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. I don;t know what to say to this kind of convoluted thinking. These folks who want ‘smaller government’ will say anything to further their agenda and make it sound like it is no big thing. (And in the process further prove their desire to have women once again become chattel and nothing more.
    I also seem to recall that there is still some debate about the safety of ultrasound for the fetus. Seems they care about the fetus unless they can maybe do something demeaning to a woman in he process.

  2. This is an outrageous example of how far the Republican Party has gone. This pundit is basically stating that women have no right to have sex and have no right to decide who puts what into their bodies. This women should be forced to have this procedure since I will assume that she has had consensual sex at least once in her life. This person is not an example of CNN playing to the extreme. She is the face of the new Teapublican party. Controlled by religion and corporations.

  3. Dana’s comments are bizarrely stupid, but then how does a Right Wing apologist defend what is a bizarrely stupid law? They double down. I have no idea of her sexual proclivities, but she is a whore, in that any associate of Breitbart’s must be whorish in nature. As we know being a whore need not have anything to do with sex, but merely the desire to sell oneself for material gain.

  4. This has to be the craziest thought I have ever heard of….. Reminds me of a Texas Judge giving a reduced sentence to a rapist because he complied with the victims request to put a condom on…. Crazy….then…crazy now…

  5. I have a friend who is a rape victim. You really do not want to know what she had to say about this. Suffice it to say it was something you could not put in a family newspaper.

  6. I am preparing a post that shows that the nation is following the path that Jim Jones followed, which ended up in a mass suicide murder.

    He began as a sane, caring person, but toxins slowly, over time turned him into a torturing madman.

    That is not as much of a mystery as the phenomenon of the hundreds upon hundreds of people in his church congregation slowly evolving to the point where they allowed the abuse.

    Eventually, couples were not allowed to have sex with each other, they had to have sex with others in front of the congregation.

    There are a lot of similarities, lots of canaries in coal mine people.

    I don’t know why the professional psychologists (Mike S is one exception) are not exposing the dangerous direction and course we have set.

  7. She assumes that all sex is voluntary. She assumes that all pregnancies are intentional.

    How do they intend to enforce this law? Are they going to exam all patients’ medical records? Easy enough to do if they are all computerized.

  8. “Where are the libertarian republicans? They must be a vanishing breed.”

    Very unfortunately, yes. Thus why Ron Paul can’t get any real traction there.

    These people (as represented by this woman on CNN) are way out there. That party is lost. We desperately need another one to bring things back to sanity. Alas the two party system is well entrenched.

  9. I hate to give in to the feeling, but this woman deserves to know what it is to be forceably penetrated and deeply humiliated! Oh, for a virtual reality machine we could force on her!

    She apparently can’t imagine being anything other that a rich bitch who thinks she’ll always be on the side of those whom oppress others. She certainly can’t identify with the scared, the poor, the desperate, or even the thoughtful!

  10. onlooker, Ron Paul practices selective libertarianism. He does not extend his libertarian views to women. He is on the wrong side of the culture wars.

  11. I had a transvaginal ultrasound last year. Was it in any way like voluntary sex? Good God NO! It was invasive, it was painful, and totally unpleasant. The technicians and doctors were all aware of the invasive nature of the test and did their best to keep the atmosphere as pleasant as possible.

    As far as I am concerned, every single supporter of this cruel legislation should be charged as an accessory to mechanical rape and put in prison … thus separated from society, the rest of us can feel a little safer. As for the Church officials and members who back this legislation … your hell awaits after your prison term has ended.

  12. First, this is CNN and whatever experience Prof Turley has had with them personally, they mostly go for cheap, loud, and shallow. So, no one should be surprised that they have some bargain basement house conservative who says stupid stuff.

    Second, despite the occasional presence of a rank and file libertarian or even run-of-the mill conservative who cares about rights (e.g., the otherwise vile Ted Olson in the case of gay marriage), libertarians and certainly their organizations have never done any heavy lifting on abortion. beyond cutting taxes on the wealthy and perhaps marijuana legalization, they’ve shown no willingness to stick their necks out on abortion. And on contraception, Snowe & Collins have backed-off, using their reluctant debutante act.

    The only reasonable response is to see that CNN is, on balance, a waste and that conservatives are hypocrites and to not even waste time being kind to CNN or trying to deconstruct the obviously ideologic “logic” of her argument.

  13. “Whorishness, in the wider sense, is widespread. Especially if you set the criterion at an appropriate level.

    The example of people doing jobs, jobs they despise, or even jobs they love—-but doing them primarly (when it comes to the nitty-gritty) for money: for the house, the wife, the kids, their education, retirement. So who’s not a whore.
    Now that’s an issue we’ve all faced and face now if we turn our heads.
    It’s the same as the hunter-gatherer’s dilemma. Work or starve.

    But what makes it interesting in one aspect is those folks who get irate at the attacks by dissenters who expose their particular employer, branch, party, etc. as being immoral or a public jeopardy, etc. And these dissenters threaten thereby their livelihood. To hell with what I said in support, they say, you don’t have the right to go public and jeopardize my job.
    To hell with the nation and Vietnam, my job is (more?) important.

    I could give examples, but don’t believe you need them.

    So people or society change or are they cyclical?

  14. You’re right, of course. Rational argument no longer works in a society comprised of large numbers of people who willingly submit to irrationality and are taught on a daily basis that anyone who disagrees with them is an instrument of Satan and an implaccable enemy in the War for God.

    I truly believe that these attacks on women, like the endless lying of Fox News and GOP leaders, in general, have put us on the slide into totalitarianism. The tougher they make life for us, the less time, energy, and will most of their victims have to fight back. Occupy Wall Street was a good sign, but the unholy alliance between corporatists and sexual oppressors has taken over the public debate again.

    Elections mean little any more, because everyone is intimidated by this totalitarian alliance.

    At my advanced age, I see no solution except violent rebellion, and that is a losing proposition in a country where even a Democratic president is willing to use the military against his own people.

  15. “To me, the gap between President Obama and these people [the GOP candidates] is so enormous that it’s a threat to our country to elect people who take such a silly view of the rest of the world,” he told The Huffington Post. Spoken by Russ Feingold.

  16. I understand the General Assembly is entertaining a Bill to change our name from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Republican Diocese of Virginia. Catchy, don’t you think?

  17. SwM,

    Michelle would cut’em off, if he even mentioned it. At least I hope she would.

    But all the Mrs, Billy Jones, and Mrs Sam Harrises know their place, and keep themselves there. Although they do….., you know,… without discussing it at home. Hrrumph.

    Assuming all are familiar with quaint Southern naming conventions.

  18. Dana needs to get together with Babeu in arms to establish the probity of her GM/b>OP spot. He is a real six pistol, and will satisfy her every health need.

  19. Dana needs to get together with Babeu in arms to establish the probity of her GOP spot. He is a real six pistol, and will satisfy her every health need.

    These stories make me laugh so hard circumspectly, I can’t HTML very well.

  20. People like Dana revel in the notoriety that they get for making outrageous statements. The powers that be at CNN should hang their heads in shame that this woman is still on their payroll.

