TO THE EDITOR:
I can certainly understand why many legislators would be in favor of having women make an informed medical decision before undergoing an abortion. However, the way in which this is meant to be achieved under the N.C. Women’s Right To Know Act is incredibly degrading.
The description of how a woman should be educated about her fetus was especially disturbing to me. There are no other medical procedures in the United States that require such specific instructions as to how it should be performed and how the patient should receive information about their intended procedure. It was also very disconcerting to hear that there are no provisions that make an exception for victims of trauma and abuse. This certainly shows no support for a woman’s rights, considering how difficult it is for sexually assaulted women to decide how to deal with an unexpected pregnancy.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of October 2011, 19 states require ultrasound services as part of an abortion procedure. However, a routine ultrasound is not medically necessary as a component of first-trimester abortions. Requiring that the physician or a technician perform an ultrasound can also add to the cost of the procedure.
As a master of social work student, we are always taught to “meet the client where they are.” In essence, we cannot impose our views on our clients when they are not ready to accept this kind of intervention.
Being forced to tell a woman about to undergo an abortion of her fetus, whether or not she is unwilling to listen to this information, is not meeting the client where they are. It is unethical for state lawmakers to tell medical professionals how to interact with their patients.
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