If you’re like me, your exposure to Glamour is the one-second unintentional and immediately regretful glance as you’re waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store. Glamour magazine … the magazine with the tagline, “your guide to the latest fashion trends, outfit ideas, hair and makeup how-tos, and celebrity scoop” … the magazine that recently awarded a transgender teen in Maine the title of one of Glamour’s “50 Phenomenal Women of the Year.” But I must admit, a recent article of theirs that I stumbled across on Facebook caught my eye. It’s written by a Glamour columnist who also writes for Oprah’s magazine, so I had low expectations for an unbiased, “stomachable” article.
The article is titled, “What Do You See When You Look at This Sonogram Image?” and it’s the columnist’s attempt to gauge what the reactions of women (albeit a small sample size) are to the wave of ultrasound laws recently passed across the country. You’ve undoubtedly heard (either through a valid news source or through late night comedy shows) about the ultrasound law Virginia passed in 2012, a bill that The Family Foundation was very active in pushing. As such, I was curious as to how Glamour would cover this issue and even more interested when I learned that the columnist had specifically interviewed Virginia women for her article.
Here are Virginia women’s reactions to their ultrasounds (at both an abortion center and at a Pregnancy Resource Center) recorded by Glamour:
- "It bothered me to see it, but I needed to know what it looked like … I don't know if it's plain old curiosity or a sense of responsibility, or probably a mixture of both."
- "You know what? The ultrasound didn't make me sad … I was determined. That's why I came here. I've totally completed my family."
- "As it is, I rarely have time for them between work and our schedules … I can't imagine what it would be like with a baby. And what kind of life could I give this child?"
- "You could actually hear the heartbeat … It proved that there was life in me."
- “[The ultrasound] changed everything for me. I actually saw the baby as a baby."
- "I was OK with seeing it … I have to be responsible for what I do."
Putting aside the question of, “Did an ultrasound change their mind?” let me tell you what I did NOT hear in those responses:
- “An ultrasound is an invasion of my privacy.”
- “An ultrasound intrudes on a decision that should be made between me and my doctor.”
- “An ultrasound is medically unnecessary.”
- “I didn’t have the money to pay for this unnecessary procedure.”
- “I am upset that I was forced to have an ultrasound.”
Yet, this is exactly how the abortion industry claims women are reacting. Even the columnist agrees that despite the media hype and the abortion industry’s rhetoric, having an ultrasound prior to an abortion is really not that big of a deal and in fact, it might actually be a good thing. Here is how the columnist closes her article:
What did these women choose? After seeing their sonograms, 10 of them had an abortion, nine did not, and one was still deciding. The results are biased, of course—some of the women were hand-picked because their story supports a group's particular agenda. But what struck me most was that no one minded having the ultrasound. Yes, many women at Falls Church [abortion center] resented having to come in twice for an abortion because of the law's 24-hour wait, but the scan itself wasn't a problem. In fact, several regarded it as a way to hold themselves accountable.
The point is that yet again, we find that the abortion industry is out of line with mainstream America and particularly women. The real problem the abortion industry has with ultrasounds is not that women find them somehow offensive; but rather, in an industry based solely on profit, ultrasounds hurt their bottom line and may actually diminish their clientele base.