    Dana Loesch Endorses Taliban Desecration By Marines: ‘I’d Drop Trou And Do It Too’

    CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Compares Secretary Sebelius To ‘Terrorists’

  21. A new twist… I’m unable to post an Amazon link

    Thanks for the quote and reminder, Swarthmore mom. I heard a brief interview with him last night and then promptly forgot about his new book. Of course, he’s right (referring to the quote that you posted)…

    “While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era”
    — by Russ Feingold

  22. This is typical and historical behavior for the Catholic Church … get the secular government to enforce church’s edict. It would seem many protestant churches have decided to join the modern day inquisition … complete with vaginal torture techniques.

  23. Blouise, I remember that in the fall of 2010 that we were told that getting rid pro-choice blue dogs would be a good thing. lol It didn’t work out that way did it?

  24. ” they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.” (Loesch)

    (Turley) “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. ”

    JT’s reading of Loesch disgusting comment is far too generous. To my, perhaps more gutter-attuned, ears, Loesch was not just invoking the notion of choice. By equating consensual natural sex with invasive mechanical procedure — calling it “similar” — she thereby implicitly demeans the act and the person. Of course, that would logically extend to all consensual sex but, given the context of the statement was intended to demean the particular women who would find themselves in the predicament. Can you imagine fair Dana referring to her own sexual behavior as “trans vaginal procedure”?

  25. anon nurse,
    posting links? amazon only allows reviews to contain internal links.
    what land mine and where did you step on it? Thanks if you got the time.
    I hate link restrictions and try to contravene them if possible.

  26. DonS

    Get out of my gutter.
    She could have other preferences. She could prefer anal intercourse. In fact some do in my experience, as they have willingly told me their preferences.
    Or maybe she prefers scissor sisters, or , or , or! Your choice.

    As for the women facing violation for no other reason than humiliation, I’ll be damned what would be an adequate deed or expression with which to condemn.

  27. Revenge.

    Men being sampled urethally for gonorrhea shall without exception be subjected to proctoscopic examination for infection, in a prone position.
    Preferably surrounded by a gang of student nurses giggling and making demeaning jokes about certain organs, hirsuteness or lack thereof, anal tonus, etc.

    Any one second the motion. The ayes have it.

  28. Blouise and Carol – I too have had this procedure, twice, for legitimate health reasons. The first time was bad enough that I was quite reluctant to have the second one many years later, and I spent the exam time trying simultaneously dissociate from my body and to decide if it was more like torture or more like rape (which I have also experienced) and I finally decided that it shared major similarities with both.

    The procedure caused me indescribable pain as it was forced against other internal organs. Oh, and no one mentioned that it must be done with a very full bladder, just to get the full sense of what fun it is.

    These fools who opine on it being akin to consensual sex are either complete morons or they’ve never enjoyed sex. Either way I pity them, and either way they have no standing to comment on what the experience entails.

    It is, simply, penetration with a foreign object, and if it is forced on someone for reasons unrelated to that person’s own health, it is rape. I am afraid to wonder what new torment they will come up with next.

  29. rafflaw,

    I tried hard not to post that comment–but this woman is the nearest thing to human slime mold. She has no idea what she is talking about. Someone stick a gag in her mouth and toss her off the Brooklyn Bridge…please!

  30. I forgot to mention that the women would be forced to PAY for it too. It isn’t cheap. My insurance covered it 100% but UCSF charged close to $1000, although that would have included a thorough look by a radiologist, not just a simple snapshot.

    They have not yet passed it and the gov changing his statement about it, ” Gov. McDonnell’s spokesperson recently gave some indication the governor may be backing away from the bill (after previously saying it was a sure thing). ”

    Washington post article also says “The House also passed a bill stating that life begins at conception.”
    (SNL also here for Seth and Amy’s takeon this bill)

    Just talked with my Pa. senators office, they have a HB, HB 1077 Best I can tell provides for regular ultrasound, screen must be turned towards women and she must hear heartbeat and know gestational age. This is also an invasion into a woman’s life and her medical care.

  32. The GOP sponsor of this abomination was quoted as saying since the woman had already been penetrated she had to right to complain about additional penetrations. (!?!)

    I guess that means his mom and his wife can be raped & should not complain since they have already been penetrated. And someone should ask him if he has had a prostate exam or a colonoscopy. If he has he certainly has no right to complain if he were to be violated again!

  33. Elaine
    It’s a shame, for reason of fear of the Secret Service, we can’t wish the same things or worse for Rick Santorum.

    There are too many slimes in our nation. Amazing. And it’s not among the immigrants either, I believe. So who/what generated them?

  34. To clarify my last comment…

    The more thorough exam by the radiologist was of the films, not of me personally. I don’t think the exam itself that I experienced was uncharacteristic of what is being demanded of women before having their LEGAL pregnancy termination, especially for those who have very early pregnancies, which are difficult to find and therefore require more probing around.

    The result of such legislation is that more women will wait longer for their abortion, such that an abdominal ultrasound will provide an image. This is probably the intent behind the legislation, because they believe that forcing women to wait will make them reconsider, something that is not supported by the research. Of course, if they miscalculate their dates, much gets further complicated–also part of the intent.

  35. this woman is a fruit cake. Involuntary medical procedures? Where have I heard about those before. Holy Ultrasound Dr. Mengele, can forced abortions be far behind?

    What type of people think like this?

  36. Kathleen, I am so sorry for what you have been through.ione too was for med reasons.
    When I was talking to person at my Pa senator’s office I was also remindd of a colposcopy I had to have, similar in where itis done. It was done by a manbut because I was a clinic patient, there were also 4 med studens in the room, 3 of them also male.
    If tyhis women thinks it is like consensual sex and she believes that this is an enjoyable thing let her see, not only as a woman, but a poorer woman to boot, what kind of fun it is, including the high potential of having voyeurs in the room (yes I know for learning purposes nevertheless they stand around and watch as a woman is penetrated.)

  37. There’s something steely-eyed about this one and her eager willingness to offer up our essential freedom to her warped ideology. Maybe it’s this:

    “The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.”

    ~William Hazlitt (British literary critic and essayist)

    And to my good friend, Gene: Pretty is as pretty does.

  38. Bron,

    sympathiae but that’s the way we are, first you demonize, then you mistreat/murder, etc.


    As for voyeurs, can’t you demand they leave? Here they ask first.

  39. February 21, 2012, 11:41 am

    Government-Mandated Medical Procedures


    One common right-wing argument against President Obama’s policy requiring insurance coverage for birth control is that institutions should not be forced to pay for what they consider morally objectionable. It’s not about contraceptives, they say, it’s about government coercion.

    In that case, these same right-wing groups should, theoretically, express even more outrage about a policy that goes beyond coerced payment—a policy that actually compels physicians to provide, and women to undergo, an unwanted and unnecessary medical procedure.

    And yet, so far, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Republican candidates for president, and the Republican leadership in Congress have kept mum regarding a Virginia law that would do just that.

