President of NOW Equates Ultrasounds to Rape, Outright Lies to Gain Support

Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women is obviously running scared. She sees that the pro-abortionists are starting to lose their grip on the minds of America and the only option she has left is to lie through her teeth. Why else would she write a piece for the Huffington Post that is packed with deception about the proposed mandatory ultrasound laws (recently approved in Texas and Virginia) and Republicans?

Lie #1: She writes, “In this right-wing utopia (of the Republican party), women will no longer be able to exercise the right to control their bodies, plan their families or safeguard their own health. The church and the state will tell women what is best for them, and religious entities’ “liberty” will consistently trump individual women’s right to live and work free from discrimination and in accordance with their own religious and moral beliefs.”

Truth:  Women will always be able to control their own bodies, plan their families and take care of their health no matter who the president is. Women will also be allowed to live and work free from discrimination, which she says is a right that would disappear. This is the United States after all. Republicans simply want to show women what abortion is before they take the life of their child and live to regret it. Hopefully soon, the one “right” women won’t have is one that allows them to kill their unborn, whom are actually completely different people with their own body deserving of their own right to live.

Lie #2: O’Neill claims that, “ultrasounds are rarely medically necessary prior to an abortion, (and) these laws exist to demean the woman and make the procedure more expensive to boot.”

Truth: Under the mandatory ultrasound laws that many states are considering, women undergoing abortions must be offered the opportunity to view or hear a description of the ultrasound image.What O’Neill fails to say (because I’m sure she knows) is that ultrasounds are actually already required before an abortion. In fact, in 2000 pro-abortion researchers surveyed staff at 113 Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion businesses, and  99% of the abortion facilities said that they always or sometimes perform an ultrasound in association with surgical abortion. Adrienne Schreiber, an official at Planned Parenthood’s Washington, D.C. regional office, confirms this saying, “That’s just the medical standard. To confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy, before any procedure is done, you do an ultrasound.”

Lie #3: She writes, “But the most disturbing aspect of these laws is that in the vast majority of abortions, which occur far too early in pregnancy for an external ultrasound… to produce an image, the ultrasound must be transvaginal — i.e., a long wand-like ultrasound probe must be inserted deep into the woman’s vagina. This is, quite simply, state-sponsored rape.”

Truth: Equating a transvaginal ultrasound, which pregnant women undergo daily, to rape, is absurd. It diminishes the suffering of every person who has ever been sexually abused. Besides this, women who undergo abortions are already receiving ultrasounds.  According to Schreiber, Planned Parenthood requires women give consent for abortion procedures, including the ultrasounds and if the women won’t consent to the ultrasound, the abortion cannot take place. No ultrasound, no abortion.

Additionally, if O’Neill thinks transvaginal ultrasounds are equal to rape, wouldn’t an abortion be one too? How does she think an abortion is performed? Dilators, forceps, and uterine curette are just a few of the tools inserted into the women’s uterus in an abortion in order to kill the baby and remove her body parts. A manual vacuum aspiration is literally used to aggressively vacuum the baby out. That seems much more traumatic and invasive (not to mention deadly) than a transvaginal ultrasound.

O’Neill claims that ultrasound laws are “a violation of a woman’s right to bodily integrity and an ugly intrusion on her right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.” In reality, ultrasounds are already happening with consent. The only difference is now women must be offered the opportunity to see the ultrasound image of their child or hear a description of it. She can refuse to look, but if she says yes, it just might save her baby’s life. And that’s something abortion providers just can’t risk or afford.

  • Matthias

    Well said. 

  • Nancy

    I don’t want anyone telling me what I can do or not do with my body.  The “lies” are the truth.  I want separation of church and state.  I don’t want any church or government agency telling me what I can do or can’t do with my body.  I support NOW and Planned Parenthood in their actions to instruct women on their options and about women’s health.  This is a one sided article and is not “fair and balanced” as Fox is not also!

