Ultrasound photos "squick" her out

3d1.jpgHere's an interesting Feb. 8 blog post by pro-abort Suisan:

I keep getting pictures of my soon-to-be twin nieces/nephews from my proud mother-in-law. The latest batch was ultrasound stills of them at 13 weeks. I know I'm supposed to gurgle with glee when I see proof of their existence....

But I can't open more than one picture. Because they truly squick me out....

Ultrasound pictures of unborn babies make my stomach turn over.

3d2.jpgWhich is not a good reaction when the proud parents point to the picture on their refrigerator, he with his arm around her waist, she with a bright smile on her round face as they say, "Isn't it wonderful?"

And all I can think of are anti-abortion protesters.

There's a disgust and a hot rage and a feeling of nausea or maybe fear I feel when I see an anti-abortion protest, even on TV. It's like watching a lynch mob, or maybe a lynching. That hot sweat of fear behind the ears. The stomach cramps. The panic of, "I don't know what I can do. I don't know what to say. I need to go be safe somewhere else."

3d3.jpgThat's what I experience when I see an ultrasound of an unborn baby. Oh please don't make me look at this. Don't try to prove to me that you have life within you. I believe you, really, without the photographic evidence. No. No. I mean it. It's OK. I'm happy that your happy, but you don't need to show me ALL of your bodily functions, right?....

But I wonder about the synapse.

I don't.


Comments:

Very brave of you to visit and leave only an anonymous comment. I am NOT pro-abortion. I simply get angry at anti-abortion protests.

I will copy here the comment I left on my blog for you after you wrote, "Are you by any chance post-abortive"

Oh [edited--not sure how you feel about swearing] you too, anonymous. Really.

This is precisely why the anti-abortion thing raises such strong feelings for me. I personally do not fall head over heels in love and admiration with unborn foetuses. Not even my own. Read up on my SBD category--I've written quite a bit in there about how I don't go on and on in emotional waves about the beauty and glory of children, solely because they are children.

I have yet to have someone pull out an ultrasound of one of her organs and ask me to marvel in wonderment at the perfection of its form. But really, the fact that the body can produce a perfectly formed organ really IS an amazing thing. But we're not emotional about it.

I used to go to a women's clinic--got harrassed every time I walked in and out. For having my PAP smear done inexpensively. But I was called names and had placards shoved up my face for getting affordable gynocological exams.

If I were post-abortive, are you assuming that I am overwhelmed with guilt for being so, and that's why I don't lke people showing me their innards? If I'm NOT post-abortive, I am supposed to be right with the universe of women who automatically adore the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, because that's the way a woman is SUPPOSED to act?

How about the idea that I have opinions and emotions which are not connected either to my uterus or my reproductive history? Hmmmm?

Great. Now I'm pissed off. Thanks.

I feel that it's important to address these things straight up and with honesty, which is why I'm posting my response here.

If you are able to come to the blog and leave your name, I invite you to read further. I very rarely address issues of fertility and contraception, but I have been quite outspoken on my own pages about the discomfort I feel about having other mothers expect me to gush over their pregnancies or their children. I went throgh natural childbirth for all three of my children, I sit on the School Board, and I'm a stay-at-home Mom.

I just don't really enjoy looking at ultrasounds of unborn children. And that has nothing to do with my reproductive history. It has everything to do with other people's expectations of what I should feel about pregnancy. Especially their pregnancies.

Posted by: Suisan at February 9, 2007 12:17 PM


Suisan, thanks for sharing. I like your style. this fetus worshipping has got to stop. Regards.

Posted by: Gary at February 9, 2007 12:28 PM


Interesting peice of EDITING you did there. A friend had to point it out to me, as I didn't read the article above very carfefully this morning.

Where the elipses are, you edited out that it is pro-life protestors which cause this reaction to seeing ultrasounds of infants, not seeing the pictures themselves. Did you not think tht was an important part of the short article. Here is the complete text of the middle section without your edits:

Ultrasound pictures of unborn babies make my stomach turn over.

Which is not a good reaction when the proud parents point to the picture on their refrigerator, he with his arm around her waist, she with a bright smile on her round face as they say, "Isn't it wonderful?"

And all I can think of are anti-abortion protesters.

There's a disgust and a hot rage and a feeling of nausea or maybe fear I feel when I see an anti-abortion protest, even on TV. It's like watching a lynch mob, or maybe a lynching. That hot sweat of fear behind the ears. The stomach cramps. The panic of, "I don't know what I can do. I don't know what to say. I need to go be safe somewhere else.",

That's what I experience when I see an ultrasound of an unborn baby. Oh please don't make me look at this. Don't try to prove to me that you have life within you. I believe you, really, without the photographic evidence. No. No. I mean it. It's OK. I'm happy that your happy, but you don't need to show me ALL of your bodily functions, right?

