If you’re considering having an abortion, one of the most frustrating realizations you may come to is that the state wants to interfere in your medical decisions. States across the country have enacted sweeping abortion laws that have nothing to do with protecting women–and everything to do with guilting them for choosing abortion. Looking at an ultrasound can be distressing, especially if the abortion clinic is required to give you medically inaccurate information. You are never legally required to look at an ultrasound, but in some states you might have to have one. Here’s what you need to know.
Do I Have to Have an Ultrasound?
Twenty-six states have enacted laws addressing ultrasound at abortion. In some, women are only required to have the opportunity to view an ultrasound. But in many, a provider must perform an ultrasound. A small number require providers to narrate the ultrasound, or even to provide medically inaccurate information.
So while you may be required to have an ultrasound, you are never required to look at the ultrasound. A provider cannot make you look at the image, though they may be required to describe it to you.
Getting Through the Ultrasound
Getting through the ultrasound begins with telling your abortion clinics about any specific concerns you have. Are you worried the abortion will hurt? That the image will make you feel guilty? Talk through these concerns beforehand. Then remember that you have a right to control your body and your mind. Even if the clinic is required to give you medically inaccurate information, you are not required to look. You can meditate, close your eyes, listen to music, or look away. Some clinics may even recommend specific strategies for coping with the ultrasound.
A quality abortion clinic will talk you through the entire process, and help you understand what you are seeing if you are required to view an ultrasound. Click here for tips that can help you find the right abortion clinic.
States that require an ultrasound to have an abortion.