The Corner

Rape, They Cried

This is absolutely out of control. 

But it was a brilliant strategy, Planned Parenthood and friends had. Get as many people as possible to repeat the word “transvaginal” in news and commentary and accomplish two things: defeat legislation at hand and make your opposition look like a freakshow.

That’s what’s just playing out with an ultrasound bill in Virginia.

From a Washington Post piece Monday:

Molly Vick of Richmond said it was her first time to take part in a protest, but the issue was too infuriating and compelling. On her lavender shirt, she wore a sticker that said “Say No to State-Mandated Rape.” Just beneath the beltline of her blue jeans was a strip of yellow tape that read “Private Property: Keep Out.” 

Infuriating? What’s infuriating is we can’t have an honest debate about anything that might happen to involve women, because it might make Planned Parenthood uncomfortable.

Media coverage of just about all things that have anything to do with women have taken on new frenzied proportions in recent days. George Orwell would be impressed.

Even Saturday Night Live got into the frenzy.

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

The bill was an update on Virginia’s informed consent law that didn’t require a particular kind of ultrasound, but a “standard medical practice in the community.” So doctors on site are making the calls, not the governor or the House of Delegates or the legendary exorcist Rick Santorum! Planned Parenthood clinics already do ultrasounds. It helps with the pricing of abortions, among other things. The law

And, frankly, even if the bill did mandate such a thing: It’s not state sponsored rape, as it’s being characterized. It’s standard medical care. All things in the obgyn world tend to be invasive. Is that rape, too? Can we just drop the nonsense already?

I guess not. Not when those who resort to the most shameless rhetoric tend to win. The governor seems to have just thrown lawmakers in Richmond who voted on the bill in good faith under the bus, because the oppositions megaphone was louder. 

The only way this whole Virginia “transvaginal” incident makes any sense to me is that the critics of the bill don’t want anyone to be reminded what exactly is done in an abortion clinic. They didn’t go into a frenzy because of an ultrasound itself — because they’re already being done routinely throughout the state (see Planned Parenthood in Richmond, and Falls Church, for example) for the sake of efficient abortions and pricing and Richmond is not dictating specific kinds. Everyone from protesters in Richmond to TV writers are upset because women will be offered the chance to look at the ultrasound. And that’s a threat to the abortion industry. A glimpse of this fight shows  that while these critics of the bill talk about women’s health, they don’t really have the interests of either patient in mind.


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