Do ultrasounds save lives? New study claims ‘no.’ Pro-life experts says ‘yes…but it’s complicated’

by JOHN JALSEVAC, LifeSiteNews.com  |  published on January 10, 2014

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Abortion supporters are pointing to a new study as evidence that laws mandating that abortionists show abortion-minded mothers ultrasound images of their babies do not sway their final decision to keep the child.

However, pro-life experts on the ultrasound legislation and the use of sonograms to steer women towards life-affirming alternatives told LifeSiteNews.com that while the results of the study are not particularly surprising, they also only tell less than half the story about the life-saving power of ultrasounds.

The study, which was authored by a group of researchers with the pro-abortion ANSIRH think tank, was published this month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. It bases its findings on records from more than 15,000 women who sought abortions at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles in 2011.

According to the study authors, each of the women was given the opportunity by a Planned Parenthood staff member to view an ultrasound of her baby. But while 42.5 percent of the women took advantage of the opportunity, only a small minority of these (1.6 percent) changed their minds about aborting their babies. This was marginally more than the one percent of women who did not view the ultrasound who decided to continue their pregnancies.

“Voluntarily viewing the ultrasound image may contribute to a small proportion of women with medium or low decision certainty deciding to continue the pregnancy,” the study’s authors concluded, adding that “such viewing does not alter decisions of the large majority of women who are certain that abortion is the right decision.”

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