Slate had a good article about the threat that ultrasound presents to the abortion debate. Several states, including the state of my youth (SC), are considering bills that would require doctors to offer (in some cases force them to show) women an ultrasound if they are considering an abortion. Slate’s author, William Saletan, makes an excellent point in his case for this bill, which I felt was worthy of quoting here:
If I were a legislator, I’d offer four amendments to any ultrasound bill. First, the government should pick up the tab. Second, the woman should also be offered a six-hour videotape of a screaming 1-year-old. Third, any juror deliberating whether to issue a death sentence should be offered the chance to view an execution. Fourth, anyone buying meat should be offered the chance to watch video from a slaughterhouse.
It’s item two that caught my fancy in particular. In my ideal world, if we’re going to go around trying to make sure people know the consequences of their actions, any woman considering going off birth control and/or getting pregnant should have to tote a fake baby (of the kind used in high school simulations) around for a few days.
The reality of the situation is that we as humanity do things all the time without considering the possible consequences. If we didn’t, we’d have no need for words like apology, sorry, and mistake. I likely slaughter a mass of single-celled organisms every time I shower. I certainly indirectly cause the death of a fair number of cows, chickens, and pigs each year. It seems like the question that we’re really getting at is at what point should there be mandatory education before taking on a possible consequence. And by the way, it strikes me as odd as well that the same political party that wants to make sure that you get a gun without having to consider it for even a day is so concerned about the ignorance level of people getting abortions. Also, the party that is so concerned with abortion is also doing a mass of actions to ensure that people having sex do not have education or access to birth control methods, as well as blocking research toward new methods…truly effective and available birth control in and of itself could eliminate the problem.