Government Regulated Rape

Sabina Wex

In the United States, abortion is a constant debate between the Republicans and the
Democrats. However, this time around, even the Republicans are doubting

In mid-February, the Virginia Republicans decided that they wanted to hassle women
who chose to get abortions even more than usual, so they proposed HB 1. HB 1,
better known as the personhood bill, would restrict women from accessing birth
control. The bill was defended with the notion that life begins at conception.
This would ultimately ban abortion because a fertilized egg would be classified
as a person. The Republicans never seem to realize that if they outlaw birth
control, there will be more unwanted babies, which will lead to more abortions.
Or ,if they ban abortion, a heap of starving children.

They also proposed HB 462, which forces women to have a transvaginal ultrasound 24 hours before their abortion. A transvaginal ultrasound is basically regulated rape: a probe is put into the woman’s vagina which sees how old the fertilized egg is to make sure that the woman can abort it safely. However, that is completely possible by doing an external or transabdominal ultrasound. The transvaginal ultrasound is medically
unnecessary (even the Republicans admit this), and is only used for the simple
reason of guilt-tripping a woman not to go through with the abortion because
the women can now see the fetus inside of them much clearer than they would be
able to with an external ultrasound.

Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia, is letting the bill go through, but vetoed the transvaginal ultrasound, replacing it with the external ultrasound, which you usually have to get when getting an abortion anyways. However, the reason for McDonnell refusing to allow transvaginal ultrasounds probably had more to do with avoiding
speculation from the media that he had been involved with the bill, rather than
his ethical disagreement for the proposal. McDonnell added that there will only
be a transvaginal ultrasound if the woman consents to it. However, the bill may
come back to Virginia’s attention in early 2013, not only for a fresh do-over, but also at a time which is nowhere near an upcoming state election.

Unfortunately, to no one’s shock, the Republicans in other states heard about the bills in Virginia, and decided to test them out in their home states. In particular, the Pennsylvanian Republicans favoured the transvaginal ultrasounds, and even added some personalized touches to it. Not only would a woman have to get this ultrasound
to receive an abortion, but she is strongly encouraged to look and hear the
ultrasound. Even if the woman refuses, she is required to receive the prints of
the ultrasound, which must be sent to her physician before the abortion is done.
Basically, the Pennsylvanian Republicans want to make women feel so guilty
about abortion that many women won’t go through with it, which will eventually
wipe out abortion—their ultimate goal. It’s too early right now for any
decision making to be done yet, but, hopefully, the other members of the senate
and Tom Corbett, the governor of Pennsylvania, will clearly see the bill’s
dangerous repercussions on the reproductive rights of women.

Since 1965, birth control has been legal and given women the power to control their bodies. The invention of the birth control pill empowered women, and allowed for the
feminist movement to begin. Finally, women weren’t restricted to a life of
motherhood and servitude, but were able to go out and do whatever they wanted. Virginia and Pennsylvania have just given the feminist movement a slap in the face by trying to take away access to birth control and shaming women who are choosing to get abortions. Women have worked so hard to get to where they are today and now the United States is trying to knock them down again. I don’t think any woman wants to go
back to the way it was pre-1965, which I’m sure the senators’ wives would agree