“Mugged By Ultrasound”
A new poll finds that “56% of all Americans and 58% of those 18-29 years old say abortion ‘morally wrong’.”
“Millennials” (those 18-29) consider abortion to be “morally wrong” even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as “morally wrong”). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same….
Advances in technology, show clearly – and ever more clearly – that an unborn child is completely a human being. That, coupled with the large number of Americans who know one of the many people who has been negatively affected by abortion are certainly two of the reasons that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with Roe v. Wade’s legacy of abortion, and with abortion generally. The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good.
…advances in ultrasound imaging and abortion procedures have forced providers ever closer to the nub of their work. Especially in abortions performed far enough along in gestation that the fetus is recognizably a tiny baby, this intimacy exacts an emotional toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are sometimes unprepared. Most apparently have managed to reconcile their belief in the right to abortion with their revulsion at dying and dead fetuses, but a noteworthy number have found the conflict unbearable and have defected to the pro-life cause.
[Some] converts were driven into the pro-life movement by advances in ultrasound technology. The most recent example is Abby Johnson, the former director of Dallas-area Planned Parenthood. After watching, via ultrasound, an embryo “crumple” as it was suctioned out of its mother’s womb, Johnson reported a “conversion in my heart.” Likewise, Joan Appleton was the head nurse at a large abortion facility in Falls Church, Virginia, and a NOW activist. Appleton performed thousands of abortions with aplomb until a single ultrasound-assisted abortion rattled her. As Appleton remembers, “I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. . . . After the procedure I was shaking, literally.”
Others were converted after being traumitized by having to handle and dispose of “fetal remains”…baby parts (the Standard piece includes some graphic conversion accounts). I wonder if this increasing disapproval of abortion helps explain the apparent rise in teen pregnancies, as written about by Dr. Gregory Fritz on today’s ProJo op-ed page (Dr. Fritz does not bring up abortion):
Perhaps the fear of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS has faded as a deterrent to unprotected sex. The increase in the number of Latinos in the U.S., who now have the highest rate of teen pregnancy of any group in the country, may provide a demographic answer. Alternatively, the rising rate of pregnancy among adolescents may be part of a broader societal trend, since birth rates have also increased among women in every age group and among older, unmarried women. It’s even been suggested that the change represents “prevention-fatigue” associated with the ubiquity of prevention programs.
In any case, if the end of the decline in the teenage-pregnancy rate is in fact a real pattern, we need to address it head on. Delaying pregnancy is critically important for improving the life opportunities for both teenage girls and their babies.
I think that’s something everyone can agree on. Preventing teen pregnancy by teaching abstinence (it works every time), contraception in a responsible (not promotional) way and showing how screwed up your life will become if you cross over into babymommahood are essential.