Pro-choice advocates have made their stance clear on the ultrasound bills that have been advanced in localities across America (hint: they don't like them).
So, one woman has come up with a plan that she believes could help temper the requirement that a woman hear their unborn child's heartbeat before proceeding with an abortion. Her solution? Fundraising to provide iPods to Planned Parenthood offices, among other clinics.
But before understanding why someone would launch a campaign to purchase these devices for clinic usage, one must first comprehend how these increasingly-popular sonogram laws work. On LifeNews.com, Lucy LeFever provides a specific description about how the newly-minted Texas sonogram mandate functions:
In many states, pro-life groups have successfully enacted laws requiring women to receive an ultrasound before an abortion procedure. Texas law goes one step farther, requiring women seeking abortion to hear their children’s heartbeats and a medical explanation of the sonogram.
Denise Paolucci, a 35-year-old who is the co-founder of the Dreamwidth web site, came up with the idea to offer women the popular music-playing devices after a trip to the dentist. Her doctor, in an effort to drown out the sound of his drill, offered her an iPod.
Following her appointment, Paolucci reportedly decided to set out on a mission to get donations in an effort to disseminate these same devices to Planned Parenthood locations across Texas (after all, if they can muffle the sound of a drill, why not use them to avoid hearing the sound of a fetal heartbeat?). Then, rather than pay attention to the mandated description of the child, women would be able to escape it by amping up their favorite musical selections.
"Here is something that is utterly miserable for [women] to have had to go through, and now the state is putting all of these micro-aggressions piling on top of that," Paolucci said of abortion and the ultrasound mandate in an interview with Salon last month. "We can’t fix the big ones. I can’t go down to Texas and overturn this law, but I can donate and I have and I will."
According to Salon, she contacted several Planned Parenthood branches, heard back from a few and then posted the idea on her blog. In terms of her initial appeal for financial support, Paolucci reached her goal in about nine hours (bringing in a total of $1,060).
Late last month, she posted a message claiming that she's not comfortable taking more donations until other clinics express interest (she is purportedly exploring independent venues to gauge their willingness to obtain the iPods as well). But that didn't stop her from encouraging people to donate to Planned Parenthood.
"At this point I've reached the point where I'm not comfortable taking any more in donations without another clinic interested in receiving donated goods," she wrote on April 20. "Please donate directly to Planned Parenthood or the NNAF instead!"
On April 24, she wrote:
I've placed the first round of orders. Good news: yesterday morning I also received an email from the Lubbock Planned Parenthood requesting three sets of iPods/headphones in addition to the four requested from the West Texas clinic group, which I could happily do out of the initial donation collection. I also sent one spare pair of headphones for each clinic location, for a total of 7 pairs for West Texas and 6 for Lubbock.
After placing all the orders, and accounting for Amazon gift credt (both the credit we had on hand and the credit that others have sent me), there's still about $250 in the kitty. I'm going to hold onto it for a week, in the event that I hear from other clinics also requesting gear (in which case I will let y'all know that I'm fundraising again). If I don't hear back from anybody else within a week, I'm going to put $100 of that ($50 for each organization) to gift cards for filling the iPods and send the rest as a directed donation to the two organizations.
Further updates as warranted!
It seems the pro-choice movement has found a potential way around these controversial laws. In the end, though, their efforts do little to change the legislative momentum behind ultrasound bills. However, some women, it seems, will have the ability, should they so choose, to drown out the explanatory mechanisms that clinics and doctors are mandated to share.