    Both houses have passed a bill that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. Whoever performed the ultrasound would then have to offer the patient a chance to look at the resulting image.

    As Dahlia Lithwick noted last week, since most abortions take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, most women will be forced to submit to trans-vaginal ultrasounds, a coerced penetration that in other circumstances would constitute rape under Virginia state law. (Some of the arguments against the rape comparison are so deranged that I don’t want to repeat them. You can read about them here.)

    There has been a lot of criticism of this bill, but not from those who go ballistic over every other example of government-mandated health care. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a right-winger who is sometimes talked about as a potential running mate for the eventual Republican nominee, is eager to sign this particularly creepy bit of Big Brotherism into law.

    In 2011, Texas legislators passed a similar bill requiring medical professionals to conduct an ultrasound, make a recording of the heartbeat and describe the fetus to their patient. A Texas court overturned that law on First Amendment grounds, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reinstated it.

    The 5th Circuit’s reasoning was insidious: “The point of informed consent laws is to allow the patient to evaluate her condition and render her best decision under difficult circumstances. Denying her up-to-date medical information is more of an abuse to her ability to decide than providing the information.”

    If you accept that logic, then the same lawmakers who wrote the Texas law should require doctors to inform pregnant women that they can have an abortion. It’s the equivalent of arguing that a hospital, secular or religious, should urge women to use birth control.

    People who support these bills argue that they help woman understand what they’re about to do – as though women arrive at the decision to have an abortion lightly. This line of thought is degrading and contemptuous; the implication is that women cannot think for themselves. But then, I suppose that’s not so different from the anti-abortion, anti-birth control movements as a whole.

  40. kathleen,

    Oh lord … that’s right, I forgot about the full bladder. Have to have another one in April as a follow-up to make certain everything is still alright. The first time around I didn’t know what to expect, though my doctor warned me. Now I know exactly what’s going to happen and I must admit, I am dreading it.

    Maybe I’ll invite a couple of priest’s mothers to go with me so they can report back as to how pleasant the whole experience was.

  41. Nal:

    I think the Bill was always just a ploy to mobilize the radical religious base in favor of the Republicans. They know it’s unconstitutional but they can say “hey, we’re trying but those nasty old judges won’t let us.” Lawyers are a convenient foil, you know. It’s a political game in an election year. There might be a watered down version but it’s unlikely.

    I understand from a Republican legislator friend of mine that there is considerable push back on this abortion bill from folks they never hear from. This isn’t MIssissippi. Not yet anyway.

  42. You know … this is part of the reason we need something done about our privacy rights. Politicians and church people should not be permitted to violate our privacy in this manner. They do not own our bodies, they do not own our health.

  43. “I think the Bill was always just a ploy to mobilize the radical religious base in favor of the Republicans. “(mespo)

    Of course it is but … if there was no pushback, they’d pass it in a heartbeat and let it play out all the way up the line … some poor woman/women would be paying the price as the Courts “discussed” it.

  44. idealist707 – I think your comment was addressed to Carol, not me.

    anon nurse: “[5th circuit said] ‘Denying her up-to-date medical information is more of an abuse to her ability to decide than providing the information.’ If you accept that logic, then the same lawmakers who wrote the Texas law should require doctors to inform pregnant women that they can have an abortion.”

    Yes, you are absolutely correct! But more than that, shouldn’t she also have to watch a video of a C-section, a spinal puncture, an episiotomy, a Pitocin-induced labor, a messy diaper-change, a toddler temper tantrum and a teenage screaming fit, and a spreadsheet of 18+ years of costs?

  45. Yeah, alot of these cockroaches are not scurrying. But for some this issue will come back to haunt them in their next campaign. I doubt the cockroaches and their allies expected this to go viral. Even the most conservative members know one thing; at least 50% of their constituents are women, and this issue has the potential to blur party line affiliations more than most.

    The bill:

    was passed 63-36. The repub-dem breakdown is 67-32; I don’t know what the vote by party was.

    I am having a hard time accessing current information on the legislative status and prospects.

  46. Idealist707, I thght you meant me. You have the right to ask but at that time. as a poor person using the clinic and medicaid you see fairly quickly that saying No may hurt you the next time you go there.

  47. Don S. One republican voted against it. Two democrats voted for it. In Texas where no one seems to care, it was strictly by party line -all dems against.

  48. In 2011, Texas legislators passed a similar bill requiring medical professionals to conduct an ultrasound, make a recording of the heartbeat and describe the fetus to their patient. A Texas court overturned that law on First Amendment grounds, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reinstated it.

    and maybe they will just have the government pay for the procedure….so the poor woman who needs an abortion would still be able to afford one…..?

    …..just wondering……

    Also, who of our officials, elected and otherwise, are buying ownership or stock in the Ultrasound and Medical testing facilities?

  49. CNN’s Dana Loesch: All your (non-virgin) vaginas belong to us
    by Joan McCarter

    The Right’s War on Women really has become focused. It’s not just a general war on the gender, with trivial things like equal pay for equal work. No, it’s now reduced down the core. It’s all about your vagina.

    For example, see CNN’s latest monster, Breitbart protege Dana Loesch. Commenting on the proposed Virginia law that would require women seeking abortions be forced to undergo vaginal penetration by an ultrasound-wand wielding health care professional, Loesch says that once a woman has had sex, consensual or not, she’s given up all say on what happens down there.

    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.

    Sorry non-virgins, all your vaginas belong to the state now. Hell, with this reasoning, if you’ve used a tampon you’ve pretty much given up control. It’s not just soulless, attention seeking gasbags saying so, it’s the state. Here’s what one Virginia lawmaker said about the bill, as reported by Dahlia Lithwick.

    During the floor debate on Tuesday, Del. C. Todd Gilbert announced that “in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience.” (He has since apologized.) Virginia Democrat Del. David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert’s statement “is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue,” recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” […]
    There you go, women of America. If you’ve ever had sex, your vagina is fair game. You don’t get to say what happens to it now.

  50. One has to wonder what kinds of sexual experiences Loesch has had in her life if she thinks having a vaginal ultrasound is akin to having intimate relations with a man. Then again, maybe she doesn’t have intimate relations with men.

  51. I wonder if Loesch has thoroughly thought through the implications of creating a governmental property interest in vaginas. If penetration creates that interest, any non-virgin or user of feminine hygiene products could be subject to eminent domain. Loesch may find her property seized and sold to Wal-Mart or demolished to make room for a highway. Location, location, location.

    (Of course, I’m kidding. Maybe. Please feel free to throw things at me if you wish, ladies.)

  52. Each one of the supporters of this outrageous legislation should volunteer to have this done to the on camera the way Katie Couric did with the colonoscopy. What objection could the possibly have male or female? They won’t do it because their “no big deal attitude” comes from the belief that the won’t have to and neither will any of their rich patrons. Wealthy Catholics were always able to get abortions–some had multiple appendectomies and were never turned away from communion, dinner with a bishop or a visit with the pope. Money has always equaled piety.

