What is it with the right wing and women's va-jay-jays?
Both on the federal and state level, legislatures — predominantly white men — seem to be insisting that their values govern what women do with their bodies. We see it in the current controversy involving contraception coverage for women — who do you see speaking out against it? Men. White conservative men.
But the state legislature of Virginia takes it to a new level.
You see, it is unconstitutional to ban abortions outright. That's the holding of Roe v. Wade. So the tactic of the conservative (male) rightwing is to make abortions difficult or more displeasing than they already are. To that end, some states have recently passed laws requring that women seeking an abortion obtain an ultrasound, and be shown the picture (in the hopes that seeing the fetus might make the woman change her mind). But they soon discovered a problem with this tactic:
The ultrasound requirement may evoke images of the abdominal sonograms standard in most pregnancies, fuzzy black and white pictures conjured by a wand passed across a woman's stomach.
But those ultrasounds are ordinarily done fairly late in pregnancy. In the beginning, particularly the first weeks, an abdominal ultrasound may not be sensitive enough to detect anything.
So how can you guilt women into abandoning an abortion if you can't show them an ultrasound?
I know — let's rape them!
Yup. That's what the Virginia House of Representatives want to do. They just passed a bill which will require…
a transvaginal ultrasound. In plainspeak, they insert a condom-covered probe into a woman's vagina to obtain an image.
Now, apparently someone in the legislature thought, "Well, suppose a woman doesn't want to have her vagina penetrated by a probe?" So that person tried to tack on an amendment to the bill — an amendment that allowed women to opt out.
And the House Republicans voted down the amendment, 64-34.
That's right. So now, if this bill becomes a law (and it is likely to), then all women seeking an abortion in Virginia must, by law, undergo a medically unnecessary procedure in which they are vaginally violated with a probe. Whether they like it or now.
This may be the first time in history where a legislature actually promotes and legalizes rape.
Still doubt there is a concerted GOP attack on women? Then how about this?
Protecting women from violence and abuse has been an issue of bipartisan cooperation since President Clinton signed the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994. It was reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2000 and again in 2005. Not this year.
On Feb. 2, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation (S. 1925) reauthorizing VAWA. The bill was sponsored by Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) — who is not on the committee — and cosponsored by 34 senators from both parties. Nevertheless, the legislation attracted no GOP support among committee members and passed out of committee on a party-line vote of 10-8. It was, according to Leahy's office, the first time VAWA legislation did not receive bipartisan backing out of committee.
Seriously. The Republicans are even backing away from the Violence Against Women Act.