Here is a surprising article from the New York Times that reportedly even appeared on the front page.
BOWIE, Md., Jan. 26 – Sixteen months ago, Andrea Brown, 24 years old and unmarried, was desperate for an abortion, fearing the disappointment of her parents and the humiliation she might face.
While frantically searching the telephone book one day, she came across the Bowie Crofton Pregnancy Center and Medical Clinic, a church-financed organization that provides counseling and education about sexual abstinence. The receptionist told Ms. Brown that the clinic did not perform abortions or make referrals but that she could come in for an ultrasound to make sure her six-and-a-half-week pregnancy was viable. When she did, everything changed.
"When I had the sonogram and heard the heartbeat – and for me a heartbeat symbolizes life – after that there was no way I could do it," Ms. Brown said recently as she revisited the clinic and watched her daughter, Elora, now 9 months old, play at her feet.
In the battle over abortion, opponents say they have discovered a powerful new tool: sonograms. And over the last 18 months, they have started major fund-raising campaigns to outfit Christian crisis pregnancy centers with ultrasound equipment.
Even more amazing is that they put a cute picture of her nine month old daughter with the story. The story also included this piece of information about what happened there last week.
Places like the Bowie center are a front line in the struggle over abortion, and the clinic reported to the police that on the eve of the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision last month, its windows were smashed and it was spray painted with graffiti saying "Choice."
Such centers, many financed by churches and church groups, try to persuade women through counseling to carry their pregnancies to term, and often provide prenatal care and pregnancy tests and sometimes clothing and supplies.
Supporters of abortion rights say that a large number of the centers lure women by leaving the impression that they do, in fact, perform abortions and subsequently do not give young women a full picture of their choices.
"Generally, their treatment of women who come in is coercive," said Susanne Martinez, vice president of public policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "From the time they walk in to these centers, they are inundated with information that is propaganda and that has one goal in mind. And that is to have women continue with their pregnancies."
Most centers still do not have ultrasound machines. But at those that do, the results of performing sonograms have been startling, abortion opponents say. A survey by the Heidi Group, a Christian evangelical nonprofit organization that advises such centers on fund-raising and administration, found that those using counseling alone reported persuading 70 percent of women considering abortion to abandon the idea. In centers with ultrasound machines, that number jumped to 90 percent, said Carol Everett, the group’s chief executive. Such statistics could not be independently verified.
One interesting fact about how ultrasound machines is how they came to be more prevalent. Initially crisis pregnancy centers were unlicensed clinics that were unable to offer any medical services. Because pro-abortion activist complained about these unlicensed clinics offering counseling, many of these clinics sought accreditation and became licensed. With a license they were then able to offer medical services such as ultrasounds so this is a ironic and excellent consequence of pro-abortion activists.
It is not hard to expose the lie of "choice." The verbiage they use would outwardly appear that the two options of choice, abortion or having the child, are equally weighted. We often hear about how we need to make abortion more rare and yet when women choose to have their child some Planned Parenthood spokesman must tell us why it is bad. I can see why they are panicking over crisis pregnancy centers. Success rates of 70 percent with counseling or 90 percent with both counseling and ultrasounds must scare them, especially as they look at their financial bottom line.
It is also rather ironic of PP’s spokesman to accuse crisis pregnancy centers of counseling with only one goal in mind. In those cases where there "counseling" does not lead to an abortion they have zero services to offer a women needing financial or medical help to have a child. Annie of After Abortion commented on a post at another blog on the question does PP offer enough options for counseling.She showed the numbers of PP 2002-3 report showing that PP has actually decreased the numbers of referrals for adoptions services and has in fact increased the amount of abortions they do.
NARAL weighs in with their own disillusional reply.
"With or without ultrasound," Ms. Keenan said, "women understand the moral dimensions of their choices."
Yeah this is why PP and NARAL have lobbied states to toughen the requirements for the use of ultrasounds.
The whole article is worth reading and this would be a welcome model of abortion reporting from the NYT where actually pro-lifers are allowed to speak for themselves. It of course includes replies by pro-abortion supporters, but their arguments seem really vapid in comparison with what these clinics are actually doing. They still can’t bring themselves to saying pro-life instead of anti-abortion, though the article is at least progress and I hope it might be a trend. Not holding my breath though.
Seeing Inside the Life Movement
I’ve been meaning to point out something remarkable that Jeff Miller noticed: a New York Times article that actually goes inside pro-life groups… and not for a special report in search of evil and corruption: Most centers still do not…
By using the tougher accreditationg requirements the pro-aborts demanded to get ultrasound, the pregnancy centers did a brilliant job of rolling with the punches.
