TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of the termination of a wanted pregnancy
The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.
“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
“Here I see a well-developed diaphragm and here I see four healthy chambers of the heart…”
I closed my eyes and waited for it to end, as one waits for the car to stop rolling at the end of a terrible accident.
If you can read this entire post and still think that mandatory ultrasounds serve a purpose…you are an asshole.
This story is extremely difficult to read.
There is an argument in the comments about how informing women of their options is a good thing. But the problem is that the sonogram is not adding any extra information. The woman who wrote this clearly describes a pamphlet she was given detailing the same things about her fetus that the sonogram would if her fetus hadn’t been sick. The sonogram is an extraneous process that people are being forced to go through and it adds no benefit to anything for anyone. Forcing a doctor to give you an ultrasound and fully describe what they see adds no benefit.
For the people who want abortions, an unnecessary ultrasound and description, a mandatory wait period, or even the legality of abortion will not stop them from getting one.
This is just so frustrating because the overwhelming majority of people who are enacting these laws will never be subjected to having to insert a transvaginal ultrasound wand into their vagina while a tech watches, they will never have to listen to a doctor describe the condition of their dying fetus, and they will never have to make this decision yet they have absolutely NO fucking problem forcing other people to go through this; they have absolutely NO idea what they are requiring people to go through and trauma it IS causing.
- Interviewer: You’ve long argued for the decriminalization of marijuana. Do you smoke weed?
- Barney Frank: No.
- Interviewer: Why not?
- Barney Frank: Why do you ask a question, then act surprised when I give an answer? Do you think I lie to people?
- Interviewer: I thought you might explain why you support decriminalizing it but don’t smoke it.
- Barney Frank: Do you think I’ve ever had an abortion?