Turning off Dora today after getting Clare to the Children's Garden, caught a bit of C-Span's retrospective/re-enaction on abortion debate. The National Right to Life Committee Congregational Liaison and NOW President were going at it. And apparently on the agenda for the Right to life Committee is to push for legislation requiring women to view an ultrasound before granting access to an abortion: the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act.
I've blogged about this proposal before. What strikes me today, however, is how useful technology is rhetorically. Technology is often demonized--in fact, I heard it demonized (abortions are murder, they have the technology to dismember the baby in the womb, you can see it happen on the Internet) right before Technology became the Moral Savior of Misguided Women Seeking Abortions...through the ultrasound.
I've read some stuff here and there about how the introduction of the ultrasound changed how women experience pregnancy and the reality of their baby. Women didn't use to rely on this technology to make their baby seem real to them. It used to be the result of the cues of their body: the subtle changes, the obvious changes, and of course, quickening. But now technology mediates this experience for us, not just in an additional way, but (it seems) in an increasingly definitive way...so much so that right to life advocates are banking on the moral impact of an image on a screen. Morality Check, brought to you by technology.
Or, as the NOW pres pointed out, requiring a woman to view an ultrasound hikes the price of the procedure to double or more...making abortions out of reach for those who are most desperate.