    • Guest22

      The problem with this reasoning is that it ignores the very simple fact that a fetus is not part of one’s body; a fetus is a genetically distinct human being. One can try to argue that “personhood” (whatever that word means) does not exist until a certain point during or after pregnancy (I do not agree but at least this is an attempt to argue something a bit more ambiguous than basic science) but that a genetically distinct human being is being  killed by abortion is simple fact. The fetus is not a mere appendage or part of one’s body (saying that (and the whole idea of doing what you want with your body effectively says that) is at best bad science). Again, you can try to argue that a fetus does not acquire rights until later if you wish, but not that it is not its own distinct being.

      Further, while there is a correlation between religious observance and being pro-life, this is not a church vs. state issue. There are non-religious groups that oppose abortion like Atheists for Life (full disclosure, I was pro-life prior to becoming Catholic and while I was still an atheist). Many people’s faith teaches them that we should help the poor; if religious politicians support a social safety net, almost no one would argue this creates any sort of Church-State problem. That type of argument only comes up when one disagrees with religious values being proposed, in other words “Religion can play a role in legislation when I support it but not when it doesn’t.”

    • Nancy

      The problem is – it’s up to the person.  Let the person decide and let them decide if it is something they can live with. I would much rather advocate the morning after pill preventing conception versus an abortion.  However, it is still the woman’s right to decide.  There are so many variables in a woman’s pregnancy, that there is no one solution for all.  You don’t know if that person has been raped, date raped, made a mistake, can’t afford it or has a health issue and can’t afford it, was victimized and the list goes on.   Now if an organization was willing to pay the woman to support that child, then step forward.  I have yet to see one do that.  Anyone can try to be logical all they want, but it’s an emotional decision.
      I’ve had a vaginal ultrasound and not because of pregnancy, but because of fibroids.  They are invasive, embarrassing and very uncomfortable.  I wouldn’t ask any woman to go through one unless they absolutely had to.

      • Nancy Flanders

        I have had the transvaginal ultrasound for reasons other than pregnancy too. Yes, it’s awkward, but so is going to the gynecologist. I actually find that more uncomfortable. You say you wouldn’t ask any woman to go through one unless they absolutely had to. And as I said in the article, abortion providers say they have to.

      • Joseph Anthony

         If it’s up to the person, I propose waiting until the unborn can talk then asking her if she wants to die or not.  Yes.  I know that’s a flippant comment.  But it gets right down to our difference of perspective.  You are saying that it should be a woman’s right to choose whether her child lives, we are saying that, just as the law protects human life immediately after birth, so it should protect it when its in the womb.  I do agree with you in a sense.  I think using mandatory ultrasounds, or at least mandatory intravaginal ultrasounds, to accomplish the goal of protecting nascent human life is to use a bad means for a good end.  The problem isn’t that the law allows women to refuse ultrasounds in some of these cases, the problem is that the law doesn’t offer any protections for human beings before they are born.

      • Shelly200

        Did you click the link and read the article mentioned that already points out that abortionists do ultrasounds before abortions? Because if you did, then you would’ve read this very important statement: “If the woman is uncomfortable with a transvaginal ultrasound, which is more invasive, she can wait until the fetus is large enough to opt for a transabdominal ultrasound.” (Which would go along with this law, because the does NOT require that EVERY woman seeking an abortion get a *transvaginal* ultrasound, just that she gets *an* ultrasound… whichever one is needed for the age of her pregnancy.)

        You also would’ve seen this: ““But if she’s uncomfortable with a transvaginal ultrasound, then she’s not going to be comfortable with an equally invasive abortion procedure,”

        BAM. End of story. If getting a transvaginal ultrasound is so traumatic that it is akin to rape…. THEN SO TOO WOULD BE A SURGICAL ABORTION. So….  why not outlaw abortions, which are just as bad as rape?

        Can’t have it both ways. If sticking a medical instrument inside a woman’s vagina is equal to rape, then there should be no pap smears, gynaecological exams, or abortions either.

    • Shelly200

      This is a pro-life blog on a pro-life website… it is perfectly acceptable for it to be one sided. It is not a media news outlet that is supposed to be unbiased. This site can be as biased to the pro-life side as it wants.

