First Posted: 1/15/2009
Before you read this, read today's Woman to Woman column on this same page in which Shaunti Feldhahn and Diane Glass debate whether or not there should be a law that requires a woman who is contemplating an abortion to view an ultrasound image of the fetus before the procedure can be legally performed.
Regardless of where an individual stands on the issue of abortion, we could probably gather a consensus that any abortion is unfortunate, and that more than 1 million a year in this country - and over 40 million since the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 - is at least lamentable.
That is why we don't understand why those on both sides of the issue cannot rally behind a law that ensures fewer abortions - and way fewer if the assertion is true that 88 percent of women contemplating an abortion walk away from the procedure after seeing an ultrasound of the fetus.
Feldhahn and Glass ably articulate what they see as the pros and cons of such a law, so we won't get into its mechanics or its politics, and will instead concentrate on the expected result. Paradoxically, the side in the abortion debate that stands to gain the most by such a law is those who call themselves pro-choice.
The reason that presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is grilled incessantly about abortion - other than that his position is muddled at best - is that snuffing out a life, no matter its form, is of consequence. But you can be sure that if abortions in this country were reduced overnight by 88 percent that the number of entrenched anti-abortionists would dwindle as well, and the money that fuels their effort would begin drying up. The likely result would be that the status quo - abortion almost on demand - would be assured.
So it seems to us counterintuitive that the pro-choice crowd would deny a woman the choice of getting the best-available look at what a nod of her head will destroy, especially since providing that would further cement a woman's right to an abortion.