The Virginia senate will most likely pass SB484, a mandatory ultrasound bill that requires women to undergo a potentially medically unnecessary and physically invasive procedure ostensibly to promote “informed consent,” but, in reality, to promote the right-wing’s forced birth agenda.
Unwilling to take this affront to women’s reproductive freedom lying down, State Senator Janet Howell attached an amendment to the bill which, in essence, said: “Up Yours!”
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
“We need some gender equity here,” she told HuffPost. “The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”
The Senate will formally vote on the mandatory ultrasound bill on Tuesday.
The Republican-controlled senate rejected the amendment Monday by a vote of 21 to 19, but passed the mandatory ultrasound bill in a voice vote.
Howell said she is not surprised her amendment failed.
“This is more of a message type of an amendment, so I was pleased to get 19 votes,” she said.
The GOP is waging a War on Women, and mandatory ultrasound bills are a front in that war. 21 states have introduced such bills, and 8 states have passed them. The bills require that women undergoing abortion receive an ultrasound, a procedure which is often invasive. From the Houston Chronicle (writing about one such bill in Texas):
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 88 percent of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Because the fetus is so small at this stage, traditional ultrasounds performed through the abdominal wall, “jelly on the belly,” often cannot produce a clear image. Therefore, a transvaginal probe is most often necessary, especially up to 10 weeks to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The probe is inserted into the vagina, sending sound waves to reflect off body structures to produce an image of the fetus. Under this new law, a woman’s vagina will be penetrated without an opportunity for her to refuse due to coercion from the so-called “public servants” who passed and signed this bill into law.
The Virginia bill is slightly less pernicious as the bill that passed in Texas.1 (And when I say “slightly” I mean “infinitesimally” but I don’t think that’s a word.)
The Texas bill requires that the doctor describe the sonogram to the patient, in addition to submitting to a potentially invasive ultrasound. In other words, a woman who has decided to undergo an abortion must first be forced to listen to her doctor tell her about the size of the fetus, body features and presence of internal organs.
The Virginia bill does not add that extra “consultation” requirement (which opponents contend implicates the First Amendment because it requires doctors to engage in government-mandated speech.) Nonetheless, the Virginia bill is yet another step in the implementation of the Republican plan to install a tiny government in the vagina of every American woman.
Well, I’m with Senator Howell. If tiny vagina governments are going to be forced upon women, then we should demand that men be subject to tiny anal governments. Let’s see how they like it.
(h/t Addicting Info)
1 The Texas bill was initially blocked in district court, but the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the bill is constitutional and can be enforced.[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]