Ultrasounds are good for women’s “reproductive health”

By Rhonda Phillips

Mrs. Rhonda Phillips, Director of the Pro-Life Book Sale

Recently I wrote an article for Quiner’s Diner (“Ultrasound is standard medical care”) reflecting my support of HF2033, whereby an abortionist would be required to obtain an ultrasound prior to performing an abortion.

Upon introduction of this common sense bill, in typical scare-mongering fashion, Planned Parenthood howled in protest vilifying the bill while claiming that mandating ultrasounds would be degrading to women.  The fact that Planned Parenthood routinely does an ultrasound prior to an abortion reveals a breathtaking level of hypocrisy on their part.

(Sources: As published in the medical journal Contraception in 2003, researchers with the pro-abortion group IPAS, the University of North Carolina, a consortium of Planned Parenthood clinics and the National Abortion Federation surveyed staff at 113 Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion businesses between February and April 2000; and Sue Thayer, former Director of Planned Parenthood, Storm Lake, IA.)

I was taken to task by a blogger who said the following:

“This article is false and misleading. Ultrasounds are sometimes done at Planned Parenthood, if a doctor feels it is necessary, and the patient consents. It is not routine, and it is always a medical, not a political, decision. And that’s the point. Ultrasounds should be performed on a case-by-case basis for medical reasons; they should not be mandated by government at any level for all patients.”

According to Mrs. Thayer:

“In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, ultrasound was not routinely used.  During this time abortions were

Mrs. Susan Thayer, former Director of Planned Parenthood, Storm Lake, IA

normally performed based on the date of a woman’s last period.   However, because later term pregnancies are more expensive to terminate, often a woman was not honest about the date, which resulted in many babies being much further along in gestational age than anticipated.  Abortion is always grisly business, but to do a surgical procedure without an ultrasound is not safe.  With the advent of telemed abortions, introduced by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland in 2008, although not required by Iowa law, ultrasound became routine using the trans-vaginal method”.

Mrs. Thayer also revealed that when she was an employee, Planned Parenthood required non-medical personnel to do vaginal ultrasounds.  Mrs. Thayer was told by her superior “that it helps if you have played a video game because it’s a lot like running a joystick”.

Planned Parenthood likes to crow that they provide safe abortions, but do they really?  The use of telemedicine to provide chemical or medication abortions tells us Planned Parenthood will stoop to any level in order to increase their bottom line, woman’s health be hanged.

It isn’t a stretch to doubt that PP has upgraded their employee’s qualifications to perform an ultrasound from the time of Mrs. Thayer’s termination by PP in 2008 till now.   Since PP is under no legal obligation to perform an ultrasound prior to an abortion the temptation to cut additional financial corners could be a real threat to the health of a woman.

Legislation would have plugged that loop-hole, in response to the concern expressed by the blogger who responded to my post:

“If I’m trying to determine if I need a medical procedure, I ask my doctor, not my state legislature representative. These ultrasound requirements are being imposed only for ideological and religious reasons. It is shameful. I won’t be the only woman to leave the GOP because of them.”

First of all, to suggest that government has no right to enact laws in order to protect people is ludicrous.  This is precisely why we have laws.  Furthermore, what kind of doctor is it that ever allows a patient to dictate to him/her what procedure they can use?  It’s worthwhile to note that only in the abortion industry do we observe a rabid-like resistance to legislating something as basic as an ultrasound, which is simply common sense standard of care.

Another concern was expressed about my post:

 “I don’t believe that women seeking abortions should be forced to endure unnecessary procedures for political reasons. I don’t believe they should be harassed or humiliated. I believe they’re suffering enough. No one wants to have an abortion.”

Obtaining an ultrasound before an abortion protects the health of the woman. The farther along in pregnancy a woman is, or the possibility that the pregnancy is ectopic, the greater the risk that abortion poses.

If, as the blogger contends, no one wants to have an abortion, then it’s obvious that the most compassionate pro-woman thing would be to help them not have abortions. After all, if a woman was thinking about committing suicide, it would be moronic to say that you helped her out by selling her a pistol.

If seeing their baby on an ultrasound sways 90% of women to reject abortion, isn’t that as positive an outcome for which we could ever hope?  Doing what is right never has to be justified, so shouldn’t we desire that outcome for all women?


  1. Embattled Farmers on February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Very few women are swayed by an ultrasound. I have no idea where you get that 90% figure, but it is not accurate. Nine out of ten women do not see an ultrasound and jump off the table and go home.