Posted by: Suisan at February 9, 2007 2:36 PM


Suisan, are you maybe ticked off that the prolifers are right, that abortion really does involve dismembering a baby?

Maybe the person you ought to be blindingly angry with is yourself, for turning away from reality.

Posted by: Christina at February 9, 2007 6:45 PM


Suisan, for someone who is pro-life, you have an odd way of phrasing your support. And your complaints about my edits are lost on me. Whatever I edited out, it was for brevity, not to misconstrue your thoughts, which I did not.

Even your response to my blog post on your blog is less than lackluster in support of the movement you now say you support: "A pro-life blog picked up my blog post about ultrasound pictures. Now the craziness will begin. Great. I certainly have the time and energy for THIS disaster."

Or do you support the babies but not those trying to save them?

And, yes, it does occur to me that you might be post-abortive. Your reaction to ultrasound photos is strong if not irrational.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 9, 2007 6:47 PM


I don't understand your attack of Suisan.

Is "outing" her for being pro-choice (which you have only assumed) and disliking ultrasound photos supposed to serve some purpose? It's the equivalent of me saying I don't like looking at pictures of genocide victims. Does that mean I'm pro-genocide? No, it means I don't want to look at the crap.

And I don't understand why you are insisting that she defend her position. Who are you?

I think your time would be better served shoving gruesome pro-life propaganda in the face of terrified sixteen year olds.

...Fiona...

Posted by: Fiona at February 10, 2007 9:58 AM


Seriously, mind your own business. What do you care if someone doesn't like to look at pictures of ultrasounds? I keep mine in a frame. Does that make me a better person?

And what if this blogger was post-abortive? Is this how you show your support of women who have suffered through an abortion? I certainly hope you don't do any post-abortion counseling. I'll be praying that you learn to become more thoughtful and compassionate in you quest.

Posted by: Devon at February 10, 2007 8:58 PM


Look, Devon, Suisan writes a blog. A blog is a public diary. She has options if she wants only selective readers who will agree with her.

I found Suisan's post fascinating, a glimplse into the pro-abortive mind that must compartmentalize beliefs and emotions to support that view.

I barely added editorial comment. Only two words, to be exact. Suisan spoke for herself. I even hyperlinked to her blog should readers want to know more.

I have told Suisan on another blog there are many places to seek counseling if she is post-abortive. People like you who encourage Suisan to remind in denial if this is so (I read your comment on her blog) do her absolutely no favor.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 2:58 AM


Fiona,

Being pro-abortion is supposedly a wonderful American right. There is nothing to "out." One should be proud of his or her pro-abortion position.

And are you suggesting that 16-year-olds not be told the truth about abortion via photos of what will be done to their babies if they abort them? Are you suggesting they be kept in the dark? Are you suggesting they remain ignorant?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 3:18 AM


I teach middle school, Jill. Twelve, thirteen and fourteen year olds. After hearing what one of my girls encountered at the Planned Parenthood building, I started volunteering there. I have seen too many ugly things done for "the good" to be neutral, level headed or even fair.

I admit that.

As a teacher, I feel children should be taught. Not harrassed, not scared and not lied to. And I feel that it is the job of the home to teach them these basic beliefs, not yours. But this is a fundamental flaw in our thinking. I understand that. You feel that it is your job...your duty...to protect these innocent lives that are being murdered. I get it. I don't agree, but I get it. Everyone has a cause they fight for. Personally, I think more should be done to save the souls of the lost, or to protect/feed/clothe/shelter/educate the millions of additional unwanted lives that you fight so hard for.

I also do not want to lump you in with the "pro-life extremists" that I have been dealing with. That is not fair. I don't know you and I don't know your tactics. But I don't believe life begins at conception, I won't, and all the hot air in the world won't convince me otherwise.

I agree that we need to disagree. And I think that our energy would be better served elsewhere.

...Fiona...

Posted by: Fiona at February 11, 2007 8:09 AM


Fiona:

1) Do you support teaching sex ed in schools?

2) Why do you think showing girls about to abort what the procedure actually entrails is harrassment, frightening, and a lie?

3) All other social justice movements of the 19th century forward, such as the fight against child labor in America (http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/) used photographs to convey and persuade Americans against the wrong being committed.

