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Want an Abortion? Meet Your Baby First

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A controversial new law requires women to meet their unborn child before having an abortion.

Ultrasound scan of unborn baby

What if you were told that before you could have an abortion, you had to gaze at your unborn through an ultrasound, and hear your doctor describe your baby -- down to the details of its hands and feet?

If you live in Oklahoma, that might become your reality.

Oklahoma lawmakers hope that getting intimate with an unborn child will touch women - even victims of incest and rape - and persuade her to change her mind and keep the baby.

But the Center for Reproductive Rights has filed a suit against the state, saying the new law endangers health, invades privacy and attacks women's dignity.

The law, which is set to go into effect November 1, would make Oklahoma the fourth state in the nation to require that ultrasounds be performed and viewed by the woman before an abortion is granted.

Other states that uphold this law are Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

"I introduced the bill because I wanted to encourage life in society. In Oklahoma, society is on the side of life," said Republican state Sen. Todd Lamb.

Lamb says the lawsuit will stand a constitutional test, and because women are allowed to avert their eyes during the ultrasound, it doesn't qualify as "force."

One provision of the law prohibits women from collecting damages based on claims that a baby born with defects would have been better off aborted.

And abortion rights activists fear the provision could allow doctors to withhold information about abnormalities in the fetus that could lead to complications after birth.

Tell us - does this law violate your basic rights as a woman?

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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
foxymama October 14, 2008, 3:23 PM

IT VIOLATES EVERY BASIC RIGHT I HAVE. More reason to stay the hell away from Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Cindy October 14, 2008, 3:36 PM

But what if the pregnancy is not viable? What if having an abortion could harm the mother’s life, because, for example, it’s an ectopic pregnancy? And what if the ultrasound shows the pregnancy is likely to end in a miscarriage - why would a woman want to undergo the pain of an abortion? An ultrasound isn’t such a bad thing. The woman has the option of not looking at the screen. I think, medically, it’s a good idea.

Marquita October 14, 2008, 3:46 PM

If a woman was raped wouldn’t looking at the images of the baby haunt her even more. I do not understand how Sarah Palin thinks a woman should still give birth to a child from incest or rape. From incest, the baby could be very deformed. From both of these terrible acts, the mother could be suicidal, which could danger both the mother and the unborn child.

she October 14, 2008, 4:09 PM

I think it will stop young girls from using abortions as birth control (I’ve known some that do that and it disgusts me…). Some young irresponsible girls don’t think about what they’re doing (or don’t care) and end up having multiple abortions. This law is good for that type of thing.. they’ll look at their own baby and may have a change of heart..

Jolene October 14, 2008, 4:14 PM

Cindy on October 14, 2008 3:36 PM wrote:

But what if the pregnancy is not viable? What if having an abortion could harm the mother’s life, because, for example, it’s an ectopic pregnancy?


Cindy, you’re not making sense—if it’s an ectopic pregnancy, it has to come out one way or another because ectopic pregnancies endanger the mother’s life. That would be the MAIN problem…not the abortion as you suggest.

Stan October 14, 2008, 4:22 PM

Yeah for Oklahoma!

Anonymous October 14, 2008, 4:27 PM

What about a woman’s right to birth control? All women here have it, foxymama. If everyone exercised it accordingly, we wouldn’t be talking about how a law seeking to protect an innocent human life is a violation of your rights.

Erin October 14, 2008, 4:34 PM

I think this is a great idea. Every single inch of consideration should be taken before an abortion is performed. Human life is precious. I understand that it is the woman’s body and she should ultimately have the right to choose what’s going to happen to her; but who is fighting for the baby. Why doesn’t the baby have a right?

Wendi October 14, 2008, 5:01 PM

Great idea, I agree with you Erin. Someone needs to stand up for that baby.

Ben's Momma October 14, 2008, 5:02 PM

I think it is a wonderful idea. Even if after having an ultrasound and hearing that wonderful heartbeat. the woman didn’t want to keep the baby herself, maybe she would then consider to give the baby up for adoption rather than to kill a poor innocent child.

I completely agree with Erin on this one. Every single inch of consideration should be taken before a life it taken.

Donna October 14, 2008, 7:33 PM

I think it’s a great idea. If you have the guts to kill your baby then you should have the guts to look at it and know it’s a baby.
And to Marquita, no matter who the father is, it is still a baby. My mother was raped and my older sister is the product of that rape. Do you think we or my mother loved her less because of it? Never! I would have to say that she was my dad’s favorite! And in cases of incest or if something is wrong with the baby, that still does not make it right. I found out when 18 weeks pregnant that my daughter had a cyst on her brain and would be born with brain damage. NOT ONE TIME did I think about killing her for it. She deserves a life like everybody else and is the happiest 4 year old you’ve ever seen. If somebody can’t accept a child with disabilities then they are probably too heartless to be a mother anyhow and should not be having sex. It’s our body until the time comes that we have another person living inside of us and then our wishes go out the window, our responsibility then is to the child, not our own selfish wants.

Suzanne Eller October 14, 2008, 8:12 PM

I think it makes it much more of a careful decision because it’s not just a procedure, but a choice based on all the facts.

Crystal  October 14, 2008, 8:45 PM

I have had an abortion after seeing the ultrasound, and it didn’t make me change my mind at all. I knew it was the best choice for me and my family, and I went through with it. NO ONE can tell me what I can and cannot do with my body.

Marquita October 14, 2008, 9:56 PM

Donna, I did not say that any person needs to or should abort their child, I just think that the person should have that right to decide.

Juls October 15, 2008, 12:18 AM

Why would the state want to do that and make a woman change her mind? If she already had her head set on getting an abortion, she probably isn’t in the right mind set to have a baby. I mean look at the world now with all these babies dying or being abuse. Wouldn’t you rather not have the baby be born, and then have them grow up in an unwanted home. I mean, gesh if they want the abortion then let them, they will have to deal with the consequences themselves. I, for one would not get an abortion, but i would agree on it if you were raped or something bad like that.

Anonymous October 15, 2008, 1:41 AM

gross…probably thought up by dudes and crazy christians

ashley October 15, 2008, 7:46 AM

I live in Oklahoma. And I have had an abortion. I have never regretted the decision. It wasn’t the right time and now I have 2 wonderful children that wouldn’t be here if I had not made that decision. I think the new law is wrong. If they are going to do this then they need to give us free or reduced price birth control. I mean seriously, like we need more babies being born to babies and then getting on welfare. If you look at Oklahoma’s numbers, it’s astonishing the amount of teenagers having babies.

Ashley Dawn October 15, 2008, 10:39 AM

For all of you that say “it should be the woman’s choice, and sheshould have controlover her own body” where was that control during sex? A woman has the choice to take birth control and if he doesn’t then she has made the choice to have a baby.

I am proud of Oklahoma, and the other states, I hope this bill/law passes

When did people stop respecting life? Why do some people get put in jail for killing someone and others do not?

Marquita October 15, 2008, 10:56 AM

What about unwanted sex, Ashley? A woman can not just say, “Oh wait, let me get a condom before you decide to rape me.” She did not have a choice then, I think at the least the law can do is give her a choice after.

Laura Dreher October 15, 2008, 1:21 PM

It’s no different then those of us who eat hamburgers but have never actually seen the cow we’re about to kill. Maybe if we meet the cow, we might become vegetarians.

The thing is, these women can still have the abortions, it just lets them realize the reality of their actions. I’m all for this idea.

And yes, I AM A PRODUCT OF A RAPE and I’m so glad mom decided against the abortion even though she admits she did come very close to doing it. She doesn’t regret having me for a second.

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