Don’t show sonograms because fetuses “look vaguely like babies”

There is no one on the planet who believes a tumor has the right to life. When one is shown an image of his brain tumor, it is not to see if perhaps the tumor is worth keeping around – if its cute little tendrils of malignancy won’t awaken some parental compassion in the patient’s heart….

Abortions are never easy things, and forcing a woman to view a sonogram against her will makes it even more difficult. First-trimester fetuses are not people in any sane sense of the word – their organs cannot function independently, and they possess submammalian levels of cognition, if any. Yet they look vaguely like babies. Adult humans, with our visually oriented neo-cortices, will automatically ascribe them human characteristics. That’s an inescapable fact of our biology.

~Brandon K. Thorpe, claiming ultrasound before an abortion is “pro-life propaganda,” Broward-Palm Beach New Times, April 23, 2011

[Photo of 20 week fetus via medicinenet.com]

42 thoughts on “Don’t show sonograms because fetuses “look vaguely like babies””

  1. Looking at a sonogram — or a picture or even drawing of an embryo or fetus — at the exact time period as the pregnancy of the female seeking an abortion should be mandatory. This is not “propaganda” but informed disclosure. 
    If the female seeking an abortion is blind, the appearance must be described to her.

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  2. What a ridiculous statement. Why is abortion so hard if you are not killing another human being, your son or daughter. A brain tumor is left alone will bring death…an embryo or fetus if left alone will be another human being…no comparison.

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  3. “their organs cannot function independently, and they possess submammalian levels of cognition, if any”

     

    Yes, that is what I value in human beings- that their organs function independently.  When someone asks me why it would be morally wrong to kill my 3 year old, I respond by saying “her organs function independently- therefore, she has a right to life!”  Taht really shuts them up.

     

     

    Of course, in the first case it proves too much. For all kinds of animals have organs that function independently. If independently functioning organs is what makes a being valuable, than all animals that have independently functioning organs have equal value. I’m not sure teh author is willing to hold this position. If “level of cognition” is what makes a being valuable, then this proves too much again, as many newborns would not have the proper level of cognition in order to be considered persons. Some animals would then be worth more tahn some humans, and humans with higher levels of cognition would be worth more than humans with less cognition. Thus I am more valuable than my 3 year old and more valuable than my Grandma. In about 50 years my 3 year old will be more valuable than me. I wonder how much cognition you have to have in order to be worthy of a right to life. Also, what happens when rights conflict among people with extremely high cognition and extremely low cognition? What would happen in Einstein really, really, really wanted to kill his 4 month old so taht he would have more time to do work? The four month old barely has any cognizance, and Einstein has lots and lots. Given that we so greatly value the cognizance of Einstein, and have so little regard for the almost pathetic cognizance of the four month old, it seems to me that under this cognizance theory of moral worth taht we would be justified in allowing Einstein to kill the four month old. If cognizance is what we value in a being, it is difficult to see why that would not be teh case.

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  4. A great question arises:  who becomes the arbiter of proper cognition?  Government?  Heinrich Himmler would be proud to hear his ideas have not gone out of fashion.

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  5. I get particularly bristly whenever men claim women can’t deal with seeing sonogram images. It’s so patronizing – oh, the weak-minded little things will just be manipulated through informed consent!

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  6. Nazis, like Mr. Thorpe, also do not recognize Jews as human beings either. That allows Nazis, like Mr. Thorpe, to call for their murder. Nazis, like Mr. Thorpe, are idiots.

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  7. We ascribe human characteristics to that which is human.

    Why isn’t abortion easy? All I have ever heard is how EASY abortion is!! I have even been told how EASY my abortion was! Proaborts need to keep their lies straight.

    Does this drivel also apply to mommies that count the days until their next ultrasound at the OB/GYN’s office as well? To those that are excited to find out the sex of their babies? Are they quite satisfied with their monthly dose of “propaganda” which will be lovingly displayed on their refrigerators and on their facebook walls and sent in emails to the rellies?

    OR is this only directed at abortion minded and abortion vulnerable women? NO INFORMED CONSENT FOR THEM!!

    Ultrasounds are TRUTH and proaborts KNOW this.

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  8. Sorry my above comment is so scattered.  

    If I had seen the ultrasound before my abortion, things would have turned out very differently for myself and for my daughter!!

