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Another Abortion Advocate (Unwittingly) Makes the Case for Ultrasounds

by | Apr 19, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. This first ran in 2012 and remains very useful.

Granted, providing  pristine examples of impeccable logic is not the number one goal if you are an abortion advocate trying to turn a medical procedure that is conducted virtually 100% of the time into “rape.” But I honestly wonder if (their cynicism aside) they ever read the crazy things they write about ultrasounds?

Take Megan Carpentier’s “I had a transvaginal ultrasound: My perspective on the mandate that touched off 2012′s War On Women,” which ran yesterday.  Carpentier went to a local abortion clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, where she had an “unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound,” which she documents by way of a video the reader can watch online.

The implication was that the ultrasound was no more necessary for her, a woman who was not pregnant, than it would be for women who are pregnant.

Two things jump out at you. Although 100% against laws that require a mother to have the opportunity to reflect on whom it is whose life they are taking, Carpentier is honest enough to admit, “It was not, however, like being raped, despite all the furor-generating headlines and ‘Doonesbury’ cartoons that were printed.”

This brings to mind a similar concern voiced by Carole Joffe, a professor emerita at the University of California-Davis.

Writing at Slate.com  she said she had “considerable concerns about what calling [transvaginal] ultrasounds ‘rape’ and ‘unnecessary’ will mean for abortion patients and providers.” Joffe totally opposes these laws, but politely denounced the “wrongheaded” rhetoric that abortion rights supporters have been using to oppose ultrasound laws.

“In the short run, the labeling has sent pro-life legislators running,” Joffe said. “But in the long run, it risks turning a benign and routine part of the abortion procedure into cause for alarm.”

Back to Carpentier and the second statement that just boggles the mind.

“Notably, Preterm [the abortion clinic] has a policy of performing ultrasounds on all patients seeking abortion, though Ohio law does not yet require it. For medical reasons, they use ultrasound to confirm pregnancies (in case of false positives), rule out ectopic pregnancies and physically locate the gestational sac in order to perform better, safer abortions. Patients that do not wish to undergo a transvaginal ultrasounds early in their pregnancies can opt to return at a slightly later date, when they are far enough along (though not too far along for a first trimester abortion) to be able to visualize something on the ultrasound.”

She then immediately hyperventilates about “elected officials with an ideological axe to grind,” yada, yada, yada. But consider what she JUST wrote.

Abortion clinics use ultrasounds for a host of reasons, all of which start with tending to the mother’s health. The one very important reason for using transvaginal ultrasounds early in pregnancy that Carpentier omits is that this is the time in pregnancy when chemical abortions are performed—and that there is a limit past which it is very dangerous to employ the two-drug RU486 chemical abortion technique.

Put another way, virtually all abortion clinics use ultrasounds because not to do so would put them in serious risk if the mother suffers a complication. And remember there have been at least 14 deaths [Editor’s note. The number is now in the 30s] associated with RU486 since its use in the United States was approved in 2000 and thousands of “adverse events,” such as infections, hemorrhaging, and ectopic pregnancies.

(A tip of the hat to the always helpful JivinJehoshaphat.)

Categories: Ultrasound