A bill that would require physicians to make the fetal heartbeat audible to women seeking abortion was recently introduced in Congress by Minnesota’s own Michele Bachmann. Proponents believe fetal hearbeat bills dissuade a woman from making an ‘uninformed’ decision to abort. It also presupposes that women are highly suggestible, as if they did not fully understand what they are doing or that they hadn’t already thought seriously about their decision to have an abortion. Women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy are probably more succinctly aware of what they are doing than any bench-sitting anti-choice lobbyist. Never-the-less, once again the minds and emotions of women are considered to be fair play to drag into a fight not of their making.
Although claiming to show the living fetus, Nilsson actually photographed abortus material obtained from women who terminated their pregnancies under the liberal Swedish law. Working with dead embryos allowed Nilsson to experiment with lighting, background and positions, such as placing the thumb into the fetus’ mouth.
In the 1970s, the pro-life movement began using the images. There is something wildly ironic about the fact that liberal abortion rights laws resulted in a product that was used to mobilize anti-abortion sentiment.
Fetal imaging became part of the anti-choice movement with a series of proposed bills to force a woman to view fetal photos. Now the effort is renewed with fetal heartbeat bill proposal. And the irony continues to be part of the political agenda as well, as advanced health technology will now be used in an effort to deprive women of the essential right of safe reproductive control over their own bodies, rather than giving women more information about the health and viability of their pregnancy.
-by Jill, Web Correspondent, Planned Parenthood MN, ND, SD Action Fund