What is the most effective way to reduce the amount of abortions? There isn't one right answer, but some methods have been very productive. For example, the ongoing 40 Days For Life campaign proves that a prayerful presence at an abortion mill results in the saving of hundreds of lives. Also, the internet has been shown to be a tremendous asset when delivering the pro-life message. Pictures and videos of abortions or aborted babies have displayed reality to many who either ignored the issue or proclaimed that they were pro-choice. Even though this method is extremely effective, there is a reluctance by many to view such graphic material. Also, if shown in public, local governments and school administrations often try to block the exhibit.
One alternative that has become quite effective is the increasing use of ultrasound, especially the 4-D type, that really brings the humanness of the baby to those watching. The main outcry against this has been from Planned Parenthood and other abortion mills, because they realize that ultrasounds reduce the number of abortions and, thus, their profits.
For the last five years Focus on the Family has had the program Option Ultrasound, where they have provided over 400 grants for ultrasound machines and training at pregnancy clinics in 49 states. These machines cost from $21,000 to $33,000, plus several thousands in training costs. They have found that the use of ultrasound doubles the potential number of babies saved compared to only counseling, resulting in nearly 63,000 lives saved with this project. Testimonials and more information are available at www.heartlink.org.
Of course, there are many other smaller groups that provide the option of ultrasound to pregnant women. One organization is Project Defending Life, www.defendinglife.org in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They recently had an ultrasound demonstration called Window to the Womb at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque. Some of the student's responses reveal how much of an impact an ultrasound can have.
"I felt a big burden lifted off my chest and a growing spirit to step forward and show the world that maybe a few people like me could make a difference ... joined with so many people in prayer for a sole purpose ... a sense of hope that maybe we could make some sort of impact on our world ... We, working together, can change the world"
"the ultrasound was very moving, and it really opened my eyes ... If I was in the situation and was thinking of getting an abortion, and I saw my little baby inside of me, I would definitely change my mind ... I think that anyone who says that the child is just a bunch of cells and is not a baby should look at an ultrasound and try to say that once they've seen it. They wouldn't be able to because they would see that it truly is a baby with a heartbeat ... I pray and hope that someday, maybe in our lifetime, that abortion will become illegal"
"I believe that the ultrasound presentation was very educational ... not only should high school students be required to see an ultrasound but so should the women who want to have an abortion ... Learning all this information made me appreciate my life so much more ... I don't understand why people support something so cruel"
"The ultrasound reinforced how special life is ... so many innocent lives are lost ... its not the babies fault."
"Babies are so innocent and so full of love ... they bring joy to people. Life is not a mistake but a gift. I believe that these women who go in for an abortion are scared and afraid of what is to come, the huge responsibility it takes to raise a child. But what they don't see is how much love and happiness this child will bring ... they see that ultrasound, they see that love and happiness."
"I never really sat down and thought about a child developing within its mother in those nine months of pregnancy ... about how tiny we all start out in our lives, and how easy they can be taken away. Viewing an ultrasound before an abortion will save many innocent souls. God creates and makes things happen for a reason ... I never thought of the pain and destruction ... It is an unfair and cruel thing to do to such a gentle and pure being. I pray and hope that God takes these children that are lost with open arms and hugs them and takes them into his kingdom of eternal life."
"... truly a life changing experience. Being able to see the actual heartbeat was completely amazing to me, almost mesmerizing ... a true eye opener. These babies have no voice ... I will now be a voice for them, and will openly and passionately join the fight against abortion. Life is a gift that starts at conception and it should not, under any circumstances be taken away by abortion"
There is a trend in the state legislatures to pass laws that give the option for a pregnant woman to view an ultrasound. They are not required to see the ultrasound before having an abortion, but they must be given the option. Twelve states have adopted such a measure which undoubtedly has saved numerous lives.
When parents see the ultrasound of their unborn baby a connection is made that cannot be forgotten. This connection has been extremely vital in reducing the number of abortions. As previously exhibited, the ultrasound can also be a tremendously effective educational tool to show everyone what really is killed in an abortion. When many just hear information about abortion, it doesn't have nearly the impact of five minutes of viewing the unborn baby with an ultrasound machine. It also eliminates the uneasiness and complaints even with some in the pro-life community about the displays of graphic material about abortion.