The Virginia House passed a bill 63-36 requiring that women who wish to have an abortion must submit to a “transvaginal ultrasound.”
The ultrasound legislation would constitute an unprecedented government mandate to insert vaginal ultrasonic probes into women as part of a state-ordered effort to dissuade them from terminating pregnancies, legislative opponents noted.
“We’re talking about inside a woman’s body,” Del. Charnielle Herring, a Democrat, said in an emotional floor speech. “This is the first time, if we pass this bill, that we will be dictating a medical procedure to a physician.”
The conservative Family Foundation hailed the ultrasound measure as an “update” to the state’s existing informed consent laws “with the most advanced medical technology available.”
Let’s be clear here. The Republican-controlled Virginia state legislature and the Republican governor of Virginia are set to require that women seeking abortions—including women seeking abortions as a result of rape—allow themselves to be vaginally penetrated in a medically unnecessary procedure prior to receiving an abortion.
The National Institutes of Health provide this description of how a transvaginal ultrasound is performed:
You will lie down on a table with your knees bent and feet in holders called stirrups. The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel. The probe sends out sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these waves and uses them to create a picture. The doctor can immediately see the picture on a nearby TV monitor.
The health care provider will move the probe within the area to see the pelvic organs. This test can be used during pregnancy.
TL;DR: The party that claims to be for small government will create a government mandate dictating that a physician must physically penetrate the vagina of a patient. Women will not be able to avoid this requirement by signing an informed consent form or by any other method.
The Republican Party of Virginia is legislating government-mandated rape. If you have any connection to Virginia, please contact your representatives; this is absolutely and entirely unacceptable.
Additionally, although patients are not obligated to view their ultrasounds, if they do not, they are required to sign a form, which becomes part of their medical records. This particular part of Virginia’s legislation might not seem like a big deal at a glance, but if you’re a minor, it really is. Parents can view a minor’s medical records, and if you don’t see why that’s an issue when it comes to abortion-related procedures, we’ve got some things to talk about.
BOTTOM LINE: This is an issue to mobilize on. We are looking at insult upon injury, and that’s putting it abominably lightly. This country can’t allow gross violations of human rights like this. We just can’t. Call your representatives, and call the Virginia state government.