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Ultrasound technology being utilized to help women in abortion decisions

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WASHINGTON (BP)–A pro-life organization is pushing an effort to equip crisis pregnancy centers with ultrasound technology, saying the images produced have a powerful effect on women considering abortions.

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates’ “Life Choice Project” gives crisis pregnancy centers the tools and information that allow them to be converted into medical centers that can perform ultrasounds. NIFLA distributes the information through its Heartbeat International network of 700 crisis pregnancy centers.

While there is no hard data on how many women have chosen not to abort after undergoing an ultrasound, NIFLA President Thomas Glessner told CNSNews.com, an Internet news site, that the experience of crisis pregnancy centers “shows that centers that do use the technology report significant numbers of women do reconsider.”

Glessner also pointed to a 1983 study from the New England Journal of Medicine that presented anecdotal evidence that “ultrasound examination may … result in fewer abortions and more desired pregnancies.”

Lynn Bisbee, an OB/GYN nurse practitioner who is vice president of CareNet, a separate network of crisis pregnancy centers, agreed that ultrasounds could make the difference for many women. “Ultrasounds provide women with the additional information they need to make a truly informed decision,” Bisbee told CNSNews.com. “Many of these women are not aware of fetal development in terms of the stage of their own pregnancy.”

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Since the program was initiated in 1993, about 120 of the 700 CareNet centers have been converted into medical centers, most of them using ultrasound technology.

Presently, the Life Choice Project provides access to a new ultrasound machine, medical malpractice insurance, medical consultants to guide centers in the conversion process, help with fund-raising, and training for medical personnel.

The cost of the program is $27,500, which is raised by local centers. “Unfortunately, we can’t do this for free, but we do try to make it as easy as possible,” Glessner said.

Glessner said NIFLA, based in Columbus, Ohio, has a goal of outfitting nearly 1,000 crisis pregnancy centers with the technology in the next 10 years.
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Torres is a senior staff writer with CNSNews.com. Used by permission.