Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Idaho House Bill 248

The following letter was printed in the Times-News Monday, March 12, 2007.

House bill 248 was introduced by Representative Janice McGeachin of Idaho Falls. If passed, it would allow women to see an ultrasound image of their baby before an abortion is performed.

It does not require doctors to do ultrasounds. It does not force women to see the ultrasound. It does require that a doctor who chooses to do an ultrasound must also tell the mother about it and give her the option of seeing it.

This bill would increase the knowledge that mothers have as they face a difficult decision regarding abortion, would most likely reduce the number of abortions performed in Idaho, and would do so well within the confines of existing law.

House bill 248 truly is win-win, and deserves the support of all Idahoans.


Charles D said...

I'm not sure I see the point here. If I were planning to get an abortion, why would I order an ultrasound? The doctor is hardly about to perform an ultrasound as part of the abortion itself. This sounds like a way for anti-abortion politicians to look like they are doing something for the cause, while doing absolutely nothing.

It sounds like House Bill 248 is a lose-lose. It does nothing for the anti-abortion cause and nothing for women seeking abortions. I would urge all Idahoans to write their legislators and advise them to use their time and the taxpayer's money to better advantage.

Cameron said...

DL, many doctors choose to do ultrasounds prior to performing abortions, and some women who are in the decision making process may request an ultrasound. This bill would assist women in those situations to have all the information they need to make their choice. Seven other states have similar laws.

Check out some oppostion to the bill. The video is a good watch too.

Proponents of bills like this one argue that women that see ultrasounds are very likely (up to 90%) to choose to carry the baby to term.

Charles D said...

"Many doctors" are either trying to influence their patients to carry the fetus to term, or they are bilking the insurance companies. Either way, it's borderline malpractice.

When it comes to something as important as assuming the responsibility of parenthood for the rest of one's life, overt appeals to emotions by those with an ulterior motive are reprehensible.

If the legislature believes so strongly in the sanctity of human life, they would ban capital punishment and call for US withdrawal from Iraq ASAP. Obviously that is not their motivation. If their motivation is either punishment of women who engage in pre-marital sex, or forcing their religious views on the population, they should probably recuse themselves from this debate and get busy on the real work of government.

Cameron said...

From First Resort's Q&A page:

Why do I need to get an ultrasound before an abortion?
Abortion is the elective termination of a pregnancy that is viable (i.e., would be able to proceed and result in the baby's live birth if left alone). To be viable, a pregnancy must also be inside the uterus. An ultrasound examination can assure that your pregnancy is in the correct location (i.e., is not a tubal pregnancy) and can assess if there is a miscarriage or blighted ovum (empty egg) present. These events (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) have been reported to occur in as many as 20-25% of pregnancies (perhaps higher in first pregnancies). If one of these situations exists, then abortion may be medically unnecessary or potentially hazardous and inappropriate surgery. In fact, abortion isn't even the right word for resolving these types of abnormal pregnancy events. Most of these abnormal pregnancy diagnoses also have numerous alternative methods of treatment that you should discuss with your medical provider. It is important to add that all of these conditions (tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, blighted ovum) will include positive urine/blood tests. Therefore, a positive pregnancy test should never be used alone to determine the need for an elective abortion. Insist on knowing if you really need an abortion before you pay for one.

In Georgia's state legislature they are considering a bill that initially would have required an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. The bill was changed however to make doctors offer an ultrasound. The bill's sponsor said she changed it because most doctors already do an ultrasound before the abortion.

Charles D said...

Interesting. I googled abortion and ultrasound and found only anti-abortion sites like First Resort and the others you linked.

While I did discover that ultrasound is fairly routine in abortions, something I didn't know, the anti-abortion lobby has clearly found another little wedge issue to start ramming through legislatures in their long battle to prevent women from aborting unwanted fetuses.

Ultimately this is a losing proposition. What is becoming more and more apparent to the citizenry is that the anti-abortion groups are not concerned about the sanctity of human life, but about the relaxing of sexual mores caused by the advent of reasonably reliable contraception. Once the abortion providers are run out, the same groups then start harassing the pharmacies to stop dispensing the morning-after pill, reduce availability of contraception, and generally penalize women for having sex.

I think people in the anti-abortion movement need to take a long, hard look at their value system and come to grips with the fact that they are either deluding themselves or attempting to delude others.

Cameron said...

Here are the services First Resort provides:

-Information and counseling on all options
-Complete confidentiality
-A supportive and caring environment
-Pregnancy testing
-Ultrasound services
-Pregnancy verification (PV) exam and form
-Pre & Post-abortion counseling
-Immediate appointments
-Convenient locations with easy public transit access
-State-licensed facilities in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City

I'm not sure which service specifically upsets you. Is it the counseling? Is it the state licensed facilities? Is it the supporting and caring environment for women faced with unintended pregnancies? Seriously, in my conversations with you this is exactly what you have advocated. I think there ought to be many more facilities just like this one.

Perhaps you just don't like the fact that some of these women might actually choose not to have an abortion.

It is reactions like yours to bills like H248 and centers like First Resort that show the true motivation of the "pro-abortion" lobby.

Charles D said...

First Resort is what's called a stealth clinic - it appears to provide "choices" to pregnant women, but it's real mission is to prevent them from getting abortions. There are plenty of cases involving this organization showing that they disseminate false or misleading information on human sexuality and reproduction in order to promote abstinence and prevent abortions.

Cameron said...

I'm sorry but I have to chuckle a bit at "stealth clinic". That's awfully spy gameish.

Anyway, here's one take on First Resort, and here's another from the other side. Not a whole lot of real info out there because of all the rhetoric. It would take an actual on site visit to get to the truth of the matter.

I'm inclined to believe that there are "clinics" out there that overstep their bounds as far as counseling is concerned. However, I haven't found much info that First Resort is one of these. That's what certification is for. According to its website, First Resort is certified by the state and employs real doctors and nurses and counselors. To oppose places like First Resort, real pregnancy crisis centers that give counsel on all options, just because they don't exclusively promote abortion is wrong and uncaring.

Pro abortionists like to claim that they care and want what is best for everyone, but in reality they fight tooth and nail against anything that might reduce abortions. "False or misleading information" indeed.

What exactly is the argument against offering pregnant women a view of their ultrasound? You were immediately up in arms over it, and you didn't even know all the facts. Women should have the right to see the ultrasound images before they have an abortion. There are "plenty of cases" of abortion doctors turning the screen away and not allowing women the choice to see their child. This bill will ensure that there are no outside influences on whether the mother can see her child or not. The doctor will have to offer the option to her, and will have to allow her to see the images if she requests it. It is completely up to the mother.

Abby Sunshine said...

I noticed your comment on Jessica's blog. I also noticed the top of your blog. If you truly believe what is written on the top you should ask her why she is baring false witness against my friend Rob.

Ask her to share with you the comments she deleted. Ask her for the letters.

My buddy Rob is the most decent guy. He doesn't deserve this misrepresentation of his character on her blog.

It's bad enough when Republicans lie about us, but it's even worse when the need to be right is more important than doing what is right.

Charles D said...

Of course women should "have the right" to see ultrasound images before they abort their fetuses. However, encouraging them to view the images is quite a different matter.

If a woman goes to an obstetrician or a "crisis pregnancy center", she should be offered all the options available, including abortion, and the discussion of risks and benefits should be confined to proven medical issues.

While those who oppose abortion are entitled to their opinions, medical practitioners licensed by the state should act entirely within professional bounds and not withhold treatment or discourage treatments because they have a personal bias.

Cameron said...

You obviously have no problem then with bill 248, because it meets all of your stated requirements. Thank you for your support.