an After abortion

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Monday, November 8, 2004

From the New York Daily News, Pro-choicers face reality of ultrasound pix.

A few weeks ago, I went to lunch at a diner in Mount Vernon with Rick Marino, a moral philosopher disguised as a home renovation contractor. The subject turned to pregnancy and ultrasound. A decade ago, when I was having my last crop of kids, the pictures came out fuzzy. The doctor would point - "These are the fingers" or "There is the head" - and I'd nod. In truth, I couldn't make much of the blurry images.

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.

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