thing that allows us to stand apart from men- the ability to give birth to a human being. Seems like there may be some uterus envy going on, eh? Hmmm, are pro-choice men suffering from uterus-envy or are they merely just trying to dodge responsibilites?!

    • JoAnna Wahlund

       Wade, are you willing to take in every single victim of domestic violence into your own home to feed, shelter, and educate?

      If not, I can only conclude that you are wholeheartedly in favor of domestic violence, and thus any opposition to domestic violence makes you a hypocrite.

    • Elise77

       Feti don’t eat loaves and fishes. They don’t have teeth yet. And they’re not eligible for adoption. And “vile” is an adjective, not a noun. And I’m not sure at what point in translation compassion for unborn babies and the sharing of facts become “hatred” to your ears. But whatever.

      And yes, the answer is YES. I will ABSOLUTELY welcome into my home a
      baby otherwise destined for abortion. I have OFFERED this before, to
      people who have tried your line of rhetoric. Know what? NOBODY has ever
      taken me up on it, because it is nothing more than a talking point. You
      use your belief in the shortage of homes for these babies as your excuse
      to condone their murder. But your belief is absolutely and
      incontrovertibly FALSE. Give me ten women weighing abortion vs adoption
      for their babies and I can name no fewer than ten families I know
      personally who would agree TODAY, on the spot, to take in those babies. TRY ME.

      There are waiting lists for infant adoptions. Now, I know you’re going to contradict me, because babies withering away in foster care is a lie you’ve been fed by your camp. The babies that do grow up in foster care do so because often parents and families who have lost their babies to the system due to abuse and neglect go through repeated cycles of “recovery” and “relapse” in an effort to get their kids back and keep the adoption process tied up indefinitely. If they had surrendered their children they would be in adoptive homes. And there are older children who endure foster care indefinitely for the same reasons, and also because they come to the system so damaged by their circumstances that they are hard to place. I know this because I know these families, and how they’ve struggled to welcome children into their homes and then struggled to keep them from returning to abusive situations and then struggled to help them overcome the baggage they arrived with, and then struggled to adopt them and give them forever homes. Not only are there families for these babies out there, but there are families who will fight against incredible odds, as if these children are their own flesh and blood, to provide them with the lives they deserve. And there are plenty of homes waiting for newborns placed up for adoption. The number of families on waiting lists to adopt an infant mirrors the number of babies aborted in any given year. What a coincidence.

      No matter how many times you and your friends rehash the same tired TIRED talking points, it won’t make them any more valid.

  • Justembers

    Thank you so much for this! I have just started a Facebook page called Adoptees Against Abortion (for adoptees, their families, friends, and anyone else who believes adoption is the humane choice when women or girls are ill-equipped, or unwilling, to keep a child in the event of an unwanted pregnancy) which I hope will grow enough to justify creating a nonprofit of the same name, and I’m going to post a link to this site. Thank you for your resources!!!

    • Ashley

      I will join the non-profit whenever I can. I plan on adopting as soon as I can. I:m fifteen now but I want to have an adopted baby, preferably a down syndrome baby because they’re so sweet, by the time I’m 22.

  • Oedipa Mossmoon

    Your analysis of how abortion doctors utilize ultrasounds is spot-on. They sometimes use them. Sometimes they’re important to the process. So, characterizing PP’s statement as untrue (that ultrasounds are “not necessary”) is a bit of a stretch, unless you think they’re generalizing too much. But that would’nt make much of a LiveAction headline would it? “Planned Parenthood Caught In Generalization!!!” Oh my!!!

    More importantly, why not let those decisions play out in the medical arena rather than in the political arena? It’s telling that the same crowd that’s pulling their hair out over the federal government getting involved in health care seem to be perfectly fine with politicians without medical backgrounds forcing themselves into the doctor-patient relationship and foisting their judgements on how procedures are played out in family planning clinics.

    Your analysis of how these ultrasounds/sonograms will effect decision making, however, is way off mark. A Canadian study published in 2009 in the European Journal of Contraception and
    Reproductive Health Care, found that, when given the option, 72 percent
    of women chose to view the sonogram image. Of those, 86 percent said it
    was a positive experience. None changed their mind about the abortion.

