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Law & the Courts

Amicus Brief in Dobbs Features 3-D and 4-D Fetal Ultrasounds

( strelov/Getty Images)

In one of the 80 amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mississippi in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, three medical doctors obtained special permission to include images of unborn children, including ultrasound images.

The brief was filed by attorney Heather Hacker on behalf of medical doctors Monique Chireau, Grazie Pozo Christie, and Colleen Malloy, as well as the Catholic Association Foundation, where Christie is a policy adviser.

In addition to offering other arguments against the Court’s rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the brief takes aim at the flawed medical science on which the justices based their decisions. It points out that the “viability” standard used by the justices in both rulings is long outdated because newborn infants are able to survive after birth at a much earlier gestational age than was possible when the cases were decided.

The brief also points out that medical technology has advanced to the point of allowing us to capture 3-D and 4-D ultrasound images of unborn children — at most stages of pregnancy a clear illustration of the humanity denied by the Court. In fact, these types of technological advancements have led the medical field to begin treating unborn children as patients in every context but abortion, even developing the capacity for surgery performed on children in the womb.

All of these developments are remarkable enough chronicled as they are in the brief, but the doctors’ contribution is especially notable for its images, which show the reader — to include, hopefully, the justices deciding the case — how far the science of ultrasound has come, what life in the womb looks like at different stages of development, and how recognizably human unborn children are from very early in pregnancy. In other words, the brief illustrates the inescapable reality of the humanity of the unborn, a reality ignored and often outright denied by supporters of abortion and the Court’s abortion jurisprudence.


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