      And the article never once mentions religion. Neither does the ultrasound bill as far as I know. So your “I want separation of church and state” argument, while valid, has no place here, because no church is mentioned.

      And the government tells you what you can and cannot do with your body ALL THE TIME. The government tells you that you cannot: put a gun in your hand, pull your finger, and shoot someone in the head; shoot crystal meth into your veins; ingest alcohol before the age of 21; and a myriad other things. That’s kind of the whole point of government… to have laws regulating society, to uphold those laws, and to punish those who break those laws.

      Oh, and, by the way: a fetus is not your body. It is not *part* of your body. It is someone else’s body. Pick up a medical textbook next time you’re in a bookstore and take a gander. When something has its own DNA, its own body, its own heart, brain, lungs, etc…. then it’s its own being, not yours.

  • 12angry_men

    While I really am torn over this issue of equating these ultrasounds to rape, I think you are missing (or most likely it just wasn’t made super clear) the key factor that constitutes an act as rape. Yes, pregnant woman may get these ultrasounds all the time; just how married couples have sex all the time. Yet woman can still be raped by their husbands; it’s all about consent. 

    • Nancy

       Yes… consent, which abortion providers already get for ultrasounds they are already performing. The only difference is that the abortionist would now have to offer for the woman to view or hear a description of the ultrasound image. Which the woman can refuse. She isn’t being forced to do an ultrasound without consent or view the image without consent.

      • Steven G

        So are you saying that all these mandatory ultrasound bills aren’t really mandatory?  No woman is “being forced to do an ultrasound without consent”?  So if she doesn’t want an ultra sound she doesn’t need to have one?  

        Really?

        • Nancy Flanders

          Hi Steve! As far as I have learned in my research, the mandatory ultrasound bills say that an ultrasound must be performed (with consent) and that the abortionist is required to OFFER the woman the opportunity to view the image or hear a description of the image and the woman can refuse. 99% of abortionists surveyed already do the ultrasound (with consent). So if the ultrasounds are already being performed (and the transvaginal is used in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy), the only real difference is asking the woman if she would like to view the image. Do you have information that says otherwise?

        • Joseph Anthony

          No.  She can correct me if I’m wrong, but Nancy’s argument seems to be consent for ultrasounds is already given when the consent for abortion form is killed out.  In other words, the woman consents to an ultrasound as part of the act of assenting to an abortion.  The difference, of course, is that she may or may not have an ultrasound right now as it is judged medically necessary, but she will always have an ultrasound under this law, whether or not it is medically necessary. 

          The rape analogy is a hard one, because the problem really isn’t the ultrasound, it is the reason for ultrasound (to give the woman an opportunity to see her unborn, rather than because the abortionist judged it medically necessary).  Presumably pro-choicers would not consider it rape if the doctor were to say: “It is medically necessary for me to do an intravaginal ultrasound, or I can’t do the abortion.”

      • 12angry_men

        It was my understanding (maybe I haven’t read the latest stuff) that many abortions do ultrasounds, but don’t require doing a transvaginal ultrasound and often do less invasive procedures (ultrasounds that is, abortion itself is very invasive). 

  • Steven G

    “Additionally, if O’Neill thinks transvaginal ultrasounds are equal to rape, wouldn’t an abortion be one too?”Well, yeah, if the abortion was being performed against her will or desire, then yes, the abortion would be akin to rape in that respect.  This is like arguing “if you think a man sticking his penis in your vagina when you don’t want him to is equal to rape, then isn’t it rape when a man sticks his penis in your vagina when you asked him to?” Duh.  I get that there’s a distinction between unwanted sex and an unwanted transvaginal ultrasound… but what makes mandatory and unwanted transvaginal ultrasounds like rape isn’t the insertion of an instrument, it’s the consent of the woman.

    • Nancy Flanders

      Steve.. hello again. You have a valid point about her consent in an instrument being placed inside of her… however if she is uncomfortable with the ultrasound, which the abortionist needs to do in order to perform a “safe” abortion, she will also be uncomfortable with the other instruments the abortionist will be inserting into her as well. A Planned Parenthood staff member says, no ultrasound means no abortion. It’s part of the procedure. Abortion providers are freaking out not because of the ultrasound, but because there have been more restrictions placed on abortion this year than ever before. How did we never get into any debates at any T parties?