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  9. A.  Baby.  Is.  Not.  A.  TUMOR! Honestly, anyone who makes that comparison with a straight face instantly forfeits all right to ever be taken seriously in trying to talk about “inescapable facts of our biology.”  Because it’s clear they have no idea how any biology works at all.

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  10. The bottom line is that people who advocate for abortion will say ANYTHING that their minds can come up with that helps their conscience process the fact that they advocate for murder. It is an escape mechanism. If they take away person hood then whats the big deal, right? No different than squishing a bug! These same people would go crazy if they saw someone toss newborn puppies in a river. There is no logic in the thought processes.

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  11. My, Mr Thorpe must be absolutely exhausted after this round of mental gymnastics.
    Carla, I’m sure it would have helped you find the strength to run from anyone who would have caused Aubrey harm. It doesn’t effect absolutely every woman in that way, but I have seen hundreds who were vulnerable to abortion choose life after an ultrasound, encouragement and an offer of ongoing assistance. <Hugs and blessings>

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  12. That you called my daughter by name made me cry, Michelle. Thank you!

    The truth shall set us free. Indeed.

    God bless you in leading women to the truth.

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  13. An inescapable biological fact?

    Try this one on for size:
    A fetus is a fully human, unique, distinct individual.  From conception. 

    Duh…

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  14. Carla- I look forward to meeting Aubrey one day, and telling her what a brave warrior for hurting mothers and helpless unborn children her mother was, while we were on Earth together, though I have a feeling that she already knows. xx

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  15. The bottom line is that people who advocate for abortion will say ANYTHING that their minds can come up with that helps their conscience process the fact that they advocate for murder. It is an escape mechanism. If they take away person hood then whats the big deal, right?

    That’s right Deanna, this is why it’s so important to have a sonogram bill like this, so people can see how human the unborn is.  It’s easy to just come up with arguments for abortion when you can’t see the fetus, at that point the child is just a stray thought to which you can intellectualize and rationalize your thoughts around, you can’t argue with a physical image. This is a significant part of the pro-life movement, showing the evidence. Make sure people who seek abortion know what it is and are fully informed about what’s going on, because for some people that’s all they need to know to change their minds.

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  16. My first grandchild came into this world in a way that most would kindly call less than desirable. My 19-year-old beauty queen, genius-IQ daughter who had just been accepted to her dream college for her last two years of her pre-law undergrad, found out she was pregnant two days after our tour of the campus. She was on birth control when she got pregnant, and so she had no idea how far along she was. She was raised pro-life, as was her boyfriend, so abortion was out of the question. But she was terrified because she knew her whole life would change. They needed to do an ultrasound to try to date the baby’s gestational age. I was there. They said the baby was about the size of a grain of rice, and suddenly, there was the sound of the heartbeat. So strong, beating at 156 bpm out of this tiny, tiny human. They dated her pregnancy at 6 weeks 5 days. My very pro-choice mother-in-law, upon hearing the news and how far along she was said, “Oh, gosh, at 6 weeks you just go in and pluck that out. It’s nothing.”  Nothing. Even though my daughter was pro-life, she was so scared that those words may have resonated with her had she not seen her baby’s heartbeat so strong and clear. 

    That child is now the light of our lives. Yes, everything drastically changed. Yes, God is great because sending this child, even to unwed parents, helped my daughter go from a path that didn’t suit her life’s desires (law) to becoming a OMD, a Oriental Medicine Doctor. She is now pregnant again (they are married now), and we are thrilled. Again, an early ultrasound was needed and showed a healthy 178 bpm heartbeat at 7 weeks. She has sworn off artificial birth control because she took the depo shot after she had her first baby and was infertile for two years after stopping it.  

    Life is good, and ultrasound is great.  

    Keep up all you do for the unborn.

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  17. An ultrasound is already required by the State of Florida for second and third trimester abortions.  This law would affect first trimester abortions. What’s the big deal, Mr. Thorp?  Don’t you want to make abortion rare?

    ~
    Bobby,
    I love your argument!

    ~
    Crystal,
    Thank you for your life-affirming story! God bless!

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  18. Bobby Bambino, well said. Same with you Eric.

