Abortion Trends Post-Roe: How Ultrasounds Make a Difference

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24, 2022, Washington State has seen a 16.5% increase in abortions performed monthly between April 2022 and March 2023.

Many people assume abortions are performed primarily in abortion facilities. However, with the loosening of regulations regarding abortion pills, it is estimated that more than half of all abortions are “self-managed” (i.e., medication/chemical abortions)—shifting abortions from procedure rooms to household bathrooms.

The FDA has approved the abortion pill for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. These drugs (mifepristone and misoprostol) are now available by mail without a prescription, or through telehealth visits without a proof of pregnancy, dating of the pregnancy, or a blood test. This is troubling as the supervision of a medical clinician is not required for women to use this method.

Follow up for women experiencing complications from medication abortions is problematic. According to reports from our own clients, some women are encouraged to tell ER staff they are miscarrying and not disclose that they have taken abortion pills. This puts women at risk for not receiving appropriate medical intervention due to misleading information provided to clinicians, and makes it difficult to know how many have suffered abortion complications due to underreporting.

The Case for Ultrasound

Care Net of Puget Sound prioritizes a woman’s right to know. An ultrasound gives her the chance to see the life growing inside her. Our nurses are thoroughly trained and perform at least 50 scans under the supervision of an RDMS before they perform ultrasounds on their own.

In our centers we have performed hundreds of ultrasounds that have revealed pregnancies more advanced than the mother knew—some well into their second trimesters. These cases illustrate the fact that many women are unaware of when they became pregnant and may be putting themselves at risk by making a pregnancy decision with incomplete information.

One client recently came for an ultrasound with the motivation of finding out whether the abortion pill would be safe for her. Thinking she was early in her pregnancy, she and the nurse were surprised to find a 16-week-old baby. The mother exclaimed, “This changes everything!” She is still pregnant and plans to parent this child.

Another woman came to one of our centers after receiving an ultrasound at an abortion clinic. She was not told how far along she was, and she was pressured to schedule an abortion. Our nurse discovered she was 17 weeks along. With the permission of the client, our nurse was able to present the gospel. The client decided to carry to term and parent.

Ultrasounds and Beyond

Even negative pregnancy test results and STD testing give us the opportunity to connect with clients on their life choices, impart truth, and share the gospel with the permission of our clients. We witnessed 12 professions of faith last year.

In 2023, our centers performed 1,244 positive pregnancy tests and 1,068 ultrasounds. Our prayer is that for each positive pregnancy test we will be able to perform an ultrasound. These scans change hearts and minds.

This past year, our medical professionals reported that 88% of women who saw their babies on ultrasound chose life.

We continue to pray for women who are undecided or abortion-minded. Sometimes, we are surprised by a mother who returns to thank us with her baby in tow after we thought she had chosen to end her pregnancy.

In this new year, please join us in praying for more ultrasound opportunities and for our staff and volunteer nurses as they provide this important and life-giving service.

Care Net of Puget Sound is a healthcare facility as defined by WA State RCW 70.02.010. Care Net of Puget Sound is not an abortion clinic and does not refer, facilitate, or provide abortions.

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