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Ultrasound Encourged Before Abortion?

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Just a question?

Do you think that people who are under the age of 18 should be encouraged to get an ultrasound of their baby (fetus) before they have an abortion? Do you think that independent of age, people should be encouraged to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion or while they are deciding?

The reason why I am asking is because I know some people who had abortions when they were young and pregnant. When those people became pregnant again and had their first ultrasound, they were ridden with this guilt of having an prior abortion. For example, I had one friend state she would have never had an abortion if she new that her baby looked like that in utero (i.e., arms, heartbeat, etc.). It greatly affected her. It caused her to go into a depression because although she knew that the baby had a heartbeat when she had an abortion, she didn't really know the extent to how much the baby had developed. Another friend felt the same way. I wonder how many other people have experienced this?

I am just curious as to why you are for or against this.
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Re: Ultrasound Encourged Before Abortion?
ladylee70 wrote:
Just a question?

Do you think that people who are under the age of 18 should be encouraged to get an ultrasound of their baby (fetus) before they have an abortion? Do you think that independent of age, people should be encouraged to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion or while they are deciding?

The reason why I am asking is because I know some people who had abortions when they were young and pregnant. When those people became pregnant again and had their first ultrasound, they were ridden with this guilt of having an prior abortion. For example, I had one friend state she would have never had an abortion if she new that her baby looked like that in utero (i.e., arms, heartbeat, etc.). It greatly affected her. It caused her to go into a depression because although she knew that the baby had a heartbeat when she had an abortion, she didn't really know the extent to how much the baby had developed. Another friend felt the same way. I wonder how many other people have experienced this?

I am just curious as to why you are for or against this.


The image from the ultrasound is always available for the woman to see. However, no matter what her age, she should never be "encouraged" or "forced" to see one - which is what south carolina is trying to do. "Encouraging" a young girl to see it can easily slip into forcing her to see it, and then forcing other women to see it.
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replied April 6th, 2007
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ladylee that is a very interesting point that you are bringing up.
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replied April 6th, 2007
Until I saw my ultrasound for the first time it wasnt real to me that i had a child in me. I absolutely think that an ultrasound should be preformed.
alot of girls do not have the option available. I had to find an obgyn then schedual an appointment and wait. Planned parenthoods (at least in my area) do not have ultrasound machines. I think it would have an effect on impressionable young girls to see what is growing in them.
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Hi ladylee70,

You might want to read this thread, as it addresses alot of what you have asked:

http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic88020. html "SC trying to pass bill to..."

I did not have an ultrasound available for me, .Eiri.

At any rate, I am all for education. If a woman wants to see it, and it's available, I support her choice in the matter.
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Birch, I didn't see that thread. It is almost identical to what I asked. I will read it later. Thank you!!
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Re: Ultrasound Encourged Before Abortion?
ladylee70 wrote:
Just a question?

Do you think that people who are under the age of 18 should be encouraged to get an ultrasound of their baby (fetus) before they have an abortion? Do you think that independent of age, people should be encouraged to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion or while they are deciding?
People .a.r.e given ultrasounds prior to an abortion (at the majority of providers to ensure the location of the fetus). It is their choice to look or not.

Should they be forced to do so by law? I think it would be a waste of time to legislate something like that. If an ultrasound of an 8 week fetus (the time when the vast majority of abortions are performed) is going to cause them to change their mind, then they should look because you don't want someone that uncertain to go through with the abortion. Should it be forced? No, I think that would be the government overstepping its bounds. I'm all for private doctors and clinics giving early ultrasounds if women request them. I'm even supportive of cpc's giving ultrasounds for free to any woman who wants one because I know that it doesn't matter. .Seeing an ultrasound does not change that .woman's circumstances and therefore does not change her reasons for seeking the abortion. If her reasons for an abortion are so trivial (the majority are .n.o.t) to where seeing the ultrasound makes her change her mind, then she should see one.

If you want to stop abortions, you have to get at the root problems facing .women that cause them to choose that over other options. This would mean actually doing something about poverty, homelessness, abuse, income inequality, healthcare, childcare, adoption, and many, many other issues that force .women to choose an abortion. .Seeing pictures does not change their circumstances and therefore doesn't change their mind a huge, overwhelming majority of the time.

