Thursday, February 7, 2013

Now It's Michigan GOP With Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill

UPDATE 2/8: Michigan Republicans back down.

Sahil Kapur of TPM:
Michigan Republicans have introduced a bill requiring all women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound before obtaining an abortion, a move that rekindles last year’s firestorm when other GOP-led states were considering similar measures.

The legislation introduced Tuesday in the state House ensures the “performance of a diagnostic ultrasound examination of the fetus at least two hours before an abortion is performed” and requires her to sign a consent form prior to the abortion. ...

Katie Carey, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, categorically said the bill would mandate transvaginal ultrasounds for women before an abortion.

This is NOT an electric toothbrush!
“This is an unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion into the health decisions of women,” Greimel told TPM in a statement. ...

The bill requires the use of ultrasound equipment “providing the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible fetal heartbeat.” As a practical matter, that requires transvaginal ultrasounds, said Donna Crane, the policy director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

“It does lay bare that the real motive is to make abortion providers continue to acquire more and more and more equipment before they’re even eligible to perform an abortion,” Crane told TPM. “They’re trying to make it harder for doctors to do their jobs.”

(All images added. - SB)

Follow the link... TPM's picture of the instrument shows its size better, but not its usage. If nonmedical use of this implement does not effectively constitute rape, I do not know what does.

This is an unmitigated attempt to punish women for obtaining a legal abortion. Every legislator who votes for this bill (all are Republican, of course) should, if female, be required to undergo the procedure herself. If male, the same implement should be applied to the legislator in another orifice. AND LEFT THERE.

ADDENDUM: Via RH Reality Check, the analogous bill in the Tennessee legislature would require a women who refuses to look at her ultrasound to hear a detailed description of it by the clinician (no doubt containing state-prescribed words). Who knew free speech could be violated not by prevention of speech but by its prescription!

You know, with a little help from Planned Parenthood or a similar org, childbirth and childrearing can be joyful experiences, with risks greatly reduced through good medical practices. Abortion, when appropriate (and sometimes it is), can be made much safer for the woman who must undergo it. There is no need whatsoever to inflict deliberate physical or emotional trauma on a woman seeking such care. But some (mostly conservative male) state legislators apparently literally or figuratively "get off" on the pain and/or emotional suffering that can be inflicted on a woman in a medical context. Those men, not the women afflicted, are the moral reprobates.


  1. Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more, jams. About 25 years ago I worked my first contract programming job for the local Planned Parenthood. I saw those mothers and their children; a climate of good health care contributes to happy moms and happy kids. Abortions are part of the case work at Planned Parenthood, somewhere between 2% and 3%, but the overwhelming majority of cases are well-baby exams, reproductive health exams for women who otherwise might not receive them, and other normal medical care (vaccinations etc.) for moms and kids who might otherwise not be able to afford it. The atmosphere around the clinic I worked for was consistently upbeat day to day... except for the one day when the fundies surrounded the clinic and harassed the patients and staff. (We weren't happy about that one use of sulfur dioxide through the windows, either.) But I count myself fortunate to have contributed to women's reproductive health in such an environment. Those who wish to fixate on the 2%-3%... I can't stop them, but they do literally no one any favors, and their obvious belief that they are the only moral people in the world is repulsive.



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