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August 27, 2008

The ultrasound: Savior or killer?

Ultrasound Most of us pro-lifers, I believe, think of the ultrasound machine as a lifesaver, one of our most valuable tools in helping parents to see their unborn children as living human beings. Witness this article by my former boss Chuck Donovan:

The vast majority of advocates for the sanctity of human life cite the protective effects of ultrasound, and they have strong evidence. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) has worked for a decade to promote the transformation of pro-life pregnancy care centers into medical offices capable of delivering more and more services to their clients. Centers that take advantage of NIFLA's project, The Life Choice (TLC), obtain legal advice, training courses and manuals, insurance coverage, and a Shimadzu 350 ultrasound machine.

Tom Glessner, NIFLA's executive director, notes the impact that ultrasound availability and other steps toward medicalization have had on women who come to pregnancy centers intending to have abortions. "The Pregnancy Resource Center of Dallas," he writes, "converted to medical clinic status in 1998. Since then, they have reported a 66% increase in the total number of clients, a 74% increase in the number of pregnancy tests, a 151% increase in abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable clients, and a 243% increase in the number of clients that carry to term." Similarly, a Columbus, Ohio, center that serves many university students found "that prior to its becoming a medical clinic, 80% of abortion-minded clients chose abortion after counseling and education only. Now, after receiving an ultrasound and a free physician consultation, of those clients whose pregnancy outcomes can be documented, approximately 90% choose life."

However, on his new site Culture11, Joe Carter brings up a sobering aspect of ultrasound technology to which we may not have given full weight:

The widespread use of sonogram technology--coupled with liberal abortion laws--has made it possible for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they're even born. In 2006, at a speech before the U.N., demographer Nicholas Eberstadt revealed the details of this frightening trend:

Over the past five years the American public has received regular updates on what we have come to call “the global war on terror”. A no-less significant global war—a war, indeed, against nature, civilization, and in fact humanity itself has also been underway in recent years. This latter war, however, has attracted much less attention and comment, despite its immense consequence. This world-wide struggle might be called” The Global War Against Baby Girls”.

Read the articles and tell us what you think: Do the benefits of ultrasound outweigh the risks?

(Image © Andersen Ross for Getty Images)

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From a pragmatic standpoint, overall, I'm sure that there are far more women choosing life because they get a chance to bond with their babies than there are women choosing to kill because they're dissatisfied with their babies.

From a spiritual and ethical standpoint, we only have the right to withhold information if we have reason to believe that this particular person will use it to do evil. To just say, "Lots of people will abuse the chance to get information, therefore we should squelch the information" would be to capitulate to the abortion-advocacy mindset that it's okay to withhold information to increase the odds of getting the result you want.

Steve (SBK)

"The ultrasound" per se is neither good nor bad, just a tool used by good or bad people.

Those willing to use it to eradicate little girls before they are born, would also be better candidates for postpartum infanticide.

How people use it doesn't erase the fact that we can better see the real humanity of in utero children.

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