    I have no problem with a doctor performing an ultrasound to determine gestational age for medical purposes, but that is not the purpose of these legislated ultrasounds. Their sole purpose is to dissuade women from going through with the procedure. Such legislation is the other side of the coin from what goes on in China, where they force women to have abortions. I find both equally repugnant.

    I don’t take it upon myself to determine what is right for “all women,” as you do. I don’t presume to tell other adult women what outcome is right for them, I believe they can make that decision for themselves.

    If you want to push this stuff to try to save fetuses, knock yourself out, but don’t pretend that you’re doing this in the name of women’s health, just acknowledge it as the anti-abortion crusade that it is.

  2. Embattled Farmers on February 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    The only physician who is a member of the Virginia Senate, Dr. Ralph Northam, says that the ultrasound bill is “a tremendous assault on women’s health care and a tremendous insult to physicians.”

    As a non-physician, I will defer to him.

    • momofsix on February 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      I prefer to think for myself, rather than defer to a physician who advocates for the abortionist. There has to be someone at the bottom of the med school graduating class.

      • Embattled Farmers on March 1, 2012 at 1:00 am

        So let women think for themselves if they want to continue a pregnancy.

  3. Lisa Bourne on February 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Yes Rhonda, yes.

  4. maxine Bechtel on March 1, 2012 at 7:02 am

    BRAVO, Rhonda! NO woman with an ounce of God-given sense would continue to close her eyes to the reality that the body she is seeing within her is NOT A “blob,” but a baby! And I believe that you are correct in saying that the ultrasound convinces many a woman to save her baby! If only ONE is saved from dismemberment and a brutal death, it is worth it! AND what’s so “repugnant” about an ultrasound??

  5. Jeane Bishop on March 1, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Embattled Farmer,

    Regarding: “I don’t take it upon myself to determine what is right for “all women,” as you do”….

    Let’s talk about what is “right” for the little person in danger of being put to death….that is the issue.

    All the euphemistic language in the world can’t change that.

  6. Paul Sharp on March 1, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Seems to me that people (there is a man involved – does he have no stake in determining whether his child lives dies?) considering an abortion should think about the fact that a human life will be terminated.

    Ultrasound is “a tremendous assault on women’s health care”? Huh? In addition to ultrasound showing the human life under judgment, wouldn’t the abortion procedure be more safely done by use of ultrasound?

    Why even keep abortion statistics? Apparently there are medical professionals who would not object; they could use fictitious names to keep their identity hidden!

  7. Rhonda Phillips on March 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Embattled Farmers: Well, you’ve seen though our ruse. There we were, trying to pull a fast one, lobbying our legislators claiming to advocate for women’s health when all we really wanted to do is to save unborn children. Silly us!

    Even if that were true, which it’s not, what is wrong with trying to save unborn children? And even if the percentage of women who refused an abortion after seeing an ultrasound were only 1-100, which it’s not, isn’t that a victory? Wasn’t it you who chimed, “no one wants an abortion”? Shouldn’t we then help women to not have them?

    The facts are, since Roe V Wade (1973) struck down all state’s anti- abortion laws the finality of abortion has had a devastating affect on thousands of women both physically and mentally, not to mention the 54 million babies who have lost their lives. Many women suffer silently but their sufferings are manifested in a myriad of ways. Drug and alcohol abuse, depression and suicidal thoughts, inability to bond with born children, unexplained anger etc. In addition, often they suffer physical problems. Infertility or a difficulty getting pregnant and an increase risk in breast cancer. These health problems have all been documented in books and statistical reports. But who are you going to believe? Planned Parenthood who’s coffers are bloated by mining off the wombs of desperate and frightened women or pro-life advocates who are trying to save women as well as babies from being exploited or killed for filthy lucre?

    Your comment, “I don’t take it upon my self to determine what is right for ‘all women’ as you do “, does not let you off the ethical hook. That is tantamount to saying “don’t want an abortion, don’t have one”, the type of cold-blooded cynical statements made by people who know that their pro-abortion position is impossible to defend on its own merits. Frankly, it is a perversion to view the right to kill one’s own offspring as a symbol of freedom or basic rights.

    Pro-abortionists use any and all argument to justify the deliberate killing of innocent unborn human beings. We advocates for Life call that baby murder and yes we are trying to stop it.

    • quinersdiner on March 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Eloquently stated.

  8. John on March 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Do you even know what a trans-vaginal ultrasound is?

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