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Posted: Friday, 17 January 2014 7:35AM

Does Viewing Ultrasound Have an Effect on Abortion Decision?



Alexander Raths/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- For years, one of the ways abortion opponents have tried to weaken existing laws is by making it mandatory for women who want to terminate their pregnancies to view images of their fetuses before the procedure.

Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin abortion providers all have this requirement while in some other states, the ultrasounds prior to abortions are optional.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco wanted to find out if women who see images of their fetuses actually change their mind about ending their pregnancies so they examined more than 15,500 medical records from a Los Angeles abortion clinic.

While ultrasounds were performed on all the patients, just 42.5 percent asked to see the images. In that group, 98.4 percent decided to go ahead with the abortion with the remainder opting to keep the fetus.

As it turned out, the 1.6 percent who didn’t go through with the abortions were among the small percentage of women who didn’t know if they were making the right decision to begin with.

The researchers said their conclusion is that most women who view the ultrasounds aren’t influenced by the images although indecisive women are more likely to be swayed.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


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