The Widdershins

Virginia Republicans say your vagina belongs to them

Posted on: February 17, 2012


I tried adding the “more” thingie in here to break the pages but it didn’t work right.  The rest of the post is visible now!  Sorreee!

Thanks to the Virginia General Assembly, soon, if you are a woman in Virginia who has decided to have an abortion, your vagina will be the property of the state.

I say that because a piece of legislation has been passed and will most assuredly be signed by the governor, Bob McDonnell.  Both houses of the Assembly have passed a law stating that if you as a woman have decided to have an abortion, you have to go through a little song and dance with some new state requirements first.  What are those requirements?

Well first you have to have an ultrasound.  Now, not just an ultrasound mind you, but a transvaginal ultrasound.  To do this type of ultrasound a probe must be inserted into the vagina.  The purported reason for this violation is it “would determine the gestation age of the fetus and [the woman would] be given an opportunity to view the pictures”.  I’m not a doctor, nurse or anything of the sort but I don’t see any reason for determining the gestation age of the fetus.  But wait there’s more!  If you do not want to see the pictures, you would be required to to sign a statement to that effect and it would be placed in your medical file at that facility!  Lovely that.

You’d think that a piece of shit legislation like this would have been drafted and sponsored by a fat, balding, probably not-to-attractive male wouldn’t you?  Nope, not in this case.  Meet Virginia State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel.  Yes, a woman has come up with this lovely idea.  Senator Vogel has stated there are some very good reasons for this legislation:

Supporters of the ultrasound measure say it would provide crucial medical information to women seeking abortions, while opponents say it would subject women to unnecessary tests and invade their privacy.

“It’s a legitimate health issue,” said Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester), who sponsored the legislation.

Vogel also said the measure “does not infringe on a woman’s decision, her autonomy.” She added: “It is not invasive. It does not attempt to infringe in any way on the doctor-patient relationship, and it absolutely does not infringe on her right to have an abortion.”

But there’s more to this wonder piece of legislative work.  From WaPo:

The bill also would require women who live within 100 miles of their provider to wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion, except in emergencies. Those who live farther than 100 miles would have to wait two hours.

Yep, after you are invasively probed, you have to wait 24 hours before you can have the procedure done unless you:

(a)  Live more than 100 miles away from the provider

or (b)  It is an emergency

In those two circumstances you only have to wait two hours.  Again, lovely that.

There were at least a few sane folks in the Virginia State Senate.  Said Ralph Northam, a Democrat from Norfolk and a pediatric neurologist:

“I really don’t want to be in the position — as a clinician — where I say you need to have this diagnostic test done and the patient asks me, ‘Doctor, why? Why do I need that done?’ ” said Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk), a pediatric neurologist.“And I would say, ‘Sir or ma’am, the reason is a group of politicians in Richmond are telling you, you have to have it done.’ That is not our place as a government.’’

But wait!  Like those late night infomercials, there’s more!

The companion legislation to the Senate bill was created by Kathy J. Byron.  So in the Virginia legislature we have two women who have decided to declare war on other women.  Again, lovely that.

Some of the real fun in the House of Delegates began when Del. Todd Gilbert had this to say about the bill:

No comment provoked more surprise than that of Del. Todd Gilbert in diminishing the gravity of the decision to have an abortion.

“We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples,” said Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. “But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience.”

Now if this isn’t enough, the Republican legislature in Virginia has also passed a “personhood” bill.  You know the one…it says life begins at conception.  This is the one where the idea was soooo far-fetched that even the voters of Mississippi rejected it at the polls.

You may wonder why this has gotten me so irate.  After all, I’m a male, a gay male, and will never have a need to go through an abortion.  But if the Virginia lege can do this to women, involving a procedure that is legal in this country, what do they have in mind for gays and lesbians?  I have no idea if adoption by gays is permitted in Virginia, but if it is I’m sure they’ll work on changing that.  And what about gay or lesbian teachers?  Will the Republican lege think they should not be allowed to teach children?  If the Republican legislature has their eyes on one group of us, they’ll be out for all of us.

Meh. I doubt it.

35 Responses to "Virginia Republicans say your vagina belongs to them"

This nation seems to be in the grip of the Religious Right which began with the establishment of the Faith Based Initiative which has allowed these groups to insert themselves into common law.