    And you are so right Carla! Which is it? Abortion is so easy and the only women who have a problem with it are looney drama queens, or, abortion is not easy and we should not make it harder than it already is on these poor women. WHICH IS IT? You can’t have it both ways pro-aborts!

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  19. So by this guy’s logic and comparison, we all started out as tumors?  He’s comparing newly conceived human beings to tumors… that is the kind of argument that reveals pro-abort philosophy in all its twisted, cold-hearted viciousness.
     
    How pitiful this man is.

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  20. Today (Tuesday) RI has bills up before the Judiciary Committee on a Woman’s Right to Know, the Ultrasound bill, and many others – would appreciate all your prayers – thanks!

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  21. wait, wait, wait—— if it’s a tumor-that means that man is CARCINOGENIC! and needs to be BANNED from vulnerable populations. I think that means- any woman.  Or maybe he just needs to stay away from apples ( like, you know, he’s ALAR) or mice!

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  22. So, I guess the basic idea is , don’t show the stupid women what the “fetus” looks like because it looks similar to a human being and they, being stupid and all, may mistake it for an actual human being and out of some twisted sense of conscious decide not to kill it. Now wouldn’t that be a horrible outcome! Really? Seriously? Thats all he could come up with? The more I think about this article the more ridiculous it becomes!

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  23. Abortions are never easy things, and forcing a woman to view a sonogram against her will makes it even more difficult.”

    Translation:  We abortionists have a hard enough time as it is convincing women to let us kill their babies.  Now you want to make it even more difficult for us to overcome their natural reluctance to kill their children.  This viewing of the sonogram will cause our clinics to lose money as women decide against abortion. 
    (Oh boo-hoo.  Cry me a river.)

    There is a reason why when people see a fetus, they ascribe human characteristics to it.  They can see that it’s human. 

    No, fetuses are not tumors.  There’s a reason why nobody gives tumors the right to live, but they do want to give fetuses that.  The fetuses deserve it, the tumors don’t.  Tumors are so stupid, they kill their host, which ultimately kills the tumor too.  Under normal, healthy conditions, pregnancy and childbirth won’t kill you.  With modern medicine, even not so healthy moms can survive and give birth to surviving babies.   
     

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  24. So many posts here made me cry today. I remember I saw and heard my daughter’s tiny heart beat when she was  7 weeks. :)  On another note: this misogynist needs to get over himself!

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  25. My mother called us a lot of things when she was angry, but she never called us tumors!!   What kind of fractured relationship do you have to have with your parents to make an argument like that?!

    Rebecca was a person, too.  She is dead, she is named, she is not forgotten.

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  26. “…don’t show the stupid women what the “fetus” looks like because it looks similar to a human being and they, being stupid and all, may mistake it for an actual human being”

    Deanna, great summary of Mr. Thorpe’s lame attempt at an editorial.

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  27. “If I had seen the ultrasound before my abortion, things would have turned out very differently for myself and for my daughter!!”

    Really? All the concerns that you had that convinced you to get an abortion in the first place would have just fallen by the wayside and you would have suddenly found the resolve to keep your pregnancy? Maybe, in retrospect, it does seem that simple, but for women actually making the choice in the here-and-now, being forced to view an ultrasound would only serve to muddle their emotions at a time of particular vulnerability.

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  28. Whatever Joan.

    Keep my pregnancy? My daughter would be 21. A former fetus!!

    Show me ANY and ALL ultrasound legislation that states a woman is FORCED to view an ultrasound.

    Muddle their emotions?? Yeah. Seeing your living, human child on ultrasound just might muddle a woman enough to choose life!! GASP

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  29. No hugs again today joan?  Did you get any smiles from anyone?  Give out a few first and see if that changes things.

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  30. You know Joan, I was on facebook tonight looking at the photos of my friend’s 3 year old daughter. She was the woman who worked for me and was considering abortion in 2007. When she saw a picture of what her 6 week old soon to be aborted daughter looked like she changed her mind. And yes, there were problems and pressures that had made her want to abort in the first place. And guess what? They DID fall by the wayside! By the time that baby was born every single reason she had had for aborting no longer existed!

    Problems are temporary. Abortion is forever. I forget where I read this but someone once said that life is not a stagnant pond but a fast moving river that pushes you every day into new situations good or bad. Things change all the time for better or worse but if today sucks you have the hope that tomorrow will be better. And you know what? It eventually will be. Abortion makes women think their lives can never be better. That they can never overcome their problems. And thats just not so.