  53. During the floor debate on Tuesday, Del. C. Todd Gilbert announced that “in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience.” (He has since apologized.)

    OK, so would 1 of you good lawyers kindly draft a bill stating that all single men (non-virgins)are to be made available for forced partnership/child rearing duties (including financial support etc…..) in the event that any single woman who becomes pregnant and is without the other 50% of the equation, and who does not wish to have either an abortion or state mandated rape….and in the best interst of the child until that issue becomes 18 years of age….well , you get the drift…oh yeah…no exceptions for senators sons!

  54. Blouise – I’m sorry to hear you have to go through it again, and I hope all will be found to be well. At least when it’s medically indicated, it’s less invasive than any available alternatives.

    Thank you to others who’ve expressed kindness about what we’ve been through.

    I am glad to hear that Virginia is reconsidering this cruel and unjustifiable law, but I’ve read/heard elsewhere that many (27?) other states have pre-abortion ultrasound requirements too, and that in many (all?) of those states, the internal probe is also required if the fetus can’t be visualized with the abdominal probe. I’m going on memory here, so I may well be incorrect (and hope I am), but if not, it seems there is a lot of work to be done in other places too.

  55. Mercury Poisoning is Not a Pro-Life Value
    September 16, 2011

    When political leaders claim that businesses need less regulations, they don’t usually provide specifics about which rules should be cut. Instead they seem to hope that general anti-government sentiment will provide cover when they try to eliminate common-sense policies that protect the American people from dangerous abuses by companies trying to cut corners.

    This week, a coalition of evangelicals and Catholics are speaking out against this very effort, targeting new attempts to delay regulations on mercury emissions from cement plant smokestacks. The campaign includes letters from evangelical leaders and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as radio ads targeting the three Congressman most responsible for this roll back effort–Reps. Ed Whitfield (KY-1), Fred Upton (MI-6) and Joe Barton (TX-6).

    Appealing to these politicians’ stated pro-life principles, these leaders specifically highlight the danger mercury poisoning poses to pregnant women and children. Directly challenging the corporate industry groups behind this effort, they lay out the moral choice before Congress:

    Opponents of the mercury standards are seeking to weaken or delay the regulations. They argue that the cost of cleaning up our air (about $3-7 per month per family) is too expensive. We welcome an honest debate about how much our children’s health is worth.


    Religious Right: It’s Not ‘Pro-Life’ To Protect The Unborn From Mercury Poisoning
    By Travis Waldron on Feb 21, 2012

    The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) recently began a major advertising and outreach campaign to advocate for various environmental regulations and has targeted Republican attempts to delay regulations on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. EEN specifically appealed to one of the GOP’s most fervent ideological positions, saying, “We believe protecting the unborn from mercury poisoning is a consistent pro-life position.”

    Despite those attempts, “pro-life” lawmakers like Reps. Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Ed Whitfield have blasted the proposed regulation as “far-left liberal ideology.” And this week, more than 30 advocates from the religious right, led by notables like the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, slammed EEN for its attempts to protect the environment, the unborn, and any human who could be affected by poisonous mercury emissions:

    The 30-plus religious-right advocates, in a joint statement Wednesday, said that “most environmental causes promoted as pro-life involve little threat to human life itself, and no intent to kill anyone.”

    Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) criticized the Rev. Mitch Hescox, EEN’s president, at Wednesday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the EPA rule, which Republicans and some business groups call burdensome.

    “The ‘life’ in ‘pro-life’ denotes not the quality of life, but life itself. The term denotes opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies,” said Shimkus, echoing the statement from the conservative leaders.

    The religious right’s “pro-life” stance may cover invasive procedures on women, preventing access to contraception, and a host of other injustices. What it doesn’t cover, apparently, is a regulation opposed by the GOP’s big-business interests that would keep infants and children from getting poisoned by the air they breathe.

  56. Next time one of these sonoprobe bills comes up, I hope someone attaches an amendment requiring that men seeking prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction (Viagra, Cialis) be required to submit to a trans-anal sonogram. Seems only fair, and who knows how many prostate cancers might be detected?

    I doubt these bills would get far if men had to take it in one of their delicate orifices.

  57. Manifesto circulating….

    –”the 52% majority”


    And NO MAN, NO GROUP OF MEN, AND NO INSTITUTION OF MEN hold dominion over me, my mind, my body, my life, my choices, my vagina, or my uterus

    If you attempt to restrict my access – or my sisters’ access – to health care or contraception, WE WILL FIGHT YOU AND WE WILL WIN

    Do not fool yourselves for ONE MOMENT that you have the right to speak for women, their choices, their thoughts, or their lives ANY MORE

    Your attempts to own us, to harm us, to control us, to dictate policy to us, to impose your will over us – IS AT AN END

    You look scared, and I can smell your fear. And you should be afraid. Cause we aren’t going to take your shit anymore.

    We know how to direct 80% of the buying power and we know how to vote.

    The age of old, crooked, white men is over. Consider this the death knell. Deep down, you know it. And we know it too.

    Oh, and one more thing – deprive us of access and we will deprive YOU of access. If you take my meaning.


    WE ARE THE 52%

  58. TPMMuckraker
    Democrats Say Virginia Ultrasound Measure ‘Akin To Rape’

    Virginia legislators are considering two bills that would create harsh restrictions on abortions. One of the measures, Democrats say, is “akin to rape.” But there are signs that some Republicans may be having second thoughts.

    A personhood bill passed out of the Virignia state House by a vote of 66-32 last week, and “provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.” Introduced by Republican Delegate Bob Marshall (he of the health care reform is “economic rape” comment), the bill is now in the Senate Education and Health Committee, where Republicans hold a one-vote majority.

    Personhood laws, aside from limiting abortions, also could impact women’s access to birth control, and place limits on procedures like in vitro fertilization. Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said in a statement that the implications could be even more far-reaching. “With the word ‘person’ appearing more than 25,000 times in the Virginia code, single-minded legislators are about to run this Commonwealth off a cliff as well as eradicating women’s health and rights.”

    The second bill would require women to have an invasive procedure called a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound before they could get an abortion, as part of “informed consent.” Additionally, the bill requires a 24-hour waiting period after the procedure, in addition to one already mandated by the state. In other words, if the bill passed there would be a waiting period, followed by the ultrasound, followed by a waiting period, before a woman could get an abortion.

    Keene told TPM that this “could actually require three trips to the doctor’s office” for an abortion. “It is setting up another barrier that way.” She added that the bill is “particularly egregious in that they don’t even have an exception for rape and incest victims.”

    Kathy Byron, the Republican Delegate who sponsored the bill, explained on the House floor: “This may be the most important decision that she ever makes in her life. A tough decision. And we determined over a decade ago that we were going to ensure that a woman has a right to have all the information available to her before making that decision.”

    Democrats, however, have been playing up the fact that the procedure could amount to an actual criminal act. David Englin, a Democrat who opposes the bill, argued: “Object sexual penetration is a serious sex crime in Virginia. It is very difficult to look at the bill and look at the OSP statute together and think that you are not asking doctors to commit a sex crime.”

