Rick Womick's Arguments Against Abortion

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Summary While anti-abortion legislatures have been passing ‘Women’s Right to Know’ policies for over two decades, a more recent trend has been to add a mandatory viewing of an ultrasound to the state-mandated informed consent procedure. Whereas abortion advocates argue that these laws are unethical and may cause psychological harm to a woman seeking an abortion, the anti-abortion activists stand behind these policies saying that viewing an ultrasound promotes a bond between mother and child and helps the woman to make a more informed decision. Evidence demonstrates that ultrasound viewing does not deter a woman from having an abortion, but may illicit a range of emotional responses, including some negative feelings. Abortion trends throughout…show more content…
Although ultrasound is already standard procedure before abortion in Tennessee, this new legislation, would require that the woman view and hear the ultrasound. The technician would be required to show the woman the live images of the ultrasound, but even if the woman refuses to look, the technician needs to “provide a simultaneous verbal explanation of the results of the ultrasound, including a medical description of the dimensions of the embryo or fetus…the presence of arms, legs, external members, and internal organs…” (HB 0002, 109th General Assembly, 2015). The technician should also make the heartbeat audible if there is one and provide the woman with a copy of the images, which she is required to sign in order to affirm her viewing of the ultrasound. All of this, according to Womick, is to “Let her realize that it’s not just a blob of tissue, it’s a life” (Boucher, The Tennessean,…show more content…
An additional argument for these ultrasound laws that AUL puts forward is that “women will feel bonded to their children after seeing them on the ultrasound screen” and once that bond is formed “a woman no longer feels ambivalent toward her pregnancy and actually begins to feel invested in her unborn child” (AUL, 2013, p.3). The abortion-rights counter argument comes from organizations like the Guttmacher Institute that claims that these ultrasound laws are a “perversion of medical ethics in general and the informed consent process in particular” and they will not have a substantial impact on reducing abortion rates as viewing the ultrasound will not persuade the woman to forego the abortion (Benson Gold, 2009). Other abortion advocates and providers argue that viewing an ultrasound might cause psychological harm to the woman seeking the abortion and they would like to protect the women from such pain (Graham, Ankrett, & Killick,

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