One of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws went into effect Wednesday in North Carolina after a federal judge temporarily halted the law's most controversial requirement — that a woman getting an abortion must first view a narrated ultrasound image of the fetus.Because adult women are actually ninny-brained infants who need forcible help making decisions about their own bodies, and not autonomous rational actors who have already made a considered choice for themselves to terminate before they make an appointment for the actual medical procedure.
U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles ordered a preliminary injunction late Tuesday, ruling that the ultrasound requirement likely violates patients' First Amendment rights.
She upheld other sections of the law, including a 24-hour waiting period to provide information on abortion risks and alternatives.
Well, at least the mandated ultrasound portion has been blocked, and the ACLU is on the case.
The American Civil Liberties Union and four pro-choice groups contended in a lawsuit filed last month that requiring women to view ultrasound images and providing an opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat promotes government-mandated ideology. Proponents of the law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in July over the veto of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, say the requirement would promote childbirth and protect women from emotional trauma.Indeed.
...Eagles said the provision is "likely to harm the psychological health of the very group the state purports to protect."
Again I will note—as I do each time one of these mandated ultrasound bills is being debated with the inevitable justification that its supporters are just trying to Very Helpfully "provide women with more information"—that if an altruistic helpfulness were the authentic motivation, then women would be offered a choice as to whether they want to get the ultrasound.
But, of course, these paternalistic scolds are not offering anything kind or decent; they are merely demanding the legal right to try to shame women into not getting abortions, because they believe, wrongly, that women seeking abortions are in denial about being pregnant, or detached from their natural desire to mother, or some other nonsense, and if only they see a picture of the BABY! they will change their fickle and delicate minds.
Being forced to view an ultrasound does not, however, change the reality for a pregnant woman—and there are few minds less persuadable than the mind of a woman who does not want to be pregnant. Which is why even straight-up criminalizing abortion doesn't stop women from getting them.
Forcing a pregnant person to look at an ultrasound will not change the circumstances that made her seek an abortion: If you don't want a child, if you can't afford a child, if you had a contraceptive failure, if you were raped, if you just lost your job, if you found out the fetus will die as soon as it's born, if you're pregnant by someone who became abusive, if you've been diagnosed with a life threatening illness, or a non-life threatening but life-changing illness or disability, if your existing child has become ill, if your spouse has become ill, if your parent has become ill, if your psychiatric medication is incompatible with pregnancy, if you lost your health insurance, if…if…if a million other variables, if any of a million reasons why women seek abortions, looking at an ultrasound will not matter.
The Ultrasound Gang just can't conceive that there are women who make the measured, rational, self-interested decision to terminate a pregnancy. "But there's a BABY in there!" they insist, and they don't understand that there are millions of women who will reply, with or without regret, "Yes, I know. That's the problem."