How Ultrasounds are Shaping Women’s Views on Abortion: Commentary

“Can’t choose abortion now.” Those were the words written on a feedback form after a young woman had a no-cost ultrasound at our pregnancy center. She came into the center undecided, but the pictures of her preborn child on the screen helped her make the decision to parent. I recently spoke to a woman who had an ultrasound at her OB/GYN, but struggled to view the images. She is pregnant with 13-week twins, and after the ultrasound, she scheduled to abort them. She couldn’t go through with it, though, so she skipped her appointment and came to our pregnancy center instead. The question of whether or not ultrasounds make a difference to women considering abortion and how they influence the world’s view of preborn life is the subject of a recent Cosmopolitan article. Writer Mattie Kahn asks the question, “Are ultrasound photos affecting abortion rates?” The article is a response to statements made by Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow at the Catholic Association. In an op-ed for USA Today titled, “The Ultrasound Generation,” McGuire made the claim that the pro-life movement is growing younger and stronger in thanks to an increase in ultrasound imagery and widespread social media. I would answer Kahn’s question by sharing some encouraging statistics. CareNet is a non-profit network that has 1,100 pregnancy centers in rural and urban areas. In their most recent report, they stated that in the last seven years, CareNet centers provided 698,649 ultrasounds – free of cost to women in need – and have a recorded number of 388,691 saved preborn lives. Since providing ultrasounds is one of CareNet’s most popular...