North Carolina senate candidate Deb Butler, running against incumbent Senator Thom Goolsby, has in a new ad dared to show voters exactly what Goolsby advocated when he helped pass new abortion restrictions–the transvaginal probe.
“He wouldn’t dare show you this, but this is Thom Goolsby’s contribution to women’s health,” Butler says in the ad. “A medically unnecessary and invasive procedure that is now required by state law. He promised us his first priority would be jobs, but instead he’s following us into the doctor’s office.”
Watch the full ad below:
The Republican controlled North Carolina Legislature passed a bill last year that requires abortion providers to expose women to an ultrasound and that women must then hear, in detail, a description of the images four hours prior to a termination. The law further requires doctors to provide women with the option of hearing the fetus’ heartbeat.
In doing so, North Carolina joined more than 20 other states in passing abortion restrictions dubbed “informed consent” laws, supposed to guard against the (largely imagined) danger of women being coerced into having a pregnancy terminated without knowing the full facts.
In reality, critics warn, these laws shame women and discourage them from acquiring medically safe terminations.
Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue vetoed the bill. In the veto, Perdue called the bill a ”dangerous intrusion into the confidential relationship that exists between women and their doctors.”
Republicans led an override of the veto, which was cheered on by Senator Goolsby who, in voting for the legislation, reportedly said, ”The governor was wrong to play politics with this legislation by pandering to the abortion on demand crowd,” said Senator Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover). “The fact is the law will make abortions safer and rarer–two things everyone claims to support.”
“The Woman’s Right to Know Act ensures a fully-educated choice than with the current system, which allows women to be pressured into traumatic, split-second decisions,” Goolsby went on. “This is a victory for women, a victory for unborn children, and a victory for the state.”
However, portions of the law were blocked by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles who said she saw no evidence to support the Legislature’s claims that the ultrasound mandate was about improving women’s health, saying the Legislature had not ”articulated how the speech-and-display requirements address the stated concern in reducing compelled abortions, and none is immediately apparent.”
Those opposed to the law also argue the law violates medical ethics by making doctors carry through the Legislature’s will to the detriment of their patients because of the distress the new ultrasound mandate may illicit.
Deb Butler’s ad does something that few have dared: it actually shows the public what a tranvaginal probe looks like. Certainly, that’s something Republican advocates have been quite shy about.
Butler’s ad, which has drawn national attention, also continues a trend of fierce acrimony between Butler and incumbent Thom Goolsby who Butler charges campaigned on a platform of jobs and then abandoned job creation for the more extreme Republican focus.
Goolsby has hit back that Butler is simply a “complainer” with no real solutions.
When it comes to transvaginal probes and the violation of women’s bodies, we can agree the complaint is justified.
Image taken from video, no infringement intended.