    “Consent is a key element in the criminal statute, and there is no consent required in the ultrasound statute,” he said.

    Charniele Herring, another Democrat, said: “What’s before us is akin to rape. The bill requires a transvaginal ultrasound and for that to happen without any appropriate medical purpose. The OSP that says if you insert something in somebody without their consent or without a bona fide medical purpose it is a criminal act. The proponents of the bill have not come up with a legitimate medical purpose.”

    So far the ultrasound bill has passed out of the state Senate by a vote of 21-18 — but the House delayed a vote on it for the second time on Tuesday. Though it was initially expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber, with Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) saying he would sign it, there is some indication that Republicans are having second thoughts.

    For one thing, the polls are not on their side. A recent poll in Virginia by Christopher Newport University/Richmond Times-Dispatch found that 55% of Virginia voters polled oppose the ultrasound measure, compared with 36% who support it.

    Opponents of the bill flocked to Richmond on Monday to protest, and the Associated Press reports that police estimated the crowd to be about 1000-1500 people. This came after almost 25,000 others signed a petition in opposition to the personhood amendment.

  59. The Conservative War on Women’s Sexuality
    Ben Adler on February 20, 2012

    If you have been surprised to see an uptight prig such as Rick Santorum leading the Republican primary field in national polls, you shouldn’t be. Recent events have demonstrated that conservative positions on social issues are as much about repressing women and reversing the gains of the women’s movement as they are about saving the lives of the unborn.

    The young people I saw at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington the week before last looked to me exactly like what you would expect from a bunch of college Republicans. They were dorks. They wore suits. Maybe some of the women’s suit skirts were short, but I was hardly scandalized.

    But we learned last week that much of the conservative movement is still living in a different century—and I don’t mean the twentieth—with regard to women’s sexuality. Conservative bloggers were horrified that some young women at CPAC were dressed provocatively and engaged in loose sexual behavior with the young men in attendance.

    CPAC has a well deserved reputation for being the time of year when earnest young conservatives unbutton their Oxford shirts, crack open a few Busch Lights and let loose. I see nothing wrong with that. But Erick Erickson, who runs the popular blog Red State, does. He wrote a lament that CPAC has gotten too debauched: “Young men, regardless of political persuasion or ideology, are intent on having sex, being boys, getting drunk—doing what young men in college often do. All to [sic] often there are also a few young ladies willing to shame their parents if their parents only knew.”

    Erickson’s commentary is such a caricature of an avuncular misogynist that it’s amazing his post isn’t actually a parody. He almost literally says, “Boys will be boys.” But girls, on the other hand, are responsible for warding off boys’ advances. They, and they alone, are charged with protecting the conservative movement’s morality. If they don’t, they are “shaming their parents.” The notion that there is nothing immoral with enjoying oneself, as long as you aren’t spreading disease, doesn’t even cross Erickson’s mind. Nor does he consider the possibility that women and men are equally responsible for restraining their sexual urges.

    Erickson also linked approvingly to Melissa Clouthier, a conservative blogger who plaintively demanded, “Have women so internalized feminist dogma that they see themselves in only two ways? Butch, men-lite wannabes or 3rd wave sluts who empower themselves by screwing every available horndog man?”

  60. Both bills Elaine mentions are insane and misogynistic. I would be willing to bet that each of these legislators supporting these bills would if questioned deride Islamic Fundamentalists, with no sense of irony in their derision. These same legislators no doubt won their elections by decrying government interference in people’s lives, also without irony.

    When faced with this insanity, many more sensible legislators either cower under the delusion that the religious Right’s 25% represents a majority view and/or the legislation will be stricken down at some “higher level”. This was how Prohibition became an amendment and also how the law that caused the Scopes Trial came about. It was the cowardice of legislators who knew better, but did not speak out, fearing political retribution. It is time for those of us who supports Women’s equality and reproductive rights to openly confront those who are supporting medieval patriarchy. This must be done with no equivocation and/or attempts at diplomatically skirting the issue.

    These faux family advocates and misogynists are trying to impose upon us all their skewed view of an idyllic past as portrayed on the TV’s of the 50’s. Pigs like Newt Gingrich have said as much. It’s high time to take the gloves off when dealing with these haters and their absurd, inhuman ideas. These people are the American Taliban and must be constantly portrayed as such. The deference give to these religious extremists by the media and by those who think to tread lightly, has empowered this insanity. This is a war for the true values of this nation and we must rally the troops against this intolerant minority and show those waffling legislators there is peril in their cowardice.

  61. Spread the word, spread it. I sent off the manifesto to many friends.

    I wish I had Obama’s soon-to-be power to send off text messages to the whole nation in times of emergency. This certainly qualifies.
    All appropriate blogs etc should be linked in to the “text-machine”.

  62. Humans are a cowardly lot, especially men.

    When Rome burned, at Nero’s fiddle party for the nobles, no one objected to the burning of humans as torches to light up the party.

    And when Ellsberg went out with a disapproving letter to the NYTimes about the Vietnam war policy, together with 5 other lead employees at Rand, most of the men employees expressed violent email disapproval; whereas the women, then mostly secretaries, quietly thanked him in the corridors there.

    Frankly, I am deeply sceptical to the generalization alleging male courage.

  63. Virginia Governor Backs Off ‘State-Sponsored Rape’ Ultrasound Bill, Promises To ‘Review’ Measure
    By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Feb 22, 2012

    A bill requiring women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before having an abortion has already sailed through the Virginia Senate, and was to be signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) once it cleared the House. Under the proposed policy, most women seeking seeking an abortion will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”

    But now McDonnell is backing away from his previous wholehearted support of the measure. Earlier, he told ABC News he supports “the concept that a woman should have all of the information possible before she makes a decision about terminating a pregnancy.” Now, his office has clarified that he will “review” the bill if it passes the General Assembly:

    “Our position is: If the General Assembly passes this bill the governor will review it, in its final form, at that time,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said in a statement. He declined to explain the change in approach, but Virginia’s governors can sign, veto or amend legislation.

    The House and Senate have approved their versions of the bill. On Tuesday, the House postponed a final vote on the legislation…for the second day in a row. […]

    The officials with knowledge of Tuesday night’s Republican meeting said GOP leaders hope to introduce amendments on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether the rank and file would support them.

    Virginians opposed to the ultrasound bill held a silent protest on Tuesday. Wearing stickers that said, “Say No to State-Mandated Rape” and “Private Property: Keep Out,” several hundred demonstrators locked arms outside of the Capitol. And a new poll shows that a majority in the state oppose the requirement, which has been spoofed by NBC’s Saturday Night Live and mocked on The Daily Show. “This is like a TSA pat-down inside their vagina,” Jon Stewart explained, contrasting McDonnell’s support for this measure and his opposition to TSA pat-downs.

    But while Virginia’s governor is backing away from the invasive bill, legislators in Alabama and Pennsylvania are considering the same ultrasound policy. Even though studies show that viewing an ultrasound does not change a woman’s mind about having an abortion, Pennsylvania Rep. Marcy Toepel (R) argued that “Getting an ultrasound is a good thing for pregnant women.”

