If the right to an abortion is really about about a woman's choice, then it logically follows that a fully-informed choice is a proper concern for public policy makers on the state level.
But don't tell that to pro-choice liberal journalist Bonnie Erbe. The US News & World Report contributing editor unleashed her fury at "Antiabortion Fanatics' New Invasive Attack: The Forced Ultrasound" in a February 12 blog post.
Oozing contempt from every pore, the PBS "To the Contrary" host slammed as "fanatics" conservative lawmakers in 11 states who "are considering bills that would offer or require ultrasounds before a woman gets an abortion."
Erbe insisted she was not mad at "average, conservative, pro-life voters," but those average joes are the very folks who elect the state legislators considering these laws. Indeed, it is often "average" pro-life conservatives who run for and win state legislative seats only to face fierce, well-organized and well-financed opposition to abortion reduction measures by radical pro-choice lobbies.
Of course, a mandatory ultrasound in and of itself doesn't stop an abortion, but it drives home the moral weight of the act of abortion, such that it may lead some women to forsake an abortion procedure. To be sure, many women still undergo abortions even after viewing ultrasounds.
So what's Erbe's real beef? The PBS "To the Contrary" host worries that it's another speed bump on the road to abortion-on-demand:
To require them to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion is the most invasive type of moralistic lecture imaginable. Some state laws would even require poor women to pay for them, which would put the cost of abortion beyond their meager reach.
The überright has already succeeded in throwing so many obstacles in the path of women trying to end unwanted pregnancies: 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent laws, and so on. Required ultrasounds are a step too far. "Offered" ultrasounds are insulting, too. In my humble opinion, both are completely unconstitutional.
Read my lips: Elections have consequences. You lost. Go away.
Erbe photo via PBS "To the Contrary" Web site.