February 22, 2012 (AUL.org) – What happens when abortion providers don’t follow practices of standard medical care?
You get a “back alley.”
In order to better protect the health and welfare of women seeking abortion, states regulate abortion clinics and require informed consent before obtaining an abortion. For example, abortion clinic regulations and ultrasound provisions help ensure that women are treated in the manner they deserve.
A basic component of an ultrasound law is a required standard of care. A “standard of care” is “a statement of actions consistent with minimum safe professional conduct under specific conditions, as determined by professional peer organizations.” Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (20th ed. 2005). In the ultrasound context, this means that abortion providers are to perform an ultrasound in a professional manner consistent with the way ultrasound is performed across the abortion or obstetrics communities.
But abortion proponents are arguing against including a basic standard of care in ultrasound requirements.
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For example, ultrasound bills are currently making their way through the Virginia legislature. Contained in these bills is a provision that the ultrasound “shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community.” In other words, abortion providers must follow a basic standard of care. They shouldn’t conduct the ultrasound haphazardly. They shouldn’t throw an image of the woman’s gall bladder on the screen and claim that it is “products of conception.”
But without merit, abortion proponents are claiming that this standard of care provision requires a transvaginal ultrasound in the first trimester, comparing the technique to rape.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
These bills require abortion providers to perform ultrasound in the way it is performed in the community. Do abortionists regularly use transvaginal ultrasound in the first trimester? NO. Do obstetricians regularly use transvaginal ultrasound in the first trimester? NO. To the contrary, the usual procedure is to perform an abdominal ultrasound.
Abortionists typically perform ultrasound (abdominally) before abortion. So what is this all about?
It is about politics. The Governor of Virginia is thought to be a potential Vice President candidate. These ultrasound bills are moving through the legislature, making them targets. And abortion proponents are using the welfare of women as a political pawn, sacrificing standard medical care on the altar of abortion on demand.
On Wednesday Governor Bob McDonnell voiced his support of ultrasound legislation, while saying that he would ask state legislators to “clarify” the bill so that external ultrasounds would be the focus of the pending law.
If abortion proponents succeed in removing the standard of care language in this bill, they will attempt to do so again, in other states and in other bills. And when medical standards of care are removed, we are left with an industry of Kermit Gosnells.
This is also a last-ditch effort to thwart the passage of a commonsense bill aimed at the protection of women. The abortion industry is reeling. The American public is more pro-life than ever before. And contained in the Virginia bills is a requirement that the abortion provider offer the woman an opportunity to see the image of her unborn child. This is the last thing an abortion provider wants.
For too long, the abortion industry has been trying to hide information from women. The most accurate, truthful information we can give to a woman is an ultrasound picture of her unborn child.
The abortion industry hates these bills because they allow a woman to see what abortion providers so fervently try to hide: life.
Mailee Smith is a staff counsel with Americans United for Life. This article is reprinted with permission from aul.org