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The reason why I am asking is because I know some people who had abortions when they were young and pregnant. When those people became pregnant again and had their first ultrasound, they were ridden with this guilt of having an prior abortion. For example, I had one friend state she would have never had an abortion if she new that her baby looked like that in utero (i.e., arms, heartbeat, etc.).
The good news that you can tell your friend is that a fetus at 8 weeks (more than likely the time she obtained the abortion), looks nothing like a 16-18 week fetus when most women obtain their first ultrasouns! In fact, I highly doubt that she would have been able to see it had she cared to look without someone knowledgeable pointing it out. I have been in the room countless times as a hand holder while the ultrasounds were performed and most of the women did not know what they were looking for or what they were looking at. They expected, like your friend, that it would look like a baby. At 8 weeks, it doesn't. It's incredibly small and still has rather alien features to it. In some pregnancies, the women actually think that the placenta forming is the fetus, not the dot beside it.

Tell your friend to talk to some legitimate counselors and let her know that her current ultrasound looks nothing like the one she had before her abortion.

Quote:
It greatly affected her. It caused her to go into a depression because although she knew that the baby had a heartbeat when she had an abortion, she didn't really know the extent to how much the baby had developed. Another friend felt the same way. I wonder how many other people have experienced this?
Again, the ultrasounds taken at separate times will show very different things. At 8 weeks, she probably would not have seen anything it's so small and looks nothing like a baby.

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I am just curious as to why you are for or against this.
I would have to inevitably say that I am against it simply because I think it's over-reaching for the government. Basically, it's not the government's job or within their power to do this. I do think women who are confused or unsure of their decision be encouraged to look at the ultrasound and see if they can find the fetus. I know I can't most of the time and it takes our trained technician to do it for me.

If an ultrasound is going to change their mind, they probably are not that sure of their decision. Most of the .women I deal with are desperate and feel that an abortion is their only option. .No matter what you show them at that point, they are still going to have the abortion because their situation doesn't change by looking at the picture. If anything, I've seen .women become more resolved about their decision after looking at the materials mandated by the state than change their minds.
Peace,
Jenn
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Two resources I forgot to post with my last post for your friend to look at:
Backline - http://www.yourbackline.org/
Exhale - http://www.4exhale.org/

Both organizations operate help lines with respectful, compassionate counselors committed to helping .women. I highly encourage her to look them up and give them a call when she can.
Peace,
jenn
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replied April 6th, 2007
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Thanks all. The friend I was talking about had an abortion long time ago and has since had two boys. It just still affects her. Her situation was very difficult, however, in that she was raped. As a result, it is probably the entire situation that continues to affect her somewhat.

That makes sense that woman are given ultrasounds prior to abortion. I actually never knew that but it makes complete sense. Someone on this thread said that planned parenthoods don't have ultrasound machines, though. Another person said they did not have an ultrasound available to her. So it seems that option is not available to everyone.

At 8 weeks you can see the little heart beating, so I was just wondering if that would change some individual's minds. You are right, it wouldn't change the circumstances.

Forcing a woman to have an ultrasound does seem too extreme. I do believe letting the woman know it is an option. Perhaps most placed do that, I have no idea.

This whole topic
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replied April 7th, 2007
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I am a healthcare professional, I work in an abortion clinic pt, and I have had 3 abortions.

I saw all three of my ultrasounds, and they did not phase me one bit as far as the abortions were concerned.

We allow each woman to see the ultrasound, we actually offer them to have a look, but we never force them.
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replied April 7th, 2007
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ladylee70 wrote:
Someone on this thread said that planned parenthoods don't have ultrasound machines, though.
The majority of our clinics don't have them because they are simply health and family planning clinics and do not perform abortions. In our affiliate of 12 clinics, two have ultrasound machines. Only one provides abortions, the other uses the machine for prenatal care.

The overwhelming vast majority of our services are family planning services - pap smears, cancer screenings, sti testing, education, and birth control.
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replied April 9th, 2007
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Birch wrote:
Hi ladylee70,

You might want to read this thread, as it addresses alot of what you have asked:

http://ehealthforum.com/health/topic88020. html "SC trying to pass bill to..."

I did not have an ultrasound available for me, .Eiri.

At any rate, I am all for education. If a woman wants to see it, and it's available, I support her choice in the matter.


I'm confused. I thought an ultrasound was required in order to determine the exact age of the fetus to determine the safest form of abortion. I think Jenn mentioned this too...
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replied April 9th, 2007
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NOT all planned parenthood locations are abortion providers, most are simply birth control, std, and pregnancy test clinics.
THEY would not give you an u/s, the aboriton clinic that performed the procedure would.
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