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. 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……

  2. 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.

  3. 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
    2/26/12
    http://www.alternet.org/story/154299/meet_the_governors_behind_%22state-rape%22_transvaginal_ultrasound_laws_(it's_not_just_virginia)

    Excerpt:
    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?

    Wrong.

    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?

  4. Abortion Bill Stirs Up Tempest: Lawmaker would require women to get an ultrasound 24 hours before having an abortion.
    http://blogs.mcall.com/capitol_ideas/2012/02/abortion-bill-stirs-up-tempest-lawmaker-would-require-women-to-get-an-ultrasound-24-hours-before-hav.html

    Excerpts:
    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.

  5. Elaine,

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

  6. Alabama Ultrasound Bill: Governor Robert Bentley Says He Just Learned About Legislation
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/alabama-ultrasound-bill-governor-robert-bentley_n_1302298.html

    Excerpt:

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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 medicaid.gov 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,http://apainedlife.blogspot.com/ (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?

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