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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/22/12

Virginia is for Misogynists

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   13 comments, In Series: Politics and Policy
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By Michael Collins

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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.

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.

- 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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