It was a matter for discussion at the last ChicagoBoyz Zoom meet-up this last weekend; how the development and widespread use of ultrasound technology likely has reframed the debate about abortion, over the last two decades. Trent T. affirmed how some of his contemporaries had named their children early on in utero, already knowing the sex of the child, and were sometimes devastated with grief when the mother naturally miscarried; as devastated as they would have been if the baby died at birth, or as an infant. The baby – their child – was real to them. They had pictures in indistinct black and white; proof that their child was already a child, not just a clump of cells. The existence of the embryo, the child – becomes even clearer, later in development.
The 3-D ultrasound of Wee Jamie in utero at seven or eight months was a stunningly accurate visualization of how he would look upon delivery some weeks later – strongly-marked eyebrows, amazing-long eyelashes, curving lips that carried out the family resemblance to my daughter and myself, and affinity towards showing his feet to the observer. The only question remaining to us was what color his hair and eyes would be, once he was delivered. (The hair is light brown, the eyes at this point an indeterminant hazel. God only knows what it will say when it comes to the identifiers on his drivers’ license.) My daughter treasured those prints of the ultrasound sessions – as she remarked now and again, if something happened to savage her pregnancy, they would be the only souvenir and proof she had that her son ever existed.
This technology wasn’t available to me, pregnant in 1979 – but the first time that I heard my daughter’s heartbeat (I thought at the time that the baby was a ‘he’) – a kind of washing-machine sounding whoosh-whoosh-whoosh, heard through the OB nurses’ headphones – that was the day that I came to grips with the individual identity of that developing child, existing inside of me as a separate, discrete human being. The heartbeat was real. The image of an infant, in blurry black and white – wiggling, turning, showing off his/her feet, sucking his/her thumb; this is what ultrasound does. It enforces the reality of a baby. The baby is real.
I agree that this bit of medical technology, has probably had more to do with increasing a distaste for abortion than practically anything else could ever do, save among those deranged pro-abortion fanatics. (And the enthusiasm for that process is deranged – warped, savage and inhuman.) Ultrasound imagery shows a real, squirming, wiggling, live human being, floating in amniotic fluid – not a disposable clump of inanimate cells. This is the argument that pregnancy support centers have been making, as this one story suggests. The teenage pregnant mom had every intention of aborting her pregnancy, went to a pregnancy support center because they had an ultrasound capability. When she saw that she was carrying twins, she decided to carry on with the pregnancy, with the somewhat erratic support of her boyfriend, their two families, and the center itself. No, it wouldn’t have been all that easy for her and the boyfriend, falling into parental responsibilities when they were so spectacularly unprepared for them – although, inter alia, they must have had knowledge of and access to birth control, such being the widespread knowledge of such things, these days. Turning up pregnant as a side result of energetic sexual relations between a healthy young male and female surely cannot have been that unforeseen a result. That ultrasound is so effective an argument for life, and carrying children to term, even under less than optimal circumstances, no wonder that pro-abortion sympathizers like Elizabeth Warren issue frantic demands to shut them down.
I guess Elizabeth Warren and her friends hate the thought of all those baby parts not being available for sale by Planned Parenthood. Think of all those fetal cells tragically going to waste, when a live infant is delivered! Comment as you wish.