The photographs of the tortured and killed Emmett Till launched the modern civil rights movement, for instance. From Wikipedia:

"The Chicago funeral home had agreed not to open the casket, but Mamie Bradley insisted she had a right to see her son. After viewing the body, she also insisted on leaving the casket open for the funeral and allowing people to take photos because she wanted people to see how badly Till's body had been disfigured. News photographs of Till's mutilated corpse circulated around the country, notably appearing in Jet magazine, drawing intense public reaction. Some reports indicate up to 50,000 people viewed the body."

And, of course, photographs of the Holocaust are forefront in Jewish strategy that we "Never forget."

I could go on about photographs of lynching, beaten slaves, and even the Iraq War as being instrumental in these social justice efforts.

And when Americans saw these photos, they became angry not with the photographers but the people who created the victims in the photos.

But no so with abortion. Abortion is unique in that people become angry with those showing the photos rather than those creating the victims in the photos. Why? Because a large segment of America is complicit. Like you, for instance.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 9:01 AM


On what blog did you advice me to get counseling? Because it certainly wasn't on my blog. If I'm concerned about a person enough to suggest counseling, I tend to engage them one on one. If you suggested it elsewhere, then it was only a ploy, not a genuine concern for my well-being.

Posted by: Suisan at February 11, 2007 10:41 AM


Suisan,

Actually, I am genuinely concerned about your well-being. I have been thinking about you quite a bit. (I suggested counseling in a comment on prolifeblogs.com.)

The more responses I read from you on this topic, the more I think you may be post-abortive. If so, it would be the reason for the missing synapse you wondered about. It would explain a lot of other things.

Suisan, if I'm mistaken, ok. But if not, you should know statistics say perhaps 40% of American women are post-abortive. You are most certainly not alone. The consequences and symptoms are staggering. Read some of them here: www.afterabortion.org/.

There are now many organizations and programs to help. They help make people whole again. A good friend of mine, Sheila Harper, who is post-abortive, runs one, here: www.saveone.org/index.htm

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 2:57 PM


I really don't understand what you're so upset about. So Suisan doesn't like looking at ultrasound photos. They remind her of the vicious harrassment she's seen at clinics. I've seen the same thing, and have been accosted on my way in and out of appointments for years. It's unpleasant and embarrassing to be labeled a baby-murderer, when all I want to do is get my PAP test and go home. But it's assumed that I'm there for an abortion, just as YOU have assumed that Suisan has had an abortion.

In-your-face confrontations about such a personal, medical matter are counter-productive and only serve to polarize the issue. And, anyway, abortion wasn't the point of Suisan's blog entry.

Her reaction to the sonagram photos is not an uncommon one. I feel pretty much the same about newborn photos, myself. Never have seen an attractive one, including my own three. But people keep shoving them in our faces, just the same...

Posted by: Nan S at February 11, 2007 3:13 PM


St. Augustine said it best in The Confessions (Book 10):

"Men go forth to marvel at the heights of mountains and the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and yet they neglect to marvel at themselves."

Posted by: American Phoenix at February 11, 2007 3:38 PM


Nan, the ones upset here are not pro-lifers. I merely drew attention to one of the idiosyncracies of a pro-"choicer" - with a minimum of commentary. It is not pro-lifers who have reacted strongly to exposure of this idiosyncracy.

And I disagree, Suisan's reaction was indeed uncommon. I've never heard of such a reaction from a pro-lifer.

You find it strange that the issue of life or death of preborn infants is "polarizing." I sure don't. You'd prefer not to talk about it. Simply talking about it is "polarizing" to you. Think about what we're talking about.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 3:47 PM


I just told you *my* reaction. I'm not fond of ultrasound photos being shoved in my face. I don't like being told I'm damned, or being accused of murder simply because I'm trying to keep a medical appointment. *That's* polarizing. Screaming at women on the sidewalk is no way to reach someone's heart, or to change people's minds. It just makes the screamer appear crazed and extremist.

I'm far from the only person I know who finds those photos slightly bizarre. Perhaps it's a generational thing - most of my friends are in their fifties, sixties, and seventies, and very few of us don't roll our eyes at ultrasound pics. It certainly isn't a pro-life/pro-choice issue, just an issue of individual taste.

And since I've not given my stance on abortion, your assumption that you know what it is makes *you* seem arrogant. I've had two miscarriages and raised three children - don't presume to know my heart about pregnancy or abortion, especially when the original blog topic was the irrational delight some people take in photos of their insides.