    Seven states already mandate that an abortion provider perform an ultrasound on women seeking abortions and provide women an opportunity to view the image. In Virginia’s proposed law, a woman would have to sign a statement and have the ultrasound image added to her medical records if she refuses to view it.

  64. Ellsberg alleges that job security was the primary motive behind the critical internal email. The tone was at the kindest expressed as: “You may criticize, but only in secret to the administration, otherwise how can you risk Rand, and our positions?” See “Secrets” for more.

  65. If you’re gonna emancipate yourselves you won’t find a better time than now.
    Please don’t relapse, for the sake of all who’ve been there before you, and your daughters as long as idiots are in power.
    You did not get pro-choice by backing down from the patriarchs. Alraady they will take it away from you. What’s next? Contraception.

    PS Would that men would emancipate themselves too.

  66. For those of us interested in vaginal questions, and we all should be…….
    and a good laugh too, see link, but first

    Shortly after my husband and I moved to Paris, I became pregnant, which was a relief, because I would get fat for a legitimate biological reason, not just because of all the pain au chocolat. When I gave birth to our daughter last November, my husband and I spent five government-sponsored days in the maternity ward at Clinique Leonardo Da Vinci, where we learned that French hospital meals come with a cheese course and that as part of my postpartum treatment I would be prescribed 10 to 20 sessions of la rééducation périnéale. This is a kind of physical therapy designed to retrain the muscles of the pelvic floor, including the vagina, and is one of the cornerstones of French postnatal care. Two months after our daughter was born, I summoned the courage to teach my vagina some new tricks……….”

    A lot of wise things are seen and said. How sound they are, besides allowing their politicians to have mistresses, they at least eliminate one reason for them; and save women and later children distress and danger.

    That I enjoyed my reaction to hearing french medicalese was irrelevant.
    Hope you also find a personal note, but of better worth.

  67. PS on the vaginal article,,,,,,,it uses softer euphemisms too.

    But more important in an American scene is our prediliction for quick fixes.
    Pills, cure me instead of heavy lifting, plastic re-contructions of the vagina….

    Well, as a certain queen certainly said after her eyelift operation.
    “It would be so nice to feel a smile, when I do one.”

    So la re-education perineale is the way to go. Get to know your old friend while doing some mild lifting.
    Make your lover in chief say: “Wow, did you do what I think you did? Viva la France.” Wherupon you reply: “Viva la compagnie!”

  68. A True Christian waits to see if their kid’s going to be an a-hole before killing them (with God’s blessing):

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. — Deuteronomy 21:18-21

  69. God really really hates wise-ass kids, so it’s o.k. to kill them, especially if you’re bald and they make fun of your toupe:

    He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. — Exodus 21:15

    He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. — Exodus 21:17

    Children who mock their parents will have their eyes plucked out by ravens and eaten by eagles.

    The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. — Proverbs 30:17

    Like Abraham, parents should be willing to kill their children for God.

    And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. — Genesis 22:2,10

    God killed all the firstborn children in an entire country.

    The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

    Sometimes God kills children for misbehaving.

    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

  70. AN,

    I was thinking of calling the others to stone him.

    PS Isn’t it wonderful what computers can help them with. You get sorted all the scriptures about hateful children, etc. Ready to use.

    I wonder how computers fit into their biblical world view?

    Let me be first to say go crucify your own heretics first. We’re not part of your cult.

  71. Idealist707,
    Seamus has one of the most wickedly funny ironic sensibilities here, he does’t post much, but picks his spots well.

  72. UPDATE: Virginia’s proposed mandatory ultrasound bill is dead – apparently to be “stricken” by the sponsor in the VA Senate after a nationwide outcry and amended to smithereens in the House. I spoke to three legislative aides yesterday and they all said they have rarely seen anything like it. One has been at the General Assembly for over 20 years. I’m waiting to hear from some friends in the House and Senate and will report what they tell me that’s on the record. Apparently Gov. McDonnell pulled the plug on it this week after hearing it could hurt Republicans. Guv says there were lots of legal and medical issues requiring amendments. I think there were lots of political issues affecting his future that required amendment to his “I’ll sign anything” position. Good guys win one here, but the truth is that in the abortion issue there are no real winners.

  73. Elaine M:

    The “new” bill required an ultrasound but made the transvaginal procedure optional thus gutting the measure for its Senate sponsor, a woman named Jill Holtzman Vogel. It certainly appears ded for this session, anyway. The House passed the amended version knowing full well it would die in the Senate. Facesaving for them.

  74. Mespo, The requirement to determine the age of the fetus was left in the bl and that makes TVU necessary during the first trimester. The compromise language left the method up to the doctor. Same BS just pushing the decision onto the doctor.

    I heard on one of the MSN talk shows tonight that the deal on a “compromise” had fallen apart.

  75. I started tabbing my Bible years ago to deal with the Jahovah Witnesses who would show up every year before Halloween to warn me that my kids were going to Hell if they trick-or-treated. They were nice old ladies for the most part, and for the most part I would start in with the Gospel of Timonthy and show them were it was a sin for them to even be talking to me in public. I quick cruise through Laviticus, and I would try to get them to help me murder all my divorced neighbors and burn down the local McDonald’s for serving beef covered with dairy products. Their response was almost always along the lines of, “Well things have changed a lot since they wrote that…” My response was always to call them sinners for doubting the ever lasting word of God. They don’t come to my house any more. I suspect my address is in some sort of no fly zone. I’ve tried to get my partner (my law partner, not that there’s anything wrong with that) to go door to door with a copy of The Origin of Species and an 8th grade biology book. He was afraid we’d get shot.

  76. I believe Virginia Legislators should be kidnapped, and while in captivity have baseball bats jammed up their Anuses, and chain to their thighs to prevent removal. And, in order for them to be able to go to the Bathroom, they must get the permission, signed, by at least 10 women…… Or until this bill is repealed…

  77. Seamus,
    Rolling on the floor laughing. You sure jerked my chain! Which ain’t hard to do. Can you pronounce all the Hebrew (?) words too.
    Hoping to see you in a new appearances.

    You and your partner could do an act which just might make big time.
    And I don’t mean time in the pen; instead: MSM. Yoohoo supervirality. Google top. A star in the heaven above the Mormon Tabernacle. A glowing laughing face in the heavens to write about.

  78. Carol Levy,

    I came because of happenstance across your reply to my query “years ago”.

    Unfortunately, here in Sweden, where we have a one-payer system, equal care is not always achieved. It seems here that repeated studies in different specialties reveal real disparities based on wealth. My assumption is that the wealthy are inculcated with a sense of being worthy of the best and are thus more assertive. Press references have only revealed the expected disclaimer from medicines side. I have contrarily personal experiences both for myself and others which contradict that defense.

    This in reference to your reticence when using Medicaid and asserting rights of privacy when getting care in teaching institutions.

