The continuing delay of the Virginia vote over a controversial proposal to mandate women must obtain a transvaginal ultrasound prior to having an abortion shows that the backlash of anger over government overreach, especially when it involves a woman’s reproductive rights, is getting stronger. Once considered a sure thing supported by Gov. Bob McDonnell, the Virginia governor has now backtracked, afraid to be associated with such an extremely unpopular bill.
The pressure may be mounting in Virginia to do away with the bill, but that hasn’t stopped other states from proposing their own versions, even after the Virginia controversy has been making front page news. Illinois and Pennsylvania have now both proposed mandatory ultrasound bills, reinforcing and even escalating the the aspects of the proposal that has offended so many.
Although Virginia’s proposed bill did not require the woman to have to view the ultrasound itself, Pennsylvania women won’t be nearly so fortunate if the law passed there. According to The Reporter, women undergoing the ultrasound would have to have “a photo of the ultrasound be placed within the patient’s line of sight.” Women would also be given the “opportunity” to hear the fetal heartbeat. Did she decide to close her eyes, or skip listening to the heart beat? Well, that information is documented and put into her medical record, to be given to the doctor performing the abortion.
Sound like women are being treated like they are too stupid to know what being pregnant means, and can’t be trusted to make their own decisions? It could have something to do with the fact that they aren’t seen as real people by the legislators representing them. That’s the only explanation as to why the state of Illinois is using their “agricultural committee” to pass restrictions on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.
Claiming concern that women aren’t making “informed decisions,” the Illinois House Agriculture Committee has proposed a mandatory ultrasound bill of their own. For women, of course, not for animals. Opponents, tired of women being treated as breading stock, protested the move, wearing “Women are not livestock” t-shirts. Unlike the other states’ bills, women are allowed to refuse the ultrasound in writing, which does raise the slight possibility that despite treating them like cattle, the committee at least believes they have the ability to write, just not the intelligence to make their own decisions.
Should the bill pass in Illinois, it will likely be vetoed by the state’s pro-choice governor. In Pennsylvania, where the governor is against abortion rights, the bill may eventually become law unless the mandate continues to grow in its unpopularity and pressure remains on all lawmakers to reject it.
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