Rape, They Cried
About the proposed ultrasound legislation in Virginia, a most pernicious lie.

SNL’s Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers make fun of the birth-control debate


Kathryn Jean Lopez

This is absolutely out of control.

But it was a brilliant strategy that Planned Parenthood and friends used to defeat a bill in Virginia that would have required pre-abortion ultrasounds: Get as many people as possible to repeat the word “transvaginal” in news and commentary, in order to accomplish two things: defeat the legislation at hand and make your opposition look like a freak show.

At one protest against the legislation, “Molly Vick of Richmond said it was her first time to take part in a protest, but the issue was too infuriating and compelling,” the Washington Post reported. Ms. Vick wore a sticker on her shirt that insisted: “Say No to State-Mandated Rape.” Instead of a belt on her jeans, she wore yellow tape that warned: “Private Property: Keep Out.”

Infuriating? What’s infuriating is that we can’t have an honest debate about anything that might happen to involve women, because it might make Planned Parenthood or any of the political or business wings of the abortion industry uncomfortable. This is the new bra-burning America, and it’s just as delusional and duplicitous as the old one. These protesters aren’t anti-establishment; they are the establishment. Don’t let the gal with the yellow tape fool you.

In recent days (weeks and years, too), media coverage of just about all things regarding women have taken on new frenzied proportions. George Orwell would be impressed — even Saturday Night Live got into the messaging.

Go ahead and read the bill that caused the “rape” cries. The word “transvaginal” never appears in it.

The bill was an update on Virginia’s informed-consent law, and didn’t require a particular kind of ultrasound, but mandated that the “standard medical practice in the community” for an ultrasound be followed. So doctors on site, not the governor or the house of delegates or the legendary exorcist Rick Santorum, would be making the calls about exactly what kind of ultrasound would be best for a particular woman. Planned Parenthood clinics already do ultrasounds (it helps with the pricing of abortions, among other things). The law wasn’t meant to do anything but make sure no women fell through the cracks.

And, frankly, even if the bill did mandate an invasive form of ultrasound — sometimes gestational age or other factors will make these the most accurate methods — let’s be honest about it and “women’s health”: It wouldn’t have been state-sponsored rape, as it was being characterized. It’s standard medical care. All things in the OB-GYN world tend to be invasive. Are routine exams rape, too? Can we just drop the nonsense already?

Apparently not. Not when those who resort to the most shameless rhetoric tend to win. The chattering class is fully engaged in a self-righteous spin cycle about those right-wing hypocrites who claim to be about small government and freedom but who instead are “literally trying to insert themselves into women’s bodies,” as one talking head explained.