    Myself I’ve always challenged doctors, to what advantage may rightfully be asked (just as I always have most authorities). They have put in a joint journal system, so entries from different care units are available to all.
    I can ask to be excepted totally or even entrywise, but don’t.. But, in all likelihood, there is an anames section where notations of the type: P. is disruptive, aggressive, inclined to paranoic interpretations, argumentive, etc, etc. To which many can add their “ditto”s followed by signum.
    Be that as it may, delusion of not, i still get excellent care, in spite of my “inquisitive” manner.

    As for intrusions on my integrity. Those occurred so early and continuously so that my defense has been to regard my person and my body as almost detached quantities of no inherent value. This stands me well at times like invasive examinations, but of course is a disability in finding and living with yourself.

    I have a friend over there who is strapped out, no one to help (?).
    I suggested Medicaid. Will going to get you the answers.
    Not to get personal. (You can look at my journal if I can look at yours.)

    But let me end by saying that doctors are a chapter themselves we all have many stories to contribute to.

    Oh, yes we were talking about health care. And I feel what I write is relevant, although admittedly lengthy.

  79. Bob McDonnell for Veep!
    By Charles P. Pierce

    The governor of Virginia really, really wants to be somebody’s vice-president. Very likely, that would be a presidential candidate who would like to get more than three votes from women in the general election. Bob McDonnell also has spent his life as a jumbo bag of nuts on the issue of women’s place in this society, and particularly what they do with their ladyparts when he’s not watching and Jesus is on vacation. So here comes that delightful bill out of the Virginia House of Delegates (motto: Patrick Henry’s Picture Just Fell Off The Wall) by which any woman in the Commonwealth who wants to exercise her constitutional right to choose has to get a big old probe stuck up inside her first.

    Arroooogah! Arroooogah! Dive. Dive!

    So, suddenly, vice-presidential timber Bob starts to have second thoughts about the Dildos Mandating Dildos Act Of 2012. Bob’s “backing off” his committment to organized medievalism. Good for you, Bob. By way of explanation, The Washington Post reports this little nugget without any concern that some of its readers may keel over laughing:

    “Many of the bill’s supporters were apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure could be, one of the officials added.”

  80. Va.’s anti-abortion bill: This is conservatism?
    By Richard Cohen

    Without quite realizing it, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his fellow anti-abortion zealots have stumbled on a marvelous idea. What they want — what they originally wanted — is for women to undergo an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. I suggest, in the same spirit, that the governor and like-minded members of the legislature undergo a brain scan before voting on any legislation that affects the health and welfare of women. The results, based on what we’ve been seeing lately, will be shocking.

    The Virginia legislation, itself something of an abortion, is being modified after having been withdrawn or whatever. Great confusion attends the deliberations of McDonnell, who discovered in his 57th year that a vaginal probe would be intrusive. Still, what remains is a medical procedure of some sort so that the pregnant woman will discover that she is indeed pregnant. She would be confronted with a printout of the ultrasound image, which, under the original legislation, she would have to purchase.

    In all fairness, then, members of the legislature would have to purchase their own brain scan, maybe frame the thing and hang it in their office. Then, possibly, their constituents would understand how avowed conservatives could have the government require a woman to undergo some sort of ultrasound procedure and — mandate of all mandates — have to pay for it herself. If this is conservatism, it is indistinguishable from what conservatives say they hate.

    It is at moments such as this that I miss L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia’s former governor. When he ran for office (1989), he ingeniously defined his pro-choice position as conservative. He was, of course, right. The very notion that the government does not have the right to tell a woman what she must do with her body — how she must make a very personal decision — should be the essence of conservatism. Instead, in the name of less government and less-intrusive government at that, we get the government itself telling a woman she must humiliate herself with a tutorial on pregnancy and the creation of life before she makes an extremely personal decision.

  81. The simple folk (conservatives/religious Taliban) want to be outraged, so you get the media you deserve. I don’t think that fully explains Fox or CNN but it must be close.

    When I worked in the USofA for about 5 years in the late 1990s it seemed like such a sensible country. Now I don’t know any of my American friends that can see the path out of the cultural nose-dive you’re in.

  82. RIGHT-WING VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS BACKTRACK FROM ‘PERSONHOOD’ MEASURE | The Virginia Senate sent a bill that would have a recognized life as beginning at conception back to committee this afternoon, effectively killing the “personhood” bill for the 2012 legislative session. The bill’s sponsor can bring it back for consideration next year. By granting fetuses the rights of American citizens, the measure would have outlawed abortion, banned contraception, and even prevented couples from using IVF for fertility treatment. This victory for women’s health in Virginia comes a day after Gov. Bob McDonnell backtracked from his support for a bill requiring women to undergo invasive ultrasounds before receiving an abortion and forced legislators to strip that portion of the measure. Activists are still pushing anti-abortion bills round the country, however, with state legislators in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin considering personhood legislation.

  83. Elaine M:

    Yep it’s what I heard today. The personhood bill went down with the transvaginal untrasound ship. Now the VA Senate wants an abdominal ultrasound bill that will not provide the pretextual gestational information that the transvaginal ultrasound requirement was based upon thus further pulling the dress up on this blatantly religious bill. Whether it passes or not it’s doomed constitutionally and the Repubs know it.

    See, we’re not Texas or MIssissippi — at least this session. Yippee!!

  84. Ben,

    A female Democratic legislator in Virgina introduced an amendment that would have required a cardiac stress test, rectal prostate exam and other tests before an ED drug could be prescribed. The amendment was voted down by the Republicans as a “stunt.” Yeah, right!

  85. OS,
    If that bill requiring men to go through unpleasant and unnecessary tests in order to get Viagara is a stunt, what the hell do you call the Republican flap over contraception??

  86. Pa has an ultrasound law now under consieration. Does not mention transvaginal but part of the requirement is for the woman to learn the gestational age. (subtext for transvaginal?)

  87. But let me end by saying that doctors are a chapter themselves we all have many stories to contribute to.

    Oh, yes we were talking about health care. And I feel what I write is relevant, although admittedly lengthy.

    Idealist707, When I was going to the clinic I was unaware that thru my father I had excellent insurance coverage. As soon as I knew i went to private docs.
    I have to say I prefer universitiy hospitals where you will have residents and med students wanting to observe (although my problem was neurological and not a more intimate issue). There it was assumed (although permission, usually, asked) that you would allow students to observe. Had my issue been more private I am not sure how I would have felt about that/permitted it

    That is always a possibility, the docs who do not want to be questioned, those who question their own authority by acting authoritational, etc will write notes in the chart that can come back to hurt a patient. If youre lucky, as you seem to be it will not be held against you. (It is sad that inquisitiveness and insisting on a level of control can be seen by some as a negatove.)
    It was a gazillion years ago (I have a bad time sense ((*_*)) that I was on medicaid but it was state so I am afraid I know nothing about the site. I would assume it is worth a look and definitely tell him to look at what his state offers. (I dont have a journal but a blog, (and heck a book A PAINED LIFE, a chronic pain journey)
    Doctors sure are a story unto themselves..
    I think the issue of health care, privacy, doctors notes, etc does come into play here. Where is the AMA and other doctor’s organizations?
    Women’s rights, patients rights, privacy issues, government intrusion into the exam room?

