CNN Contributor Claims Ultrasound Intrusive Exam Under Virginia’s New Law Is No Different From Consensual Sex

The debate over Virginia’s new abortion bill is raging. While there are good-faith debates over the scope of state authority vis-a-vis women in cases of abortion, the legislation would appear to require an invasive ultrasound procedure for women in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy — tipping the scales in terms of the burden on women. However, conservative CNN Contributor Dana Loesch went on the air this week to make the rather astonishing claim that such an involuntary procedure is no different from voluntary sex.

I have previously criticized CNN for its use of Nancy Grace as a legal analyst and show host. However, there remains a tendency on all cable shows to play to the extremes of political and legal analysis — degrading what are sometimes legitimate disagreements over constitutional law

On this occasion, Loesch (who is associated with Andrew Breitbart) defended the law against objections to the invasive procedure:

LOESCH: That’s the big thing that progressives are trying to say, that it’s rape and so on and so forth. […] There were individuals saying, “Oh what about the Virginia rape? The rapes that, the forced rapes of women who are pregnant?” What? Wait a minute, they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.

There is an obvious difference between consensual sexual relations and an intrusive procedure ordered by the state. The premise of such comments appears to be that, like sex, abortion is a choice. Thus, Loesch stated simply “Don’t get an abortion and you don’t have to worry about any sort of mandated ultrasound.” However, the Supreme Court has said it is part of a protected right of privacy (albeit a right balanced against certain state interests).

Here is the tape:

There is a legal difference. It is also an example of how movement Republicans can differ from libertarian Republicans. Many Republicans (particularly women) would find this comment highly offensive. For civil libertarians and libertarians, there is no greater example of government intrusion than an invasive medical procedure. One can certainly argue over whether abortion is protected as a right by the Constitution, but this argument reflects a more fundamental difference on the scope of permissible government action. While the Tea Party (with which Loesch is also associated) has often been described as libertarian, the views of some members often embrace governmental power over civil liberties.

190 thoughts on “CNN Contributor Claims Ultrasound Intrusive Exam Under Virginia’s New Law Is No Different From Consensual Sex

  1. Women’s Strike Force: Pro-Choice PAC Starts Up In Virginia To Defeat Backers Of Ultrasound Legislation
    By Amanda Terkel
    Posted: 02/27/12
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/womens-strike-force-pac-virginia-ultrasound_n_1305150.html

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON — A group of Virginians has formed a political action committee to defeat state lawmakers who have been going after access to abortion and contraception, planning to support pro-choice men and women to take their place.

    The Women’s Strike Force will be raising money and actively recruiting candidates of all political parties who support women’s reproductive rights.

    Leslie Byrne, the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia, is one of the leaders of the PAC.

    “A number of us were bemoaning the fact that the Virginia legislature had turned into a cross between a frat house and a clown college,” she said. “We decided to do something about it. Many of us had been in these wars since the ’70s — and fought for ourselves and our friends in the ’70s, our daughters in the ’80s and ’90s and now it looks like we’re fighting for our granddaughters.”

  2. Barbarians At The Gates:

    VA Senate passes ultrasound bill requiring some form of ultrasound to determine gestation even though abdominal ultrasound won’t do the job. Now headed for the Repub House and Gov. McDonnell’s desk. Face-saving move but still an attack on women for purely religious reasons. This one will have to be remedied in the Federal Courts where the issue will be whether the abdominal ultrasound that doesn’t fulfill the state’s interest in determining fetal gestation will be a constitutional infringement on a woman’s right to control her own body.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/us/virginia-senate-passes-revised-ultrasound-bill.html

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