    • Elise77

       When should an ultrasound NOT be performed prior to an abortion? What OTHER circumstances would provide certainty of the unborn child’s gestational age and size, the location of the pregnancy, and other absolutely necessary information?

      And that study you’re referencing was done by an abortion provider. HMMMM. I wonder if by any chance Ellen Wiebe (the abortionist who conducted the “study” might have an AGENDA?? Nawwww, couldn’t be… I mean, just ignore the OTHER studies that have concluded that women who view a sonogram of their baby prior to abortion are 80-90% less likely to abort… And, of course, the lively objections of abortion providers to being required to offer their patients the chance to view what is already a routine pre-op procedure. I mean, I’m sure there is a TOTALLY legitimate reason to object to that, other than the likelihood of it dissuading women from their abortions.


      • Oedipa Mossmoon

        I believe it was a Weibe study.

        I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours (that “80%-90%” study). I’d love to see if that one fits your standard of what non-biased research is.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      So your contention is that PP often performs unnecessary and frivolous medical diagnostics on women, by their own admission? So, they’re either lying about a necessary medical diagnostic tool, or they’re perpetuating insurance fraud by performing (and billing for) unnecessary procedures?

      • Oedipa Mossmoon

        Nope. I know that ultrasounds are performed often in clinics. So does Planned Parenthood. Their phrase, “routine ultrasound is not considered medically necessary”, is consistent with that. My contention is that Ms. Brown is parsing that phrase a little too closely. Ultrasounds, while performed frequently, are not *always* necessary.

        So, what’s wrong with leaving that decision to the doctor?

    • Guest

      Here’s another study, suggesting that there is a strong correlation between reduced abortion rates and ultrasound laws:


      Perhaps mandating informed consent to go with the image might be important.  And we do have empirical evidence of women changing their minds upon seeing the image.  If only one life is saved, then passing the law was worth the trouble.

      Some abortionists have also admitted that the law might cause women to change their minds:


      • Oedipa Mossmoon

        Thanks for supplying a real study and not junk science, which is the usual MO around here. Its an interesting read and worthy of debate, though some of the high-level statistical formulations are not for the feint-of-heart. The study, however, doesn’t actually have anything to say about women *changing their mind* upon seeing an ultrasound. It studies the rate of abortion demand in states that have ultrasound laws versus states that don’t. And at the end, the author concedes that there are likely cultural variables at play. In other words, a state that would elect representatives to pass an ultrasound law is likely a state that would have less demand (and less access) in the first place.

        As for the Rhode Island news article you linked, that quote affirming the effectiveness of the ultrasound viewing is from a pro-life activist, not from a doctor. Even if was from doctor, it’d be an anecdote that could be easily matched by other anecdotes saying the opposite. And, in any event, a collection of anecdotes is not data.

        • Guest

           One anecdote (that is, one life being saved) would actually be sufficient.

        • Guest

           This is from an abortionist:

          “You have to start turning the machine around and start describing every
          little part of the screen, which is hard to begin with and would serve
          no purpose other than to scare woman and make them change their minds”

          So he effectively admitted that mandating informed consent might change some minds.

          • Oedipa Mossmoon

            This is also from an abortionist, thus my point about anecdotes being virtually meaningless:

            “I’ve never seen anybody who said they were coming in to an abortion,
            wanted to see the ultrasound, reacted to it and then changed their mind
            on the basis of that,”

  • dmkat

    Since when does “may include” equate to “necessary”? If other clinics provide it as part of the service, that’s not the same thing as “required”. I would hope an attorney would understand simple semantics like that, but apparently not. 

    • grdawg

      How about you call a Planned Parenthood and ask them if they typically do ultrasounds to determine gestational age before performing an abortion?  Either 1) they will admit the truth that they do because this is, in fact, medically necessary or 2) they will prove that they are a medically unfit place if they do not do ultrasounds.  Sometimes you have to read beyond the actual words stated on a PP website to the reality of what they actually do.