States Demand Ultrasounds to Curb Abortion

20 states encourage or mandate procedure
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted May 28, 2010 6:08 AM CDT
20 states encourage or mandate procedure.   (?Johnath)

(Newser) – The latest weapon in the battle over abortion: Ultrasounds. Backed by anti-abortion groups who believe sonograms can stop women from aborting, 20 states have passed laws that require or encourage abortion providers to conduct the procedure, reports the New York Times. Ultrasounds are already mandatory in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and Oklahoma now is considering a proposal to mandate an oral description of the fetus as well as an ultrasound image.

But the Times finds scant evidence that pushing ultrasounds lowers abortion rates. "I’ve never had one patient get off the table because she saw what her fetus looks like,” says a clinic owner in Alabama. Some women find viewing the fetus reassures them about having an abortion. “It just looked like a little egg, and I couldn’t see arms or legs or a face,” said one woman. "The picture of the ultrasound that made me feel it was OK.” Click here for Kathleen Parker's take.

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