On ABC’s The View on Tuesday, as the group discussed a new law in Oklahoma that requires an ultrasound of an unborn baby be performed and the image offered to a pregnant woman before an abortion could take place, none of the panel members spoke up in favor of the Oklahoma law, although right-leaning Elisabeth Hasselbeck supported "nudging" pregnant women to look at an ultrasound to be informed about the life signs of their unborn babies.
Whoopi Goldberg became emotional as she dismissed the effectiveness of viewing an ultrasound in encouraging women not to have abortions, but also seemed to worry that making such images available would make a woman more upset as she decides whether to have an abortion. She went on to express concern that if some women facing difficult circumstances chose not to have an abortion, that the baby would be murdered later in life at the hands of its desperate parents. Goldberg: "Let me tell you something. There's not a woman that goes, there's not a woman out there who makes a decision to have an abortion lightly. It is a tough, a tough, but to have someone compound what you are already carrying, you are already going in there with that pain because maybe you didn't want to have an abortion, maybe you can't have a baby. Maybe you can't afford it."
After Hasselbeck posed, "Are you going in there with all the knowledge of what's actually going on inside of you at 16 weeks?" Goldberg started losing control: "But what difference does it make if you can't have the baby? What difference does it make if you're going to bring a baby in and you can't feed it and you can't take care of it and then people end up killing their kids? I hate it!"
When co-host Sherri Shepherd, who admitted to having had multiple abortions in the past, contended that if she had seen an ultrasound beforehand, "the guilt probably would have made me say I don't want to kill my baby," Goldberg dismissed her: "I don't believe that. I don't believe you, Sherri. I don't believe that." Shepherd continued: "I chose to not think of this baby as a moving, breathing, because I couldn't deal with that."
Behar chimed in by recounting the views of people she knows who have had abortions without feeling guilt, and who see an unborn baby as just "a bunch of cells." Behar: "Can I make a point here that people I know that have had abortions? ... I know people who've had abortions who don't think twice about it. I mean, this idea that everybody struggles with this, I think, is not necessarily a fact either. People say I just don't want it and I'm not, and I'm going to sweep it away, as they say, and I'm not, and they don't see it, and I've heard from people, they don't see it as a child, they see it as a bunch of cells, and they don't want to see the sonogram particularly because they're not interested."
After Hasselbeck reiterated her support for making information like an ultrasound available to pregnant women, Goldberg again expressed fear that it would lead to parents harming their children later in life: "But why do it, I mean, here's the first thing that I want to do. I am also pro-life, and I am pro-choice. I'm for the best possible life that you can give your child. And if you end up having to give your child away, which many people do, you know, the guilt of knowing that that kid is out there, or what some people have resorted to doing when they discover they actually can't deal with it, they do terrible things to their kids."
Behar eventually charged that conservatives want to reverse Roe v. Wade which she claimed would result in back ally abortions: "I don't think a lot of you girls who are younger realize what went on before Roe v. Wade, there were back ally abortions. I worked in a medical hospital, I worked in a hospital when I was in college in the pathology lab, and girls would douche with Lestoil, they'd stick hangers up there, I mean, you don't know what went on. We can't go back to that."
After Hasselbeck injected, "We should never go back to that. Again, change hearts, not change laws," Behar charged: "Well, these people are trying to go back there."
Also of note, Goldberg’s contention that the new Oklahoma law would compel women to view the ultrasound after it is taken seems to be incorrect, as CNN correspondent Lisa Sylvester on Friday’s The Situation Room recounted: "Doctors would also be required to provide women with a copy of the ultrasound, although patients would be under no obligation to watch it."
