A few years ago I went in for my annual cervical smear in Korea. Because I was unmarried my local hospital wouldn't do the procedure, I had to go to a whizz bang private gynecologist in central Seoul (there's another post for another time). While she was poking around down there she offered to bring up pictures of my cervix on a TV screen in her examination room. Before I had a chance to say 'erm that's an image I could do without seeing' there were my lady parts being beamed into room. With a speculum inserted in a place where the sun don't shine I wasn't exactly in a position to run out of the doctor's office, so tried to keep my eyes shut through the ordeal. It isn't that I'm ashamed of my genitals it's just I get squeamish with just about seeing any bit of my body that should be on the inside. I don't mind giving blood but seeing the bright red stuff makes me feel faint and I wasn't entirely happy camper when I had an ultrasound done on my heart.
Right now Ken Orr right to life are having a tanty because 4/15 DHBs don't offer women who want an abortion a ultrasound scan. Unlike Kiwiblog I don't see this as a major attack on patient's choice. The woeful lack of access to abortion centres in provincial New Zealand impinges far more on choice than seeing an ultrasound. Because this 'right' to see an ultrasound image isn't about choice, it is about denying choice.
About a dozen states in America require ultrasound images of the fetus be shown to a woman prior to an abortion. In Oklahoma, the first state to enact this sort of legislation, a doctor is required to do an ultrasound and display it to the woman but also explain what’s on the screen if the patient chooses to close her eyes or look away. The purpose of the ultrasound is clear: women can't define consent for themselves, they need politicians do that for them and to protect them from their abortion providers.
Don't for one minute think that Right to Life wants the ultrasound image to be about choice.