The Ultrasound Abortion

By Peter Galuszka

Abortion is always a very unpleasant topic just as it must be horrendous for a woman to be in a position to make such as choice. Still, it is her constitutional right, the law of the land.

So, after years of trying, Virginia’s conservative legislators are on the verge of putting themselves, and the power of the state, in between a pregnant woman and her doctor with a measure that would require that an ultrasound examination be performed before the abortion takes place. In six other states that have such a provision, the mother would be “offered”  a chance to see the result although not  required to do so, according to Guttmacher Institute.

Experts agree that there’s no medical reason for an ultrasound in the first trimester of a pregnancy. Rather, such a requirement is a naked psychological ploy to assault the mother with feelings of guilt and play on her emotions to not go through the procedure. Even though abortion is legal within limits, this extra requirement would be both medieval and insulting. Not to mention sexist: men don’t have to endure such state-sanctionned manipulation.

In Virginia, however, women may soon have to. By an 8-7 vote, the Republican-controlled Education and Health Committee has endorsed the ultrasound requirement and have sent it to the full Senate, which, thanks to the GOP’s refusal to share power, it is likely to pass, given the 20-20 imbalance of power and Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling holding the deciding vote. Ultrasound bills are being pushed by Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier County and Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Roanoke County.

What’s so utterly hypocritical of many conservatives is how they pick and chose their fights. Most of the time, they are lecturing us that we need to get government and its regulations away from people’s everyday lives. We need smaller government and should leave as much as possible to personal choice.

But not when it comes to one of the most painful and personal decisions a woman makes. Swollen with their moral authority, they want to be there, dressed in a blue hospital gown beside the doctor, laying on a profound guilt trip to an experience that is most times already wracked with grief. They are assuming that women (not men) are too stupid to understand what abortion is despite their right to one that is bound by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The General Assembly needs to keep its nose out of the doctors’ offices. It needs to respect the intelligence of women to make a choice that is legally theirs to make.

11 Responses to The Ultrasound Abortion

  1. I am vehemently opposed to abortion. I think it is wrong.

    However, my morals are not the law of the land. No individual gets to set the law in the United States. Rather, we have a constitution, an elected Congress and President and the court system. Regardless of my individual views, I respect the Constitution.

    I respect the Constitution when I disagree with the Supreme Court’s pronouncements, such as in Roe v Wade. I respect the Constitution when I agree with the decisions, such as the Heller case in regard to the second amendment.

    I am always puzzled by Republicans who claim to respect the Constitution, demand nearly unfettered second amendment rights but then conspire to circumvent the Supreme Court in Roe v Wade.

    You can’t have it both ways, GOP …. do you respect the Constitution or not?

  2. The law of the land says smokers can legally smoke or fat people can eat fat. Yet the government seems to circumvent the law with ads and other laws designed to impose feelings of guilt. Why should VA be any different than NYC?

  3. ” You can’t have it both ways, GOP …. do you respect the Constitution or not?”

    multiple choice:

    1. – only when it is “right”
    2. – only when you agree with it
    3. – only when it supports the GOP/right wing agenda
    4. – all of the above

  4. Its not OK to force people to buy health insurance, but it is OK to force people to buy an ultrasound, and then look at it.

    Nobody likes abortions: not the people having them and not the people giving them. And certainly not the people who are not having them and don’t want anyone else to. They are free not to have an abortion, and no one is jumping in their face over their choice.

    The Golden Rule demands they return the favor, and leave their neighbors (and people who are far from their neighbors that they don;t even know) in peace, troubled as it may be.

    Forget the Constitution and the Supreme Court. It is common courtesy not to stick your nose where it does not belong. It is common sense not to put it there if you don’t like the smell.

    This is not a situation that can ever be resolved morally. But if you expect to be allowed to live by your moral code, you have to allow others the same.

  5. Hydra:

    You are starting to sound like Ron Paul. And that’s a good thing.

  6. No.

    Ron Paul takes this stuff to extremes.

    I ‘m a true middle of the roader. “Moderation in EVERYTHING, dammit.”

  7. I heard two pompletely different but strangely related interviews last week.

    One was on a book about the science of disgust. How it is that htings that are disgusting in one culture are acceped in another, like eating cats. there is a whole science to measuring and evelauting disgust.

    One key feature is familiarity: it is much less revolting to change your own baby’s diaper than a strangers.

    The other interview had to do with liberals and conservatives. A key characteristic of conservatives is that they are more family and tribe or close group oriented, more prone to see theings as them against us, [and by extension] be more disgusted by other peoples behaviors. Liberals tend to think we are all in this together, and their version of “us vs them” is less pronounced.

    It is going to be highly embarassing if we discover that politics and what we think of as principles are largely genetic.

  8. there are ways to seek the truth. The first step is to recognize hypocrisy.

    I find that many conservatives are so hard over on their ideology that they often refuse to recognize the hypocrisy of their views.

    Liberals are guilty of this also.

    Moderation is when you realize this and you seek a middle ground and compromises.

    when you hear someone say they will not compromise their principals and at the same time they want to govern – you’ve got big problems.

    this describes conservatives these days. they basically want to impose their beliefs on those they govern.

    they don’t run on that because they know they’d never get elected but once they get into office that’s exactly what they seek to do.

    The ultrasound is a good example of it.

  9. ” The state Senate this afternoon gave preliminary approval for legislation that would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasound imaging before an abortion, but not before rejecting a Democratic senator’s attempt to add what she described as “ a little gender equity” to the bill.

    Democrat Janet Howell of Fairfax County proposed requiring men to undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before getting prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra.”

    http://hamptonroads.com/2012/01/irked-abortion-rule-va-senator-proposes-rectal-exams-men

  10. Hats off to Janet Howell. I have no patience for women like Vogel who make it their agenda to strip other women of freedom and liberty. I can barely think about what making the decision to have an abortion must feel like. It isn’t a choice that would suit me. But I believe women should have that choice. Vogel has crafted a cruel piece of legislation and on top of that it is another example of more government intervention.

  11. If you are truly ‘Pro-Choice’ you should support this legislation.

    To make an informed ‘choice’ one would logically welcome as much information there is feasibly and technically available. An ultrasound of a fetus at 8 weeks from conception clearly shows a head, eyes, backbone and a heart beating at 160 bpm.

    Afterall, it is a ‘life changing’ decision.

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