Because One Transvaginal Ultrasound Just Isn’t Enough: Indiana Doubles Down

Update: Indiana lawmakers have decided just one mandatory transvaginal probe is good enough. The Indiana Senate will be voting on this measure today.


Are conservative lawmakers just trying to one-up each other now? It’s the only reasonable explanation for a piece of legislation coming out of Indiana that would require women undergo an ultrasound both before and after having a medication-induced abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The double-ultrasound bill advanced out of the Indiana Senate Health and Provider Services Committee and now heads to a full vote in the Senate. The bill heavily regulates clinics and doctors and requires a woman to be presented with the sound and image of the fetal heartbeat before the abortion and then to return for a follow-up ultrasound to guarantee she is no longer pregnant.

Like other mandatory ultrasound laws, the procedures mandated in the Indiana bill would have to be performed transvaginally since medication abortions usually happen up to 10 weeks from a woman’s last period, too early in the pregnancy for an external ultrasound to provide the images required by the law.

In addition to mandating two ultrasounds, the bill has a host of building regulations designed to close the state’s only provider. The law requires all clinics that provide medication abortions to meet the same building standards as surgical facilities, even if the clinic does not perform surgical abortions. According to The Huffington Post, if the bill passes, it will likely be so cost-prohibitive that the Planned Parenthood facility in Lafayette, the only abortion provider in the county, will be forced to stop offering abortions.

Conservatives pushing the restrictions offered up the same-old rationale of “protecting” women and seemed confused as to why mandating unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds would be offensive. “I got pregnant vaginally,” Sue Swayze, legislative director of Indiana Right to Life told local radio station WBAA. “Something else could come in my vagina for a medical test that wouldn’t be that intrusive to me. So I find that argument a little ridiculous.”

Only a conservative would call arguments around consent to vaginal penetration ridiculous, but that’s another post.

I guess there’s not much left to do now but thank conservatives for finally being totally transparent that their goal in regulating abortion is to punish women for having sex. It’s not really more complicated than that. If it were, they’d be able to explain how two unnecessary and invasive medical procedures “help” women do anything other than feel shamed and punished for needing reproductive medical care.


Related posts:

Enough Abortion Myths: Here are the Fact

Top Republican Priority in 2013: Ending Legal Abortion

New Mexico Wants to Ban Abortion After Rape, Calling it “Tampering with Evidence”


Photo from Mike Licht, via flickr.


ERIKA S11 months ago


Laure S.
Laure Sturdevant4 years ago

Something in a woman's vagina without her consent is rape.

stacey t.
Stacey Toda4 years ago

“I got pregnant vaginally,” Something else could come in my vagina for a medical test that wouldn’t be that intrusive to me. So I find that argument a little ridiculous.” Sue Swayze, legislative director of Indiana Right to Life told local radio station WBAA. Well just because Sue enjoys having things shoved up her vagina doesn’t mean we all do.

Susan O.
Susan O4 years ago

I think that all male Republican politicians should have trans-urethral ultrasounds of their penises and bladders.

Hold the anesthesia.

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine4 years ago

Sick bastards. Who thinks this stuff up?

janice b.
jan b4 years ago

Men in Indiana need to be punished for their part in the pregnancy ... and castration would be just punishment and the ones passing the legislation for punishing women need to add this to the Bill. .

Pamela W.
Pamela W4 years ago

Christopher M ...... Just to complete the excellent replies to you by Marianne C and Linda M ..... I think your getting confused about the male "orifices" - a colonscopie would not be NEARLY painful enough - try the other option and the answer to your question is "Yes" !!!!!

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

Christopher...Who doesn't get pregnant vaginally?
For one thing a penis is not an inflexible and large piece of hard plastic. A little different.
You have apparently never heard of in vitro either.

Winn Adams
Winn A4 years ago


Lauren Berrizbeitia

Because without multiple transvaginal ultrasounds women have no idea what they're doing, and maximizing the women's trauma and discomfort is all to the good as well, eh? Thank goodness we have government looking out for us.