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  31. “…but for women actually making the choice in the here-and-now, being forced to view an ultrasound would only serve to muddle their emotions at a time of particular vulnerability.”

    joan,

    What a demeaning statement to women. A pregnant woman still has a functioning brain!  She should be allowed to change her mind. A woman should never be coerced into aborting by the medical staff. If she has any doubts, the procedure should be postponed.

    I don’t know of any state whose law is forcing a woman to view the ultrasound.Do you?

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  32. 1. No one is forced to view it.
     
    2. If the woman chooses to view it and does become confused or reluctant, doesn’t that suggest that this woman might come to regret her abortion later on when she is confronted with these facts (another pregnancy etc)?  A woman who aborts is going to be confronted w/ the reality of fetal development at some point in her life. Doesn’t she have the right to choose to receive that information at a time when it can still help her make a choice she can live with?
     
    3. Who are we kidding with this nonsense:  “I’m sorry doctor, please don’t show me the films of my brain tumor. I might become too emotional and not be able to go through with the surgery.”  The only reason a woman may become emotional is b/c the humanity of the fetus is clearly displayed.  Those who oppose an opportunity for a woman to have access to this information (if she wants to) are ridiculous.
     

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  33. That no one would give a tumor a right to life while millions of Americans would give a right to life to a fetus neatly dismantles Thorp’s entire argument. It is a scientific fact that a new human being’s life begins at the moment of fertilization — regardless of WHAT or WHO the zygote or embryo or fetus looks like.

    When we look at a sonogram of a fetus and see a face, it’s not some weird coincidence, like finding Mother Teresa’s image on a piece of Melba toast. We see a face because there is an actual face developing.

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  34. I thought about this all weekend……and read some of the comments on Thorps’s blog. The one pro-abortion argument that keeps popping up is “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!”
     
    What the pro-abortion community doesn’t understand is that it isn’t about “not liking” abortion. I don’t like breast augmentation–I think it’s stupid and silly and vain. But hey, if you want to get it done, that’s your right, that’s fine. It is YOUR BODY. But abortion is the killing of one’s child—there is no other way around it. It is the ONLY “legal” “medical” procedure whose sole purpose is to KILL ANOTHER PERSON. It must be exhausting to use all one’s energy trying to justify why it is a “right” to kill one’s own child; science and technology tell us the truth….These are babies. These are little baby human beings, and they have the right to live. Pro-lifers are not trying to condemn women to being “barefoot and pregnant” and we are not trying to control women’s bodies. I am a woman; I don’t want ANYONE telling me what to do with MY BODY. But when there is a baby in my womb, I have no right to kill him. Pregnancy is not a flaw, it is not a disease, it isn’t something that needs to be corrected. We need to honor pregnancy–the amazing ability to carry life in our wombs, and we need to show love to the babies we carry (and temporarily, I might add)….they are beautiful and innocent.
     
    So yeah, it’s not about “liking” abortion. It’s about killing someone. This procedure kills people. Little, innocent people. I’m sorry, but I can’t support a right that ends in the death of another. That is beyond sick.

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  35. People on ventilators, those who need dialysis, users of pacemakers and even those who wear glasses all have organs which do not function independently.

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  36. At no other time in human history have we had the technology to see the amazing process of human development.  But, at exactly the same time, we see, a diabolical movement has formed that denigrates human development, that calls humans by the names of diseases.   This is only more proof that abortion is anti-science and abortionists, abortion advocates, and abortion fans are anti-science, anti-life, and anti-human.

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  37. Boy was I mad when the oral surgeon showed me the x-ray of my wisdom teeth he was going to remove from me.  What an insult!  I’m an intelligent woman who went in to have something removed from my body and they go and show me that.

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  38. The worst strawman argument I have ever had the misfortune to come across. And the worst simile too.
     
    From the time of conception to death every stage is a step in the human life continuum. The preceding stage is being a human just as much as the latter: it is not of becoming a human. Without the preceding stage of being one cannot come to be.

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  39. Adult humans, with our visually oriented neo-cortices will automatically ascribe them human characteristics.

    Adult humans, with our unique ability to identify double speak will also have the sense to see through your intellectual dishonesy.

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