The bill regulates reproductive health centers like Planned Parenthood out of existence and requires “fetal pain” counseling for women seeking abortions. More information and a way to contact Florida legislators here: http://aclufl.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/tell-the-legislature-i-trust-florida-women-so-should-you/
Holy fucking christ.
At the link, there is a petition to sign and information about who in Pennsylvania to contact to voice your displeasure or rage.
Fuuuuuuuck. My state. I knew it was just a matter of time, but …. fuck!
North Carolina’s ultrasound law, passed last year over the governor’s veto, didn’t provoke the same level of controversy. It doesn’t include the words “trans-vaginal probe,” either. But it effectively requires the procedure for many, if not most, abortions.
The new law requires an ultrasound before any abortion procedure. The woman has to be shown the image of the fetus, have the image described to her, and be offered the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat.
In early pregnancy—up until about 8 weeks—the only way a doctor can comply with those requirements is by using a trans-vaginal sonogram probe.
Rex Healthcare’s Rhonda Thomas is president of the NC Ultrasound Society. She says abdominal ultrasounds can’t see much before the two-month mark, especially if the patient has had prior pregnancies or is overweight.
“They’re just more sensitive,” Thomas said of trans-vaginal scans. ”That’s the test of choice.”
A trans-vaginal sonogram is also the only way to hear a fetal heartbeat in early pregnancy. Thomas says the heartbeat isn’t audible via stethoscope until about 10 weeks.
Planned Parenthood of Central NC spokeswoman Paige Johnson said her group lobbied hard against other parts of the bill, but didn’t make a big issue of the probe. That’s because her group uses them, too.
Johnson says Planned Parenthood requires an ultrasound before every abortion to “date” the pregnancy. NC law allows abortion only within the first 20 weeks, except when the mother’s life or health is threatened.
If it’s early in the pregnancy, Johnson says, the clinic’s doctors use a trans-vaginal probe for the scan. And most cases are early: she says 90 percent of abortions are performed within the first 12 weeks.
“Before the law, if a woman didn’t want to undergo the scan, she could go elsewhere,” Johnson said. “Now she doesn’t have that choice.”
A federal judge has temporarily stayed the part of NC’s law that requires the doctor to describe the ultrasound image to the patient. But the requirement for the ultrasound itself is law, as are the waiting period and the mandate that doctors counsel women seeking abortion about adoption services and the availability of food stamps.
[NB: This affects more than cis women.]
And now this.
These insidious laws that have no connection to medicine and motivated solely by a subset of people trying to legislate their own morality and beliefs and impose them on everyone, are slipping under the national radar and going unnoticed until passed. Soon there will hardly be a state left where one can get a LEGAL procedure without enduring inhumane, degrading, invasive physically and emotionally, state-sanctioned ones. And that’s if one can afford it. Which a lot of poor people can’t. With funding being cut to Planned Parenthood — often the only viable reproductive care for people with no medical insurance in some areas — these insidious measures effectively eliminate all options.
Women are treated as commodity, and a stupid commodity, at that. The kind that cannot and shouldn’t be allowed to decide on their own bodily autonomy and care.
Add to that someone like current GOP crop of potential candidates, spewing hateful nonsense about “honest rape,” and women are screwed, almost literally.
There isn’t enough rage to express here. This is heinous.
Once again, Melissa McEwan articulates how I feel better than I ever could:
On a related note, perhaps if the men who are leading the charge against reproductive freedom listened to women, they would know by now that: 1. Mandating transvaginal ultrasounds is rape, because a person with a uterus who cannot access a legal medical procedure without submitting hir body to a vaginal probe cannot be said to be meaningfully consenting, as consent requires a choice, and “consent” without a choice is not actually consent; it’s coercion. 2. Mandated rape isn’t a political “winner” with the ladies. Or anyone else with a uterus. Or anyone sans uterus but functional sense of decency. […]
In the year 2012, women et. al. in the United States are being told by their government that they must submit their bodies to state-sanctioned rape if they want to access a legal medical procedure, while being totally shut out of legislative sessions in which increasing control of their bodies is assumed by elected men and their “experts.”
Post-feminist world etc.
[As Melissa implies, this fight and these laws affect more people than cis women.]
[NB: More people than just cis women will be affected by this law.]
That is the first line of The Salt Lake Tribune’s write up of this disgusting law, which now looks poised to be signed by Utah’s governor.
A similar law passed in South Dakota but has been held up (blocked) in courts. In response to the passage of that law, NARAL posted this piece in 2011 about what a 72hr waiting period means.
Such laws, of course, disproportionately hurt poor people.
This is the most radical waiting period in the country. It was debated for 15 minutes in the House with only one person speaking against it, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss. It received 53-seconds’ attention in the Senate.
This is disgusting. To not only are states passing ridiculous laws that show the inherent distrust that politicians have in pregnant people but Utah politicians couldn’t even spend actual time debating it?
To contact the governor of Utah, Gary R. Herbert, to ask him to VETO #HB461:
PHONE #s: 801-538-1000 and 800-705-2464
As I said yesterday with Arizona and Kansas, this is NOT the moment where we make statements like, “Oh, that’s just Utah. Why don’t people move? What more do you expect? Oh well. *shrugs*.” Because you know who that helps? NO ONE. And you know what that make Utah residents who need/want access to abortion care feel like? Not important.
So, let’s make as much noise as possible. Don’t let this go by without us showing that we see, that we are watching, THAT WE CARE.
TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of the termination of a wanted pregnancy
The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen.
“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
“Here I see a well-developed diaphragm and here I see four healthy chambers of the heart…”
I closed my eyes and waited for it to end, as one waits for the car to stop rolling at the end of a terrible accident.
If you can read this entire post and still think that mandatory ultrasounds serve a purpose…you are an asshole.