Perhaps, with this new drive to make ultrasound equipment harder to license, we can roll again with the punches by piggybacking the ultrasound requirements with legislation demanding basic safety standards in abortion clinics, such as corridors wide enough to fit two gurneys at a time, etc. The stuff has been voted down because anything more stringent than sub-veterinary-clinic standards will force many holes-in-the-wall–er, abortion centers, to close, which’ll hurt women, don’t you know. Or at least that ideological grail of “the right to choose”.
Perhaps we could make NARAL and PPF eat their words with such a strategy…
Ugh. That last quote from NARAL’s Ms. Keenan is certainly the money one. Seeing as how sonograms increase the number of women who change their mind, the women who changed their minds clearly DIDN’T understand the moral dimension of their choice, or else the sonogram would have been irrelevant.
It seems clear that as technology advances, you need to be more and more of an ideologue to still think abortion doesn’t snuff out a human life. Of course, you could have realized that through pure reason since time immemorial, but you know what I mean.
“That last quote from NARAL’s Ms. Keenan is certainly the money one. Seeing as how sonograms increase the number of women who change their mind, the women who changed their minds clearly DIDN’T understand the moral dimension of their choice, or else the sonogram would have been irrelevant.”
rp – Will you be my friend? I love to talk to people who can reason sequentially, and you can take it from me they are not numerous.
Yeah this is why PP and NARAL have lobbied states to toughen the requirements for the use of ultrasounds.
Have they really done this? Wow. These are truly lost people.
I’ll tell you, I didn’t become hard-core pro-life until I saw that first sonogram at 5 weeks… and there was a beating heart. I told the doctor that was the most convincing pregnancy test I had ever seen.
I was also shocked to find out how quickly fetuses develop — my doctor uses the sonogram on every visit, and I always look to see how far the baby is “done”.
Anyway, there’s not much to sonograms — not sure what one would need to require on using them. It would be like saying you couldn’t use a PC without a degree. Too complicated for the simple folks, doncha know.
You think that’s rare? I envy you. I’m stuck trying to find people who see value in sequential reasoning. I would KILL to be able to look for people who USE sequential reasoning, since that would imply I knew people who thought doing so was valuable.
But then again, I go to graduate school in one of the most liberal towns in America (not Berkeley, but I bet you can guess what it is). It’s one of those charming towns where Foucault is more widely read than Aristotle, and people can say things like “but there’s more than one kind of reasoning” without any sense of irony.
When I was in college – and pretty soon it will have been twenty-five years ago – rational analysis wasn’t the intellectual pariah it has since become. Then came Women’s Ways of Knowing (of which the first four words are, amazingly, “We do not think . . .”) and the whole idea that justice and duty are dry abstractions, and reason a cold academic exercise of those wicked men. Men can be wicked, all right, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one being wicked and also just, rational, and mindful of his duty at the same time.
True story: I once got into a debate with a classmate on moral philosophy. I ground her to a halt and had her admitting she couldn’t provide a rational reason for anyone not to commit murder. Exasperated, she said “Well, OF COURSE if you’re going to take those premises you’re right, but there’s more than one way of reasoning!” Upon asking her to name them, the conversation ended.
I didn’t realize how badly Foucault had infiltrated into our academy until right then. I should have, though, since whenever I hear the words “systemic” or “structural” or “narrative” in front of the word “violence” I visibly cringe. I hoped their use would abate given that we’re in a WAR, but apparently not; I guess we call what’s going on in Iraq “killing-people violence.”
First, Elinor– I got the biggest laugh out of your “women’s ways of knowing.” Now, I’m only about 12 years out of college, but that notion was still big in my day, even at MIT, which really ought to have known better. One day I was working at the Pro-Life information booth with another female student, and she was accused of being logocentric because of the way she was discussing the abortion issue with another woman. Logocentric. At MIT. Go figure…
Point 2– I remember hearing Carol Everett speak once about her days running abortion clinics. Even though ultrasound technology was much more primitive then, it was still very persuasive. When her staff were trained in the use of ultrasound, the first and most important point was that the client must never see the screen or it could cost them the sale. How sad.
I’d be delighted to see a current ultrasound. My youngest will be ten in a few days, and I’m sure the technology has improved hugely since then. I blogged a while ago about the doctor who spotted on the sonogram that the baby had only one kidney (she’s very healthy and active), and tied himself in knots telling me that it would be all right, in case I should have decided that nothing but perfection would do for me, and had an abortion. He calmed way down when I assured him that I would never do such a thing whatever was wrong with the baby, but wasn’t that a brave and splendid young man?