Target: Kentucky Speaker of the House, Representative Greg Stumbo
Goal: Block passage of bill requiring women to undergo ultrasounds before obtaining an abortion.
Women in Kentucky planning to have an abortion will be forced to first undergo an ultrasound if recently proposed legislation is passed into law. During this procedure, doctors would be required to describe the image of the fetus to their patients. Requiring women who are already enduring a stressful and emotional decision to undergo an additional medical procedure that may be unwanted is a gross intrusion of government into an individual’s right to make medical decisions for themselves.
Proponents of the ultrasound requirement state that they are merely trying to ensure that all women seeking abortions are well informed before undergoing the procedure. The requirement of an ultrasound, however, goes far beyond the mere presentation of information. Pro-choice advocate Derek Selznick of the Reproductive Freedom Project argues that forcing a woman to undergo an ultrasound and hear a description of the fetus she intends to abort is an attempt to, “bully, shame and humiliate women who have already made the personal and often heart-wrenching decision to end their pregnancy.”
In addition, a recent study from an abortion care provider in Los Angeles found that only 42.5 percent of their patients actually wanted to undergo an ultrasound before their abortion and that, of women who did see their sonogram, 98.4 percent of them continued with the procedure. With a majority of women not wishing to undergo an ultrasound before their abortion, it is extremely unethical for the government to force women into this additional procedure.
Ultimately, every woman is entitled to make medical decisions for herself, and it is not the place of the government to force women into unwanted medical procedures. Please sign the below petition to show your support for women’s medical rights by demanding that Kentucky strike down this proposed bill.
Dear Representative Stumbo,
I am writing to ask that you and the House of Representatives of Kentucky strike down a proposed bill to require women planning to obtain an abortion to first undergo a mandatory ultrasound. The decision to abort a pregnancy is an extremely stressful and emotional time for any woman, and requiring her to first hear a description of the fetus she is about to abort is a cruel and unnecessary act.
Proponents of the ultrasound requirement state that they are simply trying to ensure that all women planning on undergoing an abortion are well informed. This is a clear misrepresentation of the goal of a required ultrasound as the procedure goes well beyond merely presenting a patient with accurate, evidence-based information. The ulterior goal of these ultrasounds is seemingly to pressure or shame a woman into keeping her baby, which is highly unethical.
A recent study from an abortion care provider in Los Angeles found that only 42.5 percent of their patients actually wanted to undergo an ultrasound before their abortion and that, of women who did see their sonogram, 98.4 percent of them continued with the procedure. This study shows that the majority of women about to undergo an abortion do not want to have an ultrasound and it is therefore highly unethical for the government to require this medical procedure.
The decision to end a pregnancy is an emotional and difficult decision, but it is one that a woman should be able to make for herself without coercion or pressure. This proposed ultrasound requirement is unjust and unethical. Please make every effort to ensure that this bill is not approved.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Rainwater