Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:37 pm

Lemme help the Virginia legislature out: Not to put too fine a point on it, you’re conspiring to commit sexual assault

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

You force an object into a woman’s vagina when she doesn’t want you to? That’s sexual assault. Period.* And that’s exactly what the faux-Christians in Virginia’s legislature are preparing to do:

The ultrasound requirement may evoke images of the abdominal sonograms standard in most pregnancies, fuzzy black and white pictures conjured by a wand passed across a woman’s stomach.

But those ultrasounds are ordinarily done fairly late in pregnancy. In the beginning, particularly the first weeks, an abdominal ultrasound may not be sensitive enough to detect anything.

That’s why doctors in many cases use a transvaginal ultrasound. In plainspeak, they insert a condom-covered probe* into a woman’s vagina to obtain an image.

In order to satisfy the goals of the legislation – which includes a requirement that a doctor determine the gestational age of the pregnancy- a transvaginal ultrasound may be the only reliable course.

The bill, among the most invasive ever passed in Virginia, is the result of frustration by lawmakers opposed to abortion. Unsuccessful in making abortion illegal and unwilling to be frank about their goals, they have tried by technicality and obfuscation to make it harder for a woman to terminate a pregnancy.

And now this. In addition to the ultrasound, the bill mandates a waiting period of at least 2 hours and as long as a day before a woman can have an abortion. That waiting period has no medical necessity at all.

*That would be a probe larger than most penises, apparently.

I can envision how this might annoy some women even before hearing from some who have undergone the procedure, such as commenter Julie Robinson at Nance’s place, who said, “… once was enough for me. … I will decline to have it repeated unless it’s life-and-death-necessary.”

Look, guys, you have tried and tried to make abortion illegal. You lost. You need to sack up and accept that in a free country some people are going to do things that you don’t like, and that you do not have a right never to be offended. If you don’t like that, there are plenty of theocracies elsewhere where you can take your ideas.

Look, contrary to published reports and Internet rumors, I’m an easygoing guy. Not many things in the past 52 years have made me want to jump into a ’73 Buick LeSabre with a bunch of music and beer and go on a multi-state junk-punching spree. But this bill is rapidly climbing to the top of my list. Legalized sexual assault is still sexual assault. It’s rape with an object instead of a penis. It’s wrong. And that you think it’s a good enough idea to vote for this proposal makes you a conspirator to sexual assault. If the condom fits, wear it.

*But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate. Or, as Casey Stengel famously said, you could look it up. (updated 2/17/2012)

UPDATE (2/27): This is all part of larger war on women and on Roe v. Wade. For 35 years the Religious Right has concealed its authoritarian aspirations under at least a thin veil of feigned concern for American freedom. Now they’ve stopped pretending. In a way, that’s good: Like the annoying pink ribbons on consumer products, now you know whom and what to avoid. Commenter Ishmael at Ed Cone’s place nails it, so to speak: “For those ‘gentlemen’ who suggest that an aspirin between the knees is a good contraceptive (link added): I think a perfect contraceptive for men is a clothespin on their junk.”


  1. Amen.

    Comment by collards — Friday, February 17, 2012 6:46 am @ 6:46 am

  2. […] transvaginal ultrasound. Requiring this procedure is not only medically unethical, it is, as I’ve previously observed, the practical and legal equivalent of sexual assault with an […]

    Pingback by Hey, Dave Albo, they’re not laughing with you, they’re laughing at you … « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Saturday, February 25, 2012 1:31 pm @ 1:31 pm

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