The callous legislators across the country pushing the new sonogram laws have established by their actions that they understand nothing about the process women go through to make this decision. And as of now, the decision still belongs to the woman alone. Abortion is legal. These guys need to back out of the territory they have wandered into.
They appear to be under the impression that when a woman gets a positive pregnancy test, she mulls it over for a couple of days and decides it would be inconvenient to have a baby right now, and heads to a clinic to get it out of the way. This may describe a process that someone, somewhere has gone through, but it is not the norm. In fact, the legislators show their hand by the very tactic they want to use: in attempting to use an ultrasound to tug on maternal instincts and change a woman's mind, they are conceding that these maternal instincts are there.
By the time a woman has made her decision, she has gone through an emotional wringer. Maybe these lawmakers don't know that most women have provided a shoulder to cry on for a friend, sister, niece, daughter, or mother who is trying to make this choice. Even those women who haven't had to face making their own decision about an unplanned pregnancy can speak with authority. Pregnant women in crisis reach out to the other women in their lives. They seek advice. They talk, they cry, they ask for opinions. They look for answers and wisdom. And they seek information. They go online, they make phone calls, they pray. They weigh options, and picture scenarios. There aren't many women who have not confronted the emotional ordeal that is an unplanned pregnancy, either first hand, or through working or volunteering in the field, or through being there for another woman. Exposure to this kind of trauma, whether personal or empathetic, arises again and again throughout the lifetimes of women.
So believe us when we tell you that your sonogram is not needed. When a woman is in the decision-making stage of an unplanned pregnancy, merely walking past baby shoes in a store can be devastating. And in the end, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is based on the same protective, selfless, maternal instinct that these forced sonograms are meant to manipulate. Abortion is a dark sacrifice. It is a conclusion that a woman draws that she, a prospective vessel for new life, cannot reasonably determine that there is a place in the world awaiting that life. It's an answer to this question: "Can I be the one to usher into the world a nascent human being, to provide it safe passage, and be responsible for it becoming a person; a creature that must then face everything life will give and take?" Only the woman, the potential vessel, the responsible party, can answer that question. Only her.
Conservative legislators want to decide for her. To illuminate their truth to her, to tell her she is missing the part about the heartbeat. They need to back off. As long as abortion is legal, they will have to work out their feelings about it for themselves, away from the private space in which a woman confronts her own truth, in her own way. They are misguided in their attempt to apply mental anguish with this technical procedure. More anguish is found in the scent of baby powder, in the melancholy day dreams of a mother who knows it is not her time.