  • Solntsye

    Since when have ultrasounds become exclusively transvaginal? Over 25 years ago, when I was in nursing school, every ultrasound was external (and this was even with moms who were only 6-8 weeks along, or 4-6 weeks post conception). Granted, I haven’t worked as an RN in 20 years, but even in every one of my pregnancies I never received a transvaginal ultrasound! Even with my first baby, my first appointment was a regular ultrasound, and we could see her fine! She was only her yolk sac, as I was only 18 days post conception (I developed severe morning sickness within seven days of her conception, and had a positive test when I was due for that time of the month), but I could see her fine. She wasn’t developed enough to have her recognizable body, but I could clearly see her developing amniotic sac and implantation. And that was with an external ultrasound. What’s the deal with all these threats of transvaginal? It’s unnecessary.

    • Sarah M

      I agree. I’ve been told you can have an external ultrasound from 7 weeks on and still get a clear picture– I’ve been able to see my children with an external ultrasound at the 7 week mark. I personally think transvaginal ultrasounds are (weirdly) overused by OBs. If you can get the information you need without putting a woman through an internal ultrasound (they are fairly awful to undergo for many women), then she should be given a choice in my opinion. It is not equal to rape, but at the the same time no one should have to undergo that needlessly.

      • Solntsye

        Right! And at 7 weeks gestational age (which is the age all medical practitioners give), that is actually five weeks post conception (medicine begins the clock two weeks prior to ovulation, and the woman would not even be pregnant yet. They calculate off the cycle of the LMP). You could see everything fine at that early age with a regular external ultrasound. I’m all for requiring women to view their ultrasounds, but there’s absolutely no need for this threat of transvaginal ultrasounds. I even wonder if this whole “transvaginal only” ultrasound nonsense actually comes as a scare tactic from those who support fetal murder.

        Require women to view their external ultrasounds. Everything that is there can be seen plain as day. Not only view their external ultrasound, but have it explained to her by a medical professional not involved in any way to the abortion industry, as it is taking place.

  • Joseph Anthony

    What exactly is in these laws?  I would not support an ultrasound law that did not give the woman the freedom to refuse an ultrasound.  If that choice is offered, I probably don’t have significant problems with the laws. 

    The goal of a mandatory ultrasound bill is good.  The means must also be good.  To require a woman to assent to an unchosen and medically unnecessary procedure intended, not for any of the purposes of the woman, but to help save the life of the child by giving the woman a potentially unwanted opportunity to have visual contact with her unborn child seems to limit the rightful liberty.  No one has the right to kill her or his own baby.  But people do have the right to refuse an ultrasound.  The real problem isn’t that women aren’t getting ultrasounds, the real problem is that they are choosing (or sometimes forced into choosing) an abortion.  We should fight the wrongful freedom to hurt another human being, not the reasonable freedom to refuse an ultrasound.

    That said, the arguments of Terry O’Neil were atrocious.  The first quotation is STRAIGHT UP an argumentum ad mentem, or an appeal to fear.  It goes like this: “I’ve painted a scary scenario, and I’ve told you that that’s what the Republicans want, therefore you should feel negatively toward them and their attempt to restrict by law the right to terminate pre-born life.”  All she did was tell a story to cloud the emotional climate.  It wasn’t a real argument at all.

    The analogy to rape was a weak analogy, but I didn’t think Nancy Flanders did it justice.  Let me spell out the argument:
    (1) Rapes involve forced penetration of the vaginal region.
    (2) This law requires a woman to endure penetration of the vaginal region in order to make a legal choice.
    (3) Therefore this law is similar to rape.

    I think the claimed similarity is more in the involuntary nature of the intravaginal ultrasound, not in the penetration required to do it.  The analogy is significantly weakened by the fact that most women having an abortion are ipso facto giving consent to abortion tools being put inside of them.  The analogy ultimately amounts to little more than scare tactics.