What we are witnessing is nothing more than a fascist hold on the rights of women with the consent of the federal government that is not in line with the Constitution of the US.

You have every right to question “what’s next?” when it comes to the gay community since Sen. Jim Demint has already expressed a desire to ban gay marriage, adoption, and job holding from those who fit this criteria.

Given half a chance, they will certainly make this proposal another item on their agenda to bring a Christian version of Sharia Law that they so vehemently cry out against.

There really is little difference – aside from beheading – when presented with the same restrictions that are placed on women in a state by state effort to impose their beliefs on the country.

It is more than shameful to find women taking the lead in these measures but this is nothing more than the patriarchy at work.

Great post, fredster!

Well said, Fredster.

Since rape has been redefined why stop there?

When rape and incest can be described as a “blessing” then we have seriously lost the ability to define ourselves as human beings.

Pitiful pawns is more like it.

Or, per Sharon Angle, as “lemonade”.

Excellent post, Fredster. As a post-menopausal Lesbian, you’d think I don’t have a dog in this race either, but like you, it’s not the specifics of the issue, it’s the bigger picture.

Nicely said, Sophie.

And then there’s good ol’ Foster Friese. He would be well-served by placing a Bayer aspirin firmly between his lips, at least in the opinion of this post-menopausal woman.

I agree Fredster, one only wonders what is next in the evils of the workshop of horrors mind (you’d think they would be working on jobs or the economy) of these ‘elected’ people.

I think we need more women 51% elected to office that clearly state what it is they intend to do, so we can see who is going into office to merely do social regressive engineering. I am tired of the Talibanization of our government and tired of attacks on women and gays and even children (for being poor).

certain states will reject the Fundamentalist Christian Taliban The north east the left coast and the foundry states the south east and the empty quarter of america will be come toxic to women and most women will leave and go to places of safety and opportunity….

There will in reality be 2 America’s the part Toxic to women and the pro women areas!!!

I tried to break this into two pages and at least in my browser it didn’t work.

Any of you who would like to read the *rest* of the piece feel free to go back now.

Excellent post Fredster. This is getting downright terrifying.

@2 Chat, I seem to remember hearing back when Gilda Radner died, Gene Wilder doing public service announcements and saying that a transvaginal ultraround is one of the few ways to detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage. But it is not routinely covered by insurance in the U.S. When my daughter lived in Siingapore, it was a routine part of her yearly exam.

Is this correct? Could these diabolical non-humans be proposing to literally invade women seeking abortions for a needless and harrassing exam while we still are unable to obtain that very same exam to detect earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer? Guess it’s ok if we die, as long as we’re not pregnant.

@12: BBS, that was the test I had ( more than once ) to detect early stage ovarian cancer. It was covered by my insurance.

To subject a woman seeking an abortion to this test is sick. Just sick. To say it is not invasive is ridiculous beyond belief.

Lately, I have been staying away from the news for the sake of my sanity. I have reached a limit to what I can tolerate.

Where are the jobs?

@12: True. Also true that not all policies cover it. Sadly, by the time that ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it is frequently too late.

BBS@11: When I first saw this on Maddow my first thought was “God damn! How much more do they want to impose on women who seek/need an abortion”? Also the fact that it was two women in the VA house and senate who wrote/sponsored this legislation just had me seeing red. This is what’s running the Republican party now, and they are *so* out of touch with the mainstream it is truly pathetic. If this is the type of people they put up as their nominee, Obama will be a shoo-in.

Beata said: To say it is not invasive is ridiculous beyond belief.

I know! I don’t know how Vogle could have said that with a straight face! It’s beyond comprehension. Maybe one day she will need to have such a test and she’ll find out if it’s invasive or not! 👿

Clearly, she has never had one.

As promised, NJ Gov. Christie vetoed the gay marriage bill. It passed the State Assembly 42-33 and the State Senate 24-16. He wants to put it to a ballot question, so the people of the state can decide because civil rights should be decided by popular vote (/snark).

Fricken coward, playing with people’s lives for an outside chance in 2016.

@13,14 Thanks,, Chat and Beata. So it has been known at least since the 1980’s that the transvaginal ultrasound could help detect ovarian cancer, yet most women are not even offered it as an option. It sounds very uncomfortable, but if I had the continual bloating and GI symptoms Gilda Radner described I would want to have the option to decide about the test.