  88. Give that woman a medal. She deserves it for just having to live with him. I am amazed he got up and admitted in public that he was cut off. Heh!

  89. What an idiot! I’m sure his wife is none too happy about his public announcement of what went on in their private lives. He just gave her another reason to shut him off. I bet she keeps looking for reasons.

  90. Alabama Ultrasound Bill: Governor Robert Bentley Says He Just Learned About Legislation


    WASHINGTON — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said Sunday morning that he has just learned about the transvaginal ultrasound bill pending in the state legislature and has not studied it.

    The Alabama Senate is slated to start debating the controversial legislation as early as Tuesday after the bill passed the health committee last week. The bill — similar to one just amended in the Virginia legislature — requires women to undergo an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion. It says either an external or transvaginal ultrasound would need to be performed, and that women would not have a decision as to which procedure would be used. Transvaginal ultrasounds are needed to detect an embryo in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

    While the issue has received national publicity due to the Virginia ultrasound bill, Bentley said he did not know about the Alabama bill.

    “I just read about it this morning,” Bentley told The Huffington Post after a meeting of the National Governors Association Health and Human Services Committee in Washington on Sunday.

    He added that he has not studied the legislation or the issue and was not prepared to take a position on the bill.

    “I’m not ready to make a comment at this time,” Bentley said.

    The Alabama bill is similar in scope to the original text of the Virginia bill, including the transvaginal requirement. The Montgomery Advertiser reports that a doctor who does not administer an ultrasound prior to an abortion could face up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, along with civil liability. The proposal includes allowing the mother, the father of a fetus and the grandparents to sue in the event an ultrasound is not done before an abortion.

  91. Elaine,

    This is crazy gone wild….how can the grand parents have standing….unless they are minors….then even if….

  92. Abortion Bill Stirs Up Tempest: Lawmaker would require women to get an ultrasound 24 hours before having an abortion.

    Abortion-rights advocates are girding for a spring fight over a bill sponsored by a northwestern Pennsylvania lawmaker that they say is part of a concerted effort here and nationwide to chip away at a woman’s right to the procedure.

    The bill written by Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, would require women seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound 24 hours before having the procedure. Under Rapp’s bill, the view screen would be positioned within the woman’s field of vision, though she would not be required to look at it.

    In addition, the doctor or technician performing the ultrasound would have to verify in writing whether the woman accepted or refused opportunities to view the image or listen to the fetal heartbeat when it’s present and detectable. That documentation would be placed in the woman’s permanent medical record.

    Advocates for the bill, called the Women’s Right-to-Know Act, say they’re trying to provide women with important information before they decide to go through with an abortion.

    Critics say the bill would require women, who already receive an ultrasound when they seek an abortion, to go through what would most likely be a second, medically unnecessary procedure. They also say it mirrors a nationwide effort to legislate away Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that guaranteed a woman’s right to have an abortion.


    As of May 2011, nine states — Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin — had enacted mandatory ultrasound laws, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    Mandatory ultrasound bills are pending in 25 states this year. Bills before lawmakers in Illinois and New Jersey would require abortion providers to offer ultrasounds to patients, but they would not be mandatory.

    Legislation pending in Maryland contains language broad enough that it could be “construed to fall into the mandatory ultrasound category,” Kara Hinkley, an analyst the for legislatures conference, wrote in an email.

  93. Meet the Governors Behind “State-Rape” Transvaginal Ultrasound Laws (It’s Not Just Virginia)
    Virginia’s Bob McDonnell isn’t the only governor who’s backed terrifying new laws violating women’s rights (and bodies).
    By Lizz Winstead

    His name is Bob McDonnell.

    We have talked so much about the proposed Virginia transvaginal probe law that I thought I should remind you the name of the governor who wants to run a state that supports legalizing rape.

    So, again, his name is Bob McDonnell.

    When this story broke, I had so many questions. The immediate ones seemed so basic. I wondered why Bob McDonnell is so cruel. I wondered why Bob McDonnell felt he had the legal authority to force doctors to rape their patients.

    And why, why, why did Bob McDonnell, the governor of the great state of Virginia, a man on every Republican presidential hopeful’s short list for vice-president ever feel he needed to?

    “But wait!” you say, “Bob McDonnell backed off his support for this bill. He clearly realized that this was one of the most profoundly invasive hideous pieces of legislation anyone could imagine.”

    Yeah, not quite.

    Holy Search and seizure Batman! His reason is that it may violate the fourth amendment? Ya think?

    So, it wasn’t that he was appalled; it was that someone smarter than him said so. (Maybe the “various people” he consulted were his attorney general; maybe it was the guy who details his car. I really don’t know whom he seeks to consult from in matters of privacy issues.)

    But it is utterly shocking he needed to consult anyone to point out to him that maybe, just maybe, in America or any civilized society, shoving things into a woman’s vagina without her permission, may violate her rights against search and seizure. And, by the way, it is also rape.

    After I showered, hoping I could wash this vile stench of inequality off, I asked myself another question about Bob McDonnell, “What kind of man could enthusiastically support this kind of law in the first place?”

    The answer is, a guy who wrote in his graduate thesis “The cost of sin should fall on the sinner, not the taxpayer.” So, it is cold comfort for those of us who are members of the demonic part of American society Bob McDonnell marginalizes as “cohabitators, homosexuals and fornicators” that he begrudgingly concedes we are entitled to protections under the fourth amendment.

    But Bob McDonnell is a fluke, right? I mean, thank God no other state has a cretinous governor who wants doctors to insert some kind of Dead Ringers device into your vagina against your will, right?


    Pssst, hey, Texas: the transvaginal express is already happening in your state. Yep. Implemented three weeks ago. Now, women in the Lone Star State must submit to a mandated vaginal probe if they want to terminate a pregnancy.

    (Side bar: I would advise Texans to check the fine print of your new voter ID laws to see if you must also submit to a vaginal probe if you don’t have the proper documentation on election day.)

    Also, you may want to expand that conceal-and-carry law to include your private parts, then amend that bumper sticker to say, “Don’t Mess With Texas Vaginas.” Or better yet, “You can give me a transvaginal when you pry it from my OBGYN’s cold dead hands.”

    So let me ask you this: what is going on in your state? Do you have a governor like Bob McDonnell? Know someone who does? Have you ever had sex, ever planning to have sex, hope to have sex in the future?

  94. rafflaw,

    Do you think it is but a mere coincidence that Republican legislators in so many states are introducing these ultrasound bills? You don’t suppose they’re getting model legislation from some organization, do you? Inquiring minds want to know.

  95. Of course Elaine…. Of course…and as soon as I play my wwfs…. I’ll get back to you…..I am not trying to be a smart alec……

  96. Women’s Strike Force: Pro-Choice PAC Starts Up In Virginia To Defeat Backers Of Ultrasound Legislation
    By Amanda Terkel
    Posted: 02/27/12

    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.”

  97. 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.

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