A blow for informed choice

It'd be almost funny, if it weren't so tragic: groups and individuals who call themselves "pro choice" being opposed to any information that helps a woman make an informed choice.

That's what a courageous bill in South Carolina is all about: informed choice.

The bill, which passed the state House by a wide 91-23 margin Wednesday, would require abortion providers to show women an ultrasound of their babies before the procedure.

A similar bill in the state's Senate would require that, plus spell out that the provider determine the gestational age of the fetus.

Susan Swanson of the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center has long said that ultrasounds convince the vast majority of women who see them not to have abortions.

That's precisely what South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is hoping for, saying the ultrasound bill "has the potential to lessen the number of abortions carried out in South Carolina."

Not through a ban. And not through blackmail or intimidation, as opponents recklessly allege. Indeed, how can there be any blackmail or intimidation? Providers aren't required to counsel their patients about what to do - only to show them what they are doing.

We know this much from history: The ultrasounds will look suspiciously like a human baby.

If that gives a woman pause, or convinces her not to have an abortion, is that blackmail?

Or is it the "choice" we've been told to genuflect to?

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