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. 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?)

    Let’s hope the other ‘personhood’ bill get’s taken back as well…

  3. 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??

  4. 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!

  5. Worse than that, raff. Many of them twisted the Golden Rule to say “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

  6. 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!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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