Daily 49er

House Republicans try to force women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion

The forced ultrasound is both unnecessary and ineffective in preventing anything except the continued emotional upset of the women who would be subjected to them.

Ariana Sawyer, Opinions Editor

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For doctors, the Oath is the most sacred of laws. The Hippocratic Oath states, “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.”

Yet a few House Republicans have sought to undermine the oath by introducing a mandatory ultrasound bill (HR 492) last Thursday that would force women to look at and listen to a detailed description of the anatomy and function of the embryo or fetus on the screen, potentially causing psychological upset.

Doctors would be required to do this or else risk losing their license and paying hefty fines.

“I’m pro-choice because it is a woman’s body, so it’s her choice,” Isley Jordan, a 26-year-old living in New Orleans, said. “That sounds cliché, but it’s true. She is the only one with the physical burden and the only one who will have to feel sick, tired, emotional, and less capable for nine months. She is the only one who will be responsible for this life.”

Jordan recently got an abortion at the only available clinic in New Orleans, the Women’s Health Care Center.

It is already the law in Louisiana to force women to have an ultrasound throughout which what they are viewing must be described to them, sometimes between embarrassed apologies.

All ten of the Republicans pushing to pass this bill are men, and not one of their female colleagues will support them. This is not surprising, as the bill would result in a practice that would be both completely ineffective and potentially damaging to the psychological well being of the patients (women). It is an attempt to play on the emotional vulnerability of women and to guilt them into doing something against their will.

In a study, the ultrasound was made available by choice, and 42.5 percent of women decided to view it. Still, 98.8 percent of pregnancies were terminated, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Women have a basic right to decide the fate of their own bodies. It is completely unacceptable to have their fate decided by a handful of male politicians who cannot possibly relate to the decision of whether to abort.

“I don’t see anything moralistically wrong with it; saying that a sack of cells, especially when it’s one that hasn’t even formed a fetus, deserves a life when it’s going to be substandard and make another person miserable,” Jordan said. “That’s just absurd to me.”

The father of the pregnancy often cannot be relied upon to support the child, and child support is not enough, said Jordan. In her case, the father was supposed to pay for half of the abortion but broke his leg and is now out of work. As a result, Jordan has not received any financial help. Ultimately, it is the woman who bears the financial burden, and it is the woman who must be allowed to make the choice.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-NC) is the leading proponent of this bill.

According to the Daily Kos, Rep. Duncan is the same person who recently had a lot to say about immigration policies in the United States. “It’s kind of like having a house — and you’re not homeowners, a lot of folks in this room, but your Mom and Dads are — taking the door off the hinges and allowing any kind of vagrant, or animal, or just somebody that’s hungry, or somebody that wants to do your dishes for you, to come in,” Duncan said. “And you can’t say, ‘No you can’t come in.’ And you can’t say, ‘No you can’t stay all night.’ Or ‘No you can’t have this benefit of using my deodorant.’ All those things. We’re giving those benefits away, which we earn as citizens of this nation, of being legalized citizens.”

As he clearly cares so little for the rights or well being of his fellow humans, he cannot possibly be a reliable spokesman for this sensitive issue.

Abortion is not evil, and the women who get them are not monsters.

“The nurses all called me babe, asked where I was from, stuff like that,” Jordan said. “One woman who talked to us was like, ‘So the doctor is gonna tell you, wait ‘til you feel cramping to take the pain meds. They ain’t done this before. I have; take ‘em right away.’ It was like a bunch of friends figuring it all out together.”

Jordan decided to face her ultrasound out of a desire to learn. Afterward, she did not change her mind.

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