Possibily emboldened by recent Supreme Court appointments, anti-abortion legislators in several states are introducing laws mandating an ultrasound or sonogram examination of every fetus prior to an abortion. The procedure is done for no medical reason whatsoever and is clearly designed to make getting abortions even more burdensome. The doctor is then required to offer the patient an opportunity to view the ultrasound or sonogram image. One such model statute is the "Full Disclosure Ultrasound Act" in Georgia.
Prolife lobbyist, Kevin Harris hailed the proposed statute and claimed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that "some research studies show that 65 to 75 percent of pregnant women who view sonograms before deciding about an abortion decide to carry out their pregnancies." I wonder in what peer-reviewed journals such studies appeared?
Still, such images may or may not have a powerful influence on women's abortion decisions. Test yourself by looking at some sonograms right here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey finds that 60 percent of abortions occur prior to 8 weeks of gestation (image and another) and 88 percent before the 13th week (image and another).
The bottom line is that even in the extremely unlikely event that abortion opponents do manage to get the procedure banned in the United States, that will simply mean that poor American women will resort again to illegal abortions and well off women will use abortion clinics in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.