But wait! As Fredster says, I’m not supposed to decide anything! I mean who cares if I die a painful death because my ovaries aren’t any good now anyway.

@17, Chat if the test is that invasive, couldn’t it trigger a miscarriage?

@13 Beata, I haven’t been able to watch or read the news the past few days either. I hope you’ve been feeling ok.

I did get to see the MetOpera’s HD live cinema “Gotterdammerung” last weekend with Deb Voight and Jay Hunter Morris.They and all the cast were vocally and dramatically superb. The subect matter is certainly appropriate to our times.

Oh, and we’ve had at latest count 178 dolphins wash up, most dead, on the shores of Cape Cod in the past few weeks. But nothing’s wrong with the world. /snark/

Oh, and we’ve had at latest count 178 dolphins wash up, most dead, on the shores of Cape Cod in the past few weeks. But nothing’s wrong with the world. /snark/

You all too? That’s been happening in the G.O.M. too. Scientists weren’t too sure if it was due to the B.P. spill or what.

Hey why don’t they change the name of the state to Vaginaia. Let me get this straight. They think forcing people to buy private health insurance is unconstitutional but forcing women to pay for vagina probes is not. Okay. I see.

Uppity Woman@21: But just remember: Virginia is for lovers. 🙄 uh-huh.

I tweeted this post.

Uppity@23: Thanks!

@20 Yes Fredster, the oil spill was the first thing that crossed my mind.

Courtesy of Uppity via Little Green Footballs, Dana Loesch says the Virginia “probe” is just like having sex.

[…] known as trans-vaginal ultrasound.  See Fredster’s most excellent post over at the Widdershins covering how the State of Vaginia Virginia has passed a law requiring all women have this […]

Faro-brill post, Fredster! You da man. XX

Thanks for this post fredster! I hope someone sues their chauvinistic asses. How could this not be a violation of a woman’s civil rights, and an infringement of roe v wade?

Vaginia. Good one Uppity.

NES and socal: Thanks so much. I appreciate it. When I first saw this on Maddow’s show I was just…flabbergasted isn’t even the word. I was furious! And the fact it was those two apparently holier-than-thou women who did this! It’s apparent that neither one has had a vaginal ultrasound for them to even think of calling it non-invasive! It’ obviously not that I have either, but it’s just the idea behind it: We’ll make this so degrading for you that you won’t even want to have the procedure done. I had a friend from high school who got pregnant in college and had to have an abortion. She had to go to D.C. to get it done, they certainly weren’t done in KY. It wasn’t a matter of “lifestyle convenience” as fat, balding, Republican man says above. It was more that it was a life-changing event had she not had it done. She probably would have ended up going back to coal-country hometown and working at her father’s grocery store instead of becoming head of nursing at a major hospital.

So, I just had to speak up in my own way about these assholes in Virginia.

Maybe Dana would like to splain that thinkin’ to a child incest rape victim? I mean Hell, it’s a kid…should be easy to do, right? This is all so horrible.

The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not an easy one. That person lives with the consequences of that decision for the rest of her life. It’s not as simple as ordering a cheeseburger, yet these legislators believe it so. When will the government stay out of the woman’s reproductive organs? Silly me, the answer is when they can control them completely.

mcnorman: I had never heard of Dana Loesch until this. Seems like maybe she’s a wannabe Ann Coulter or Michelle Malking. Hopefully I won’t hear anything else about her. LOL!

You know Fredster, it is very easy to sit on one side of the fence or the other, but until someone walks that mile in those shoes…well, that is what makes life reality. There is never an easy answer. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is just that. Can you imagine a physician telling a patient that they have been exposed to x,y,z and that the chances of that child being born without severe problems is highly unlikely? How easy is it for that woman to make that decision? Who should be involved in making that decision? Her spouse? What about the housekeeper that borders on being mildly retarded and is walked into a clinic by her male employer to have an abortion but doesn’t quite understand what is going on? Who actually is making the decision in that case? It is not a black and white issue, but that right to terminate a pregnancy should not be taken from that woman.

mcnorman@34: Well said and things I didn’t even think about.

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