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Monday, February 27, 2012

An Astonishingly Poor Opinion of Women

Transvaginal utrasound transducer
Tell me if this sounds achingly familiar to you.


When a woman in Alabama seeks an abortion procedure, she already has to sign [pdf] that her doctor has performed an ultrasound and that she either viewed the ultrasound image or rejected seeing it. But state Sen. Clay Scofield (R) is pushing SB 12, a bill in the Alabama legislature that would mandate the physician “to perform an ultrasound [pdf], provide verbal explanation of the ultrasound, and display the images to the pregnant woman before performing an abortion.” The physician could also require the woman to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound — “in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced” — if she or he determines it necessary.

A Senate committee voted 4-1 on Friday to approve the measure, and the state Senate is expected to vote on it early this week. Even though studies have proven that viewing an ultrasound does not lead women to not have abortions, the bill’s sponsor says he hopes it will...

After Virginia Republicans were forced to remove the transvaginal ultrasound measure from their pointless bill, Alabama's going to go ahead and give it a shot. Identical bills in two states? Like the so-called "life amendment," his has ALEC written all over it. So much for "local control"; Washington lobbyists now write state laws and local legislative puppets just introduce and vote for them.


But imagine the contempt for women behind these bills. The bill is necessary so "she sees that this is not just a clump of cells as she is told," Scofield said. "She will see the shape of the infant. And hopefully, she will choose to keep the child."

Look, I'm pretty darn sure she already knows what's in there. I know you guys have been trying your damnedest to remove any hint of sex education in your schools, but I really doubt you've been so successful that you've removed all knowledge of the human reproductive cycle from human understanding. Face it, if she didn't already know what the ultrasound was going to show, she wouldn't be seeking an abortion, now would she? The breathtakingly low opinion of women here is completely beyond me. I literally do not understand how someone could have such a poor understanding of female intelligence. I'm pretty sure that Sen. Clay Scofield gets slapped in the face a lot.

And if he doesn't, he should. Maybe that's the problem.

It seems to me that the key to defeating these things is to take them personally. For all their talk about individualism, the right doesn't seem to believe in it. They never see individuals, they always see groups. Big giant crowds of enemies who are all identical; all Muslims are the same, all gays are the same, all liberals are the same, all feminists are the same, all immigrants are the same. And all women seeking abortion are the same -- knocked-up sluts too stupid to understand what pregnancy actually is. If enough women take it personally and tell their stories, the Republicans' stereotype falls apart.

Of course, the stereotype's just the excuse. And that excuse hides the astonishing hypocrisy. While states are suing in court, arguing that government has no right to force you to buy something -- in this case, the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act -- they're forcing women to pay for unnecessary procedures. The idea isn't to make women look at images of a fetus so she'll change her mind, the idea is to bump up the price of an abortion and, hopefully, put it beyond some women's reach. And the transvaginal part? Icing on the cake. You get to scare away the ones who don't want to do it and punish the ones who submit. Win, win. And let's not even get into the big, literally intrusive government aspect of all this.

But seriously, if you're a woman and you're not offended by Clay Scofield's stated opinion of you, then you've got a thicker skin than I have. I would be livid.


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