And as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow attacked the new law on the Wednesday, April 28, Rachel Maddow Show, she relayed: "The ultrasound images will now have to be displayed where the woman can watch while she undergoes the procedure. Oklahoma`s lawmakers will allow the woman to avert her eyes from the image if she wants."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the "Hot Topics" segment from the Tuesday, May 4, The View on ABC:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: A new law in Oklahoma has been temporarily blocked that requires pregnant women to watch a detailed ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus before they can get an abortion. (PAUSES WITH SARCASTIC FACIAL EXPRESSION) Yeah.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: You know, when I heard that, because I’m one, I am, after going through what I went through, I am not for abortion, but I do believe women should have a choice about what they do with their bodies, and so-
JOY BEHAR: You’re not for abortion for yourself anymore.
SHEPHERD: Anymore, anymore. That’s what I’m saying. I went through it because I had abortions, and I know how, what it did to my spirit. But I don’t feel that the government should tell a woman what she should do with her body. Everybody has a choice to make. But hearing this right here, I still feel it’s an invasion to force a woman to hear this, to force a woman to see this.
BEHAR: -put a camera up your vagina. That’s an invasion if I ever heard of one.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: And I agree-
BEHAR: Talk about an invasion.
HASSELBECK: I also don’t, I would rather, because I am, I guess, technically, and we all are forced to kind of decide what we are – pro-life, pro-choice – right? I think on paper I would be pro-life, but I do, I don’t want the government necessarily to tell me what to do with my body either. I would rather change a heart than a law, you know. That’s just the way I think. I’d rather change a heart. And I think, in practical terms, and I’m on my computer, right? And I have something in a file that I’m about to delete. Something comes up on my screen: "This file may contain important data. Are you sure you want to delete it?" And I think, you know, in a way, if it weren’t forced, but it were, say, a nudging, where someone said, "This file, your belly-"
HASSELBECK: Hang on. "-may contain-
HASSELBECK: - important data, and if you see this-"
GOLDBERG: You know what, it’s unfair. It’s unfair.
HASSELBECK: Let me, let me get to this. Let me get to this because this is how I feel.
GOLDBERG: I understand.
HASSELBECK: If I have in my belly, I’m about to have Isaiah, my third born child, and someone says to me, "This file," your belly, "may contain important data," and this is the picture I see – I think we still have it from when I had him in my belly – there’s my little smiling Isaiah. "Are you sure you want to delete it?" Even in my worst circumstance, I may at least reconsider, and I think it’s worth knowing what is going on in your body.
GOLDBERG: Let me tell you something. There’s not a woman that goes, there’s not a woman out there who makes a decision to have an abortion lightly. It is a tough, a tough-
HASSELBECK: I’m not saying it’s a decision-
GOLDBERG: But to have someone compound what you are already carrying, you are already going in there with that pain because maybe you didn’t want to have an abortion, maybe you can’t have a baby. Maybe you can’t afford it.
HASSELBECK: Are you going in there with all the knowledge of what’s actually going on inside of you at 16 weeks?
GOLDBERG: But what difference does it make if you can’t have the baby? What difference does it make if you’re going to bring a baby in and you can’t feed it and you can’t take care of it and then people end up killing their kids? I hate it! (AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
HASSELBECK: I think it’s such a gray issue, and, like I said, I think it should be a heart change, not a law that’s forcing the change, and I believe that firmly. I just think there would be some women, if given the opportunity to actually seek knowledge, okay, this is what’s actually going on at 16 weeks. Maybe there is a way. Maybe there’s a way. I don’t know.
GABOUREY SIBIDE: I think that I would agree that you don’t go into abortion lightly. If you’re thinking of abortion, then there are certain reasons why you cannot have the baby, and seeing a picture of the baby only seems to make things worse for you. Of course you would consider it more. But I think I believe in pro-choice. I’ve never had any abortions, and I don’t know anyone who has, but I don’t think that the government should tell me what to do with my body, and I don’t think the government has the power to make me to, like why, I think it’s-
SHEPHERD: You know, I think, with me, because I’ve had several abortions, and I think if I had gone in there and they had shown me that, the guilt probably would have made me say I don’t want to kill my baby-
GOLDBERG: I don’t believe that. I don’t believe you, Sherri. I don’t believe that.
