Focus on the Family’s Operation Ultrasound to Fight Abortion

A pro-family group will provide ultrasound equipment to pregnancy crisis centers throughout the nation, in an effort to prevent abortions by allowing women to see images of their unborn children.

Focus on the Family, a Christian evangelical organization founded by Dr. James C. Dobson in 1977, will contribute $4.2 million to equip about 150 pregnancy crisis centers with ultrasound machines this year.

Under a project entitled Operation Ultrasound, about 650 additional machines are planned to be installed at centers by the year 2010. Focus on the Family hopes that ultrasounds will inform women and turn them toward alternatives to abortion.

Women are given the choice to view the ultrasound or not. Crystal Clinkenbeard, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood, commented to the Associated Press that “very few- less than a quarter” choose to view the images.

“And the ones that do as far as changing their mind? Very, very few,” said Clinkenbeard.

However, the effects of seeing images of their unborn children have convinced some women to walk away from abortion. One center that recently received a machine from Focus on the Family commented that the images help women make an informed choice.

Executive Director of Denver’s Alternatives Pregnancy Center Maureen Yockey told AP Press, “God made women to nurture and protect children. Sometimes the picture from an ultrasound will give them the courage to choose to protect life.”

Legislation requiring ultrasounds for women who seek abortions has failed in states such as Colorado. However, on Tuesday, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill that requires doctors to offer ultrasound imaging to women before they receive an abortion. Women will be informed of the option to view an ultrasound image and hear fetal heartbeats.

Pro-life groups hope that the new law will allow women to see their unborn children as a living, growing life inside of them, and ultimately reduce the number of abortions in the state.