We all know that abortion is a touchy subject that people could argue about for hours. But all political issues aside, ultrasounds being performed before abortions is a theory that is slowly growing across America. Researchers believe that a mother seeing her own child before executing an abortion is enough to change her mind and bring the child into the world. Empty statements and statistics have been thrown around, but there is proof that this theory does not prove to be true.
There is no doubt that there are cases of women changing their mind once seeing their child. According to Life News, in 2011 The Women’s Choice Network conducted a survey that stated out of 172 women who viewed their sonogram, 123 women continued the pregnancy. Sounds assuring, right? Well, I looked deeper into the statistics. Out of those 123 women, an overwhelming number were young. Young, vulnerable, and easily influenced. It is far-fetched to believe that a simple viewing of a sonogram can eliminate the reasoning behind one’s abortion. A sonogram will not erase the memory of rape, or not being able to financially support a child, or the health issues that may result in critical issues for the mother. Too many factors play a role into the pregnant woman’s choice of continuing a pregnancy or terminating the child. There is not enough evidence to prove that the sonogram is the sole reason.
In a study that was conducted in 2009, questionnaires were distributed to 350 women who entered two different abortion clinics. They were asked if they wanted to see an ultrasound. Approximately 73% viewed the ultrasound, and 86% viewed it as a “positive experience”. However, 0% of the women who viewed the ultrasound changed their mind.
Surveys were distributed amongst 318 women in Birmingham, Alabama in 2012. 72% of those women viewed an ultrasound. 92% reported that they were “sure of their decision, or that their abortion was a better choice for them.”
A pregnancy center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, challenged a conservative research council that made the claim that women often opt out after seeing a sonogram. They told reporters, “98% of women from our center who have ultrasounds chose to carry them.”
One more example just to make my point clear. Slate published an article of researching done on the matter and found that “98.4% of women who saw their ultrasounds went on to get an abortion anyway.” Katy Waldman went on to say, “And for the 1.6% who decided not to go through with it, other factors, such as gestational age, were more salient in swaying them.”
There are surely cases of women in America who have been persuaded by viewing their precious child developing in their own body. But is it valid to say that there were not other factors, such as social pressures or age influencing this large decision? Is it educated to assume that the psychological theory will prove consistent across all ages, races, and states? Hardly. Viewing an ultrasound before an abortion in hopes to dismiss the thought of going through with the termination is ineffective and inconsistent.