November 7, 2004


Pro-choicers face reality of ultrasound pix (Zev Chafets, 11/07/04, NY Daily News)

Today's ultrasound photos come in 3-D and color. At 18 weeks you can easily discern fingers and facial features. At seven months, you have a fully recognizable human baby. It's so clear that even a man can see it.

For a couple of hundred bucks a pregnant woman can go to the mall nowadays and have a picture taken of her baby. Or even a video with a musical soundtrack.

Rick and I were marveling over this when we were interrupted by the waitress. "You guys talking about ultrasounds?" she asked. At first I missed the edge in her voice.

"Amazing, aren't they?" I asked.

"They're going to be used against women," the waitress snapped. She was obviously ready to sacrifice a tip to make a point.

She was right, of course. Ultrasound images are already changing the perception of abortion. Once, the idea of fetal humanity was a matter of religious conviction. Now, it is an observable fact. If you don't believe me, go to Google Images on the Internet and type in: Ultrasound, 30 weeks.

The implications are both political and philosophical.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2004 12:38 PM

How is the "reality-based community" going to deal with this facet of reality? I predict numerous reports of the dangers of early term ultrasounds.

Posted by: jd watson at November 7, 2004 1:52 PM

Anyone who was pro-choice should have had a twinge of dread race through them two years ago when that GE commercial showing the images from their 4-D Ultrasound imaging machines began airing on the Sunday morning news shows. It got across the point against their position better in 60 seconds than what nearly 30 years of talking heads against abortion had been able to accomplish on those same shows.

Posted by: John at November 7, 2004 2:33 PM


"How is the "reality-based community" going to deal with this facet of reality?"

I believe they will deal with by digging in and becoming more and more shrill about the absolute, inviolable rights of women. For a while, we will see even more support for infanticide and Pete Singer-like arguments. They know the third trimester is lost and the second is getting very dicey. As modern progressives can't comprehend conservative, human, experiencial and irrationally compassionate arguments, they will assume total bans are inevitable because of that accursed science they foolishly bet on.

Posted by: Peter B at November 7, 2004 6:16 PM

Peter B:
Won't any support for infanticide simply hasten the collapse of the absolutist pro-choice position? It seems totally irrational and self-defeating to shift from a scientific(?) justification to any based on the long abhored practice of infanticide.

Posted by: jd watson at November 7, 2004 6:53 PM


I noticed the article didn't mention what human fetuses look like at roughly 7 weeks: indistinguishable from any other vertebrate fetus.

BTW--if such realistic ultrasounds result in far more women choosing of their own accord not to have an abortion, then that would be an outstanding example of how reason improves society.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 7, 2004 6:55 PM

Reason led to killing 40 million of them first.

Posted by: oj at November 7, 2004 7:00 PM


Yes, thanks to the integrity of the average American. But, it will take time. The chattering classes are on the case.

Posted by: Peter B at November 7, 2004 7:09 PM

Technological advances confirming age-old moral principles which have no basis other than common sense and tradition is to be expected. The respect for the organic social insitutions whose origins are lost in the mists of time is justified. Homosexual marriage entusiasts take note. "Equality" is not all it's cracked up to be.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford, Ct. at November 8, 2004 8:03 AM

No. Reason does not lead to abortion. OTC, natural law, discerned by reason, without divine positive law, is enough to forbid this abomination. There is a big difference between reason and rationalization.

We do not oppose abortion the way we oppose using the same plate for meat and dairy, we oppose it because our reason tells us that it is murder.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 8, 2004 10:37 AM

Reason can not provide a coherent opposition to abortion.

Posted by: oj at November 8, 2004 11:00 AM


Precisely what prevents reason from deteriorating into rationalization? Without a foundation in theistic principals around which society is organized and which may, in fact, be required for the practical effects of liberty and justice to be encouraged, all such un-aided reason would be prone to rationalization.

Posted by: at November 8, 2004 12:23 PM

L'age de Raison n'a pas besoin de Licornes.

Posted by: Ken at November 8, 2004 12:42 PM