Posted by: Nan S at February 11, 2007 4:18 PM


Nan, anyone who calls abortion a "personal, medical matter" is not pro-life. But for the record, let's clear this up. Are you pro-life or pro-abortion?

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 4:26 PM


Jill, you really do not understand me, and I do not understand you very well either. What I do know about me is that I have a lot of veterinary experience, and most of my human medical points of view grow out of the experience that most shaped me when I was a child: my experiences on a horse breeding farm.

I had to make the decision a *number* of times about what medical procedure would save the life of horse, or ease its suffering. And sometimes that included ending that horse's life. Those experiences are etched on my memory MUCH more clearly than the deaths of a number of my family members. Because I had to assist--it wasn't a separate or clinical experience.

Look at the post above--did you include any of my horse-related comments in that post? Do you think your decision to edit that section out was honest? Do you think that not posting on my blog to engage me in a conversation about your concern for my well-being is honest? If you have questions as to how I came to this point of view about seeing someone *else's* ultrasound pictures, you might want to ask me some questions. Or you can just call me post-abortive and pro-abortion and think you're right.

You know nothing about my experiences as a pregnant mother, but you might be interested to learn that my husband, whom I refer to in my blog as Dear Butcher, was similarly confounded by my complete lack of interest in decorating the nursery or giggling with my girlfriends at a baby shower. I actually sent him to one instead. I didn't particularly enjoy being pregnant--my pubic symphosis hurt quite a bit and I was anemic for my last two pregnancies. I don't understand the gushing over the "coming event", but I was quite happy in private contemplative moments. I dont' appreciate the publicity of the thing. I almost hit a woman who started rubbing my pregnant belly without warning me she was going to. She thought my pregnant body was available to her as a good luck charm, and I thought that my body belonged to me. I don't rub people's noses on the subway for good luck--I thought that I could be afforded the same level of respect. But when pregnant, apparently not.

Yet I deeply love my own children. I breastfed all three until they were one year old. I trained to become a childbirth coach, and I volunteered in low-income hospitals to help prison inmates give birth to children. I was and still am a stay-at-home Mom. I listen to Dr. Laura; can you believe it? And I AGREE with most of what she says. And that bothers Dear Butcher too.

I have had years of therapy, professional therapy, for issues not related to this blog-post. I was in therapy during the pregnancies and births of both of my younger children. Funny how no one in those clinical situations ever assumed I was post-abortive or that my viewpoint was twisted.

I have referred friends to therapists, and I even encouraged another friend to check herself into a psychiatric ward--but I didn't do that by talking to yet another neighbor about my concerns.

So in the end, I don't think you are really that concerned about me personally; I don't think you are at all interested in learning about the lives of people who do not appear to agree with you; and I think you have a very narrow view of what emotions a woman is allowed to experience.

I think you picked up my post because it was well-written enough that you could use it to point fingers at those you do not understand. I do not appreciate the name-calling (post-abortive), and I really wish you had the honesty and integrity to have started the conversation on my own blog before just throwing an edited version out there as an example of horrific thinking. I'm a little more complex than you think.

Posted by: Suisan at February 11, 2007 5:39 PM


Suisan, I did not include your horse experience because I did not think it germane.

In retrospect it was, although not for whatever reason you think. Rather, it makes your aversion to preborn human ultrasounds even more inexplicable. You explained on prolifeblogs.com:

"If you had read the entire post, not just the edited version, you would have learned that I detailed my attending the removal of a mummified foal from the pus-filled uterus of an aged mare. I was not disgusted, although it was terribly disgusting. So I can deal with the aftermath of an abortion just fine, thank you."

So you are not disgusted by the "aftermath of abortion" but you are disgusted by ultrasounds of preborn babies.

Ok.

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 11, 2007 5:53 PM


*sigh* Why ask if you already "know"?

For the record, I am not "pro-abortion", nor would I ever have considered having an abortion myself.

I am, however, alive only because my grandmother had an (illegal) abortion in 1931. Six months later, she conceived my mother, who otherwise would never have been born. So I'm not going to second-guess anyone who faces that decision. But I guess you'd say that my mom, and I, and my children, have no right to be alive?

Posted by: Nan S at February 11, 2007 6:37 PM


Nan, the problem is you don't like the term "pro-abortion." But since you say, "I'm not going to second-guess anyone who faces that decision," face the fact you support abortion.

And why would you never have an abortion?

The factual details of your grandmother's supposed illegal abortion are impossible to secure. You are basing your pro-abortion position on urban legend and "what ifs."

Posted by: Jill Stanek at February 12, 2007 5:57 AM



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