Steven Aden

Virginia recently enacted a new law making theirs the eighth state to require an ultrasound to be performed prior to an abortion. As with other states that have passed similar measures, Virginia’s law provides the mother “an opportunity" to view the ultrasound image of her [baby] prior to the abortion,” but it is an option she can decline.

And because ultrasound technology poses a threat to the abortion industry—inasmuch as it allows a mother to see the life within her in a way that we couldn’t even imagine decades ago—supporters of death have been rallying the troops against the progress being made in Virginia and equating such ultrasounds with rape.

Their basis for making this claim is that women who want to have an abortion, but are less than 12 weeks along in their pregnancy, will have to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound: one in which “a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

Straining to prove this mad assertion, abortion supporters are claiming that such an ultrasound requirement will result in women being “forcibly penetrated,” and therefore, violated by the state.

What’s strange is that these same people have no ethical qualms about allowing an abortionist’s scalpels and vacuum devices to be inserted into a woman as her baby is literally ripped from the womb limb by limb. And they apparently feel no angst over a pre-born child being injected with medicine that stops his or her heart so that labor can be induced and the stillborn child can be disposed of in a trash can (or a dumpster) in much the same way one would dispose of a banana peel or moldy bread.

Of course, there is no constitutional prohibition on providing women with full information about this life-and-death decision, as the Supreme Court has affirmed. Nor is the ultrasound requirement an unlawful “search” by the government, any more than would be a legal requirement that a doctor take an x-ray of a broken limb before setting it. In fact, even abortionists like Planned Parenthood admit that they routinely do ultrasounds before abortions to confirm gestational age – it is the standard of practice for this “business,” as confirmed by the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

If the truth were told, what bothers opponents is not really the ultrasound requirement per se, but the combination of the ultrasound and the waiting period which gives the mother time to see and think about things before making a decision which, as the Supreme Court acknowledged in a recent case, “she may come to regret.”

Here’s the exact wording of the law:

Except in the case of a medical emergency, at least 2 hours before the performance of an abortion a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the direct supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age. The ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable.

The combination of a waiting period and an ultrasound is a one-two punch against the culture of death, and its proponents don’t like it. They’d rather keep everything moving quickly so the woman doesn’t have time to think about the fact that she’s ending a human life – one that is her own flesh and blood. Members of the culture of death, used to peddling what the Supreme Court has called “the abortion distortion,” can call it “rape,” but reasonable people see this for what it is—an attempt to appeal to every sensibility in the mother’s heart and mind in the hope that she will become fully aware of what she’s actually doing to her pre-born child.


Steven Aden

Steven H. Aden is senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom (www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org).