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The War Against Women is Far From Over
In the US, national attention is on contraceptives and abortion. Again. Still.
Now, however, the dialogue has become more personal. More invasive – with the Virginia legislature passing bills that declare a zygote a person, and require what amounts to government-sanctioned rape of women since it forces those seeking an abortion to have a transvaginal ultrasound.
Let’s be clear about what a transvaginal ultrasound is and isn’t. It isn’t an external abdominal ultrasound – which is a standard test in pregnancy that helps determine gestational age. Prior to twelve weeks, minimal details of a fetus are distinguishable through a standard ultrasound. It makes sense then, that legal abortion ‘age’ of the fetus can be determined by this non-invasive procedure because if it’s too early to see detail, it’s definitely within legal range.
What They Want Mandated
A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal, therefore invasive, procedure that requires a woman to meet not with her doctor, with whom one can assume she is comfortable, but with an ultrasound technician she is probably meeting for the first time. She must strip naked from the waist down, spread her legs wide and allow the technician – a complete stranger – to apply lubrication to her genitals then fully insert the transvaginal wand into her vagina, position it at a variety of angles and capture images of the developing zygote in her uterus.
Women, Doctors and Internal Exams
A transvaginal ultrasound is often used to detect possible cysts or tumors. Vaginal penetration during annual exams or routine pregnancy well-checks, are performed by a doctor - a person in which a woman places her trust and with whom she develops a comfortable doctor-patient relationship. Regardless of that relationship, and regardless of a woman’s age or medical necessity, an internal exam by her doctor is never a comfortable thing – emotionally or physically. To require a woman to endure the procedure when it is not medically necessary is an absolute overreach of government – by the party, I might add, who supposedly stands on ‘small government’.
When the forced vaginal penetration of women was debated by the Virginia Assembly – can you even believe such a debate was held? – Democrat Delegate David Englin said a woman should have to consent to vaginal penetration. According to Englin, a Republican colleague disagreed by saying, women already made the decision to be "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant."
Proving Gestational Age or Manipulation
Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia, who vowed to sign into law the personhood amendment as well as the transvaginal requirement, has since backed down from that assertion and from the extreme misogynistic views of his party, He has, in fact, tabled his decision on the personhood amendment and suggested the Legislature remove the transvaginal requirement from consideration. His stated reason for switching positions is that he – suddenly? – believes government does not have the right to mandate invasive medical procedures.
"Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state." - Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Of course, many anti-choice voices have countered his assertion and insisted the procedure should be required.
Understand this – the stated reasoning for required transvaginal ultrasounds was to determine gestational age since abortions are legal within a specific range. The external ultrasound determines that age – with later stage pregnancies showing more detail. So, less detail would determine an early stage, a gestational age within legal limits. Therefore, this additional – invasive, abusive – requirement is an unnecessary and perverted burden on women.
To show why it is perverted – and it is in every definition of the word – consider the argument of Olivia Gans, director of AVA, who believes that when a woman sees her ultrasound images, she may change her mind about having an abortion and that doctors “routinely” perform transvaginal ultrasounds for pregnancy (I can personally attest, they do NOT):
“That's their standard of medical practice. So this bill was doing nothing more than recognizing and making solid for the woman's sake the opportunity to guarantee that was being done.” - Olivia Gans
So, according to her, this bill was meant to change a woman’s mind by manipulating her emotions. It was meant to make sure doctors were living up to their ‘standard of medical practice’ for the ‘woman’s sake’.
Funny. I thought it was to determine gestational age.
I think Laura Meyers, a chief executive officer at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, said it best:
"This has nothing to do with the health and safety of women. It has to do with increasing the barriers to abortion care for women, demeaning women and interfering with the patient-doctor relationship." - Laura Meyers
Unfortunately, though this particular element of the bill has been scrapped, the war against women is far from over.
Watch Del. David Englin on the Rachel Maddow Show
From Democrat Delegate David Englin's Website -
David appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show (yesterday) to discuss Governor Bob McDonnell’s new ultrasound mandate, which, instead of using vaginal penetration to bully women into not having abortions, bullies women with medically unnecessary waiting periods and ultrasound requirements.
Watch it HERE