Raping Women Twice

Ken AshfordWomen's IssuesLeave a Comment

It was just over one year ago when I wrote about how the Virginia legislature were attempting to pass a bill requiring women who want to have an abortion to submit to a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound — an unnecessary medical procedure involving the insertion of a medical probe into a woman's vagina.  The hope was that having such an intrusive procedure (which, I repeat, is not medically necessary for an abortion) would discourage women in Virginia from going through with the abortion.

What happened with that?

Well, the uproar that it caused made the Virginia legislature and its governor (Bob McDonnell – R) rethink the bill.  When all was said and done, they passed a law which required women seeking to undergo an abortion to have a non-invasive or external ultrasound conducted (still not medically necessary, but at least it's not state-sanctioned rape).

But the war against women isn't over.  Now we shift to Indiana, and its proposed law to have women seeking abortion to have not just one transvaginal (internal) ultrasound, but two:

The Indiana state Senate on Wednesday advanced a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound procedure both before and after having a medication-induced abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The Senate Health and Provider Services Committee approved Senate Bill 371 on Wednesday by a vote of 7 to 5, sending it to a full vote in the state Senate. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Travis Holdman (R), imposes heavy regulations on clinics and physicians that offer medication abortions, which are generally used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks from a woman's last period. It would require women to be presented with the sound and image of the fetal heartbeat before the abortion and to return for a follow-up ultrasound to ensure that she is no longer pregnant and has stopped bleeding.

Dr. Anne Davis, the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health, said the requirement would place an undue burden on women seeking to end their pregnancies. "She can do a blood test at any local facility after an abortion to show that the hormone levels are going down as they should, there's no medical reason to make her drive back to the abortion clinic and go through another ultrasound," she said. "This is yet another onerous, medically unnecessary barrier."