BEHAR: Why did you have them several times?
SHEPHERD: Yes, I did have them several times, but I wasn’t thinking of, I chose to not think of this baby as a moving, breathing-
GOLDBERG: But why?
SHEPHERD: Because I couldn’t deal with that.
HASSELBECK: That’s an honest remark.
(SHEPHERD SAYS SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE DISCERNED)
GOLDBERG: That’s why I say that.
SHEPHERD: And I’m saying I don’t, you know, feel like you should force it on anybody because it is your body, you have to make a choice and you have to deal with whatever consequences come.
BEHAR: Can I make a point here that people I know that have had abortions? I haven’t had one myself. I had an extopic pregnancy, which was not my choice, but I know people who’ve had abortions who don’t think twice about it. I mean, this idea that everybody struggles with this, I think, is not necessarily a fact either. People say I just don’t want it and I’m not, and I’m going to sweep it away, as they say-
GOLDBERG: Well, I guess I don’t know anybody like that.
BEHAR: -and I’m not, and they don’t see it, and I’ve heard from people, they don’t see it as a child, they see it as a bunch of cells-
GOLDBERG: I’ve met folks like that.
BEHAR: -and they don’t want to see the sonogram particularly because they’re not interested. I don’t think that it’s all one thing. And the other thing I would say is that, you know, conservatives who would like to take away Roe v. Wade, they’ are constantly complaining about big brother and big government, and, yet, when it comes to my vagina and uterus, right there they are. (AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)
HASSELBECK: Great, and that’s what I said, and, Joy, and I and that’s why I say, as someone who’s been on that Republican aisle who considers herself to be conservatives, on some issues – not all – but I do believe that the government shouldn’t necessarily tell a woman what to do with her body, and I do believe that, like I said, hearts should be changed. I wouldn’t want the government to say you can only have three kids, you can only have two kids, you know, on the other side, or you must have three kids by the age of 30 and we’re going to try to make that happen.
BEHAR: Or you must abort all the girls like they do in China.
HASSELBECK: Have the information, you are asked on a computer screen if you want to get rid of something and this is what the file contains. Know what’s in the file before you get rid of it.
GOLDBERG: But why do it, I mean, here’s the first thing that I want to do. I am also pro-life, and I am pro-choice. I’m for the best possible life that you can give your child. And if you end up having to give your child away, which many people do, you know, the guilt of knowing that that kid is out there, or what some people have resorted to doing when they discover they actually can’t deal with it, they do terrible things to their kids. And so I wonder, you know, if it isn’t because they ask you – or they used to ask you – a gazillion questions, they used to make you go home and then come back and decide if you wanted to do it.
HASSELBECK: They don’t do that now necessarily. They don’t. And there are many convenience abortions. You know, I think there are a portion where people are struggling, are not sure if this baby will survive, you know, maybe considering that the doctor told them it might have a disability, what they would do if they can’t afford the treatment that’s necessary. But I do think there are a number of convenience abortions, and I think just having information is important.
GOLDBERG: But those people are going to do it anyway. But seeing the baby is not going to change.
SHEPHERD: -you deal with constant guilt about the fact that you had, some were convenience abortions, some were just like you can’t take care of this baby.
BEHAR: I don’t think a lot of you girls who are younger realize what went on before Roe v. Wade, there were back ally abortions. I worked in a medical hospital, I worked in a hospital when I was in college in the pathology lab, and girls would douche with Lestoil, they’d stick hangers up there, I mean, you don’t know what went on. We can’t go back to that.
GOLDBERG: I know this.
HASSELBECK: We should never go back to that. Again, change hearts, not change laws.
BEHAR: Well, these people are trying to go back there.
GOLDBERG: This conversation is going to continue for many, many moons because it’s passion for everybody, but we’re never going to BS each other.