When I came across this, I knew I had to write an additional post for the day. Virginia State Senator Janet Howell (Fairfax district) attached an amendment to the bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. The ammendment would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication. Her ammendment was in protest but it actually got 19 votes and was beat 21 to 19, not by much. I say push it through.
Ultrasounds are expensive. So we are now requiring unnecessary medical procedures be done before someone has an abortion just to please anti-choicers? It doesn’t make medical sense. It isn’t ethically sound when thinking of the best interest of the woman. She could be given the choice to have an ultrasound and if she wants one that’s her choice to have one, and if she doesn’t, that’s also her choice.
Right now in Texas, the abortion sonogram law, which has been put in place, hopefully not permanently, requires doctors to perform sonograms and describe what they see, including the size of the fetus and the length of its limbs as well as making the woman listen to the heartbeat. It is requiring doctors to jump through a lot more hoops than usual and forcing women to hear information they don’t want. Those in support of the law are anti-choice advocates who are using the language of the feminist movement to make their point.
In a New York Times article, Elizabeth Graham, the director of Texas Right to Life said, “This paternalistic attitude, that we’re saddling women with too much information, really does an injustice. It underestimates the capability of women to make a decision with more information, not less.”
“Paternalistic attitude”- the whole anti-choice movement is paternalistic in that it is not letting women make choices for themselves. Don’t believe her malarky- This is taking away more of women’s choice. I guarantee most women DO NOT want to have a vaginal sonogram (which is invasive), pay for one, or see pictures from it and have it described or hear a heartbeat, which is often hard to hear at the stage of the game when abortions are performed. But it doesn’t matter if they want that or not, they have taken away the woman’s choice, it will happen.
Do not be mistaken, the Anti-choice movement is working to stop women from having a choice about whether or not they want an abortion, not to give women more choices. They think that if they force women who have made the decision to have an abortion to listen to the heartbeat, to look at pictures of a fetus, and have the pictures described to her, the woman will change her mind. They might be right. But not because they have changed women’s minds, because the women may feel guilty and decide they can’t go through with it. Though they have found so far that women haven’t changed their minds.
Pro-choice advocates and Planned Parenthood workers inform women of their choices. They go through extensive explanations of what options a woman has and then it is the choice of the woman. A woman doesn’t need to see an ultra-sound or hear a heartbeat to know what she wants. The anti- choice movement doesn’t care what women want, they care about not killing fetuses because they think fetuses are babies and they think God doesn’t want babies to be killed. First of all, God doesn’t want babies to be killed and once they are born, we should take care of them, but they aren’t babies, they’re fetuses that may or may not make it to be babies. Why don’t they go to China or India and try to save all of the girl babies that are being killed when they are born. Or even here, in this country. There are so many children who are born and then abandoned or who suffer because no one ever wanted them in the first place.
Opponents to the bill argue that it forces women to undergo medical procedures that are not medically necessary and to give unnecessary medical information that a woman probably doesn’t want to hear. What woman wants to hear that? Probably no one. I have worked as a clinical social worker (a therapist) for twelve years. To force a woman to see a sonogram and to listen to a heartbeat before she has an abortion is also going to be psychologically damaging later after she has had the abortion. This bill is to punish the woman for her choice to have an abortion.
They have also found that so far in Texas it is only delaying the procedure and forcing women to take more time to deal with this, but it is not making women change their minds.
Senator Janet Howell was making a point and she said it “was more of a message type of amendment.” She didn’t need to say that. The Komen Foundation this week also sent a message about how much they trust women to make their own choices. It seems that right now big capital, politics, and religion are all aligned and all three are saying women can’t make choices for themselves. Though I’ll give a little credit to the Senate for pressing the Komen Foundation on the issue. We’re apparently not smart enough or capable enough or something.
Certainly pregnancy and erectile dysfunction are not the same thing, but both of the procedures before dealing with the actual issue are medically unnecessary procedures, so why not? The majority of people voting these laws in are men. So, let’s level the playing field a little. At least a little.