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Virginia is for Misogynists

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By Michael Collins

The Virginia legislature is about to enact a law that requires a transvaginal ultrasound procedure for all women who have abortions (except in the case of a medical emergency). Apparently, the legislators are unaware that the law violates existing sexual assault code or that Virginians oppose the law  by a wide margin.

Here's the procedure.

"You will lie down on a table with your knees bent and feet in holders called stirrups. The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel. " The health care provider will move the probe within the area to see the pelvic organs." Medline Plus

This isn't an option. It's a requirement for an abortion in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The law is clear:

"a qualified medical professional ... shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age." House Bill No. 462, Virginia Assembly (Also here)

The medical professional is then required to "offer the woman an opportunity to view and receive a printed copy of the ultrasound image and hear auscultation of fetal heart tone."

Women will not only suffer the invasive procedure, they will be asked to experience a vicarious reenactment.

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When used for medical purposes, this procedure can determine the risks of miscarriage, infections, and isolate the cause of any vaginal bleeding. The procedure is used detect cancers, birth defects, and infections that impact fetal health. It is an accepted treatment in voluntary reproductive medicine.

The mandated transvaginal ultrasound procedure is not intended for any medical purpose. It is the consequence for seeking an abortion in the state that is credited as the source of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution.

Women who choose abortion will have to endure vaginal invasion, seek abortion in another state, or complete the pregnancy.

Procedure Violates Virginia Law Against "inanimate or animate object sexual penetration"

The Virginia Code states that penetration of the labia majora " [for] other than a bona fide medical purpose" is an act of "object sexual penetration." There is no routine medical purpose for a transvaginal ultrasound procedure prior to abortions. As described in the proposed law, the procedure "penetrates the labia majora " of a complaining witness." Since we can assume the complaints would be nearly universal, the new law violates existing law.

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- 18.2-67.2. Object sexual penetration; penalty.

A. An accused shall be guilty of inanimate or animate object sexual penetration if he or she penetrates the labia majora or anus of a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, other than for a bona fide medical purpose , or causes such complaining witness to so penetrate his or her own body with an object or causes a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, to engage in such acts with any other person or to penetrate, or to be penetrated by, an animal,,,: Virginia Code

Legislators in Violation of Virginia Law Against "attempted object sexual penetration"

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Virginia legislators are about to force women to u... by Michael Collins on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 4:21:51 AM
about the right to self-determination or the will ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 7:53:32 AM
"legislators proposing the bill are, by current la... by Andrey Gerasimenko on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:40:51 AM
The problem is about common law principles. As so... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 1:41:13 PM
They are totally opposed to this 55% oppose - mid ... by Michael Collins on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 3:38:45 PM
The key phrase regarding "object penetration" is "... by Michael Collins on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 3:36:01 PM
ThinkProgress @thinkprogress BREAKING: Virginia H... by nation of gandhis on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 4:21:20 PM
Thanks you Michael, once again women seem to have ... by nation of gandhis on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 3:32:22 PM
Dear Mike,Great article. Thanks for writingYour a)... by Sheila Parks on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 9:48:43 PM
Thank you for this powerful statement.  The p... by Amy Bookbinder on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 10:33:18 PM
From Slate: Update, Feb 22, 2012: Va. Gov. ... by Michael Collins on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:02:29 PM
Your last sentence (in this comment) about the goo... by Ned Lud on Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 7:13:54 AM
Does anyone have the list, please. I would guess b... by Sheila Parks on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:24:24 PM