The Virginia state legislature passed a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound probe inserted into their you-know-what before they could have an abortion. Governor Robert McDonnell called it the “women’s right to know bill.”
The idea is to force the woman to hear the heartbeat of the fetus, obviously with the hope that she will then change her mind about the abortion. But to characterize this forced invasion of her body as somehow defending her rights is absurd and dishonest. In fact, it is the opposite. It is oppressive. And demeaning. And humiliating. And…I could go on, but you get the point.
The firestorm of protest that resulted caused McDonnell…who has been mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee…to back down. Slightly. The revised version requires only an external ultrasound, but doctors still have to offer the invasive procedure.
But there is a problem with the external ultrasound. It often does not work for early term fetuses. So, it’s a waste of time and money, serving only to attempt to shame the woman into changing her mind.
Virginia state senator Jane Howell (D) put the issue in perspective. She introduced an amendment that would force men suffering from erectile dysfunction to have a digital rectal examination before they could get a prescription for Viagra-type medication. The amendment failed, of course, but the point was made.
If Virginia were the only state attempting to coerce women, we could dismiss this as an anomaly, but several other states, including Pennsylvania and Alabama are considering similar measures.
This is just another example of the determination of the Religious Right to impose their moral standards on the rest of us. If we let them do it, we have only ourselves to blame.
And, I hardly need to add, the election in November is critical. Even the most moderate GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, is outspokenly anti-choice. But the danger is not only in the Presidential election. People with Santorum-like views are running for Congress and state legislatures all over the country. It’s a massively funded attack on the Constitution and on our liberty. And especially on women’s rights.
No matter how disappointed you are with Obama, his administration, and the Democrats in Congress, the alternative is…unthinkable.