Focus on the Family is in its second year of a six-year project to bring ultrasound technology to crisis pregnancy centers. The FOTF Pregnancy Resource Ministry director, Dr. Julie Parton, says “Option Ultrasound” will help place equipment in centers nationwide, and may help to save many babies' lives.
Dr. Parton says abortion clinics do have ultrasound machines, but these facilities often discourage women who want to look at the screen. She says many women who have had abortions say they were told by abortion clinic staff that there was really nothing there, and to look would only make the abortion harder.
And according to Parton, that is exactly the point, because many times the first look at the ultrasound is when many women first truly realize there is a baby inside of them. “It's one thing to just see a video of somebody else's ultrasound,” she says, “but when you can actually see your own baby there on the screen, it really brings reality to the situation.”
The ultrasound often gives a woman her first opportunity to bond with the baby, the Pregnancy Resource Ministry director says. “That, in and of itself, really reiterates that this is a living human being that exists inside her,” she adds. Hence, the technology becomes a powerful tool for encouraging more women not to terminate their pregnancy.
Parton says statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests that seeing an ultrasound image of an unborn child is a powerful deterrent for women considering abortion. A recent survey conducted by FOTF found 79 percent of pregnancy resource center clients (and a median of 90 percent) decide to carry their babies to term after viewing an ultrasound.
“Oftentimes, too, if their partner is with them, it really has an impact on the guy as well,” the FOTF spokeswoman notes, “because guys are so visual. And seeing something always seems to impact a fellow even more than it does a girl; so they are also very [deeply affected] by this.”
Since the Option Ultrasound program began last year, Parton says there have been nearly 100 ultrasound machines placed in crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. And already, the doctor points out, she has been getting feedback from grateful mothers who decided not to have abortions.