On the heels of the Oklahoma state Senate's vote to pass the "Personhood" legislation and send it to a state House that is 2:1 in favor of the bill and Virginia's recent effort to require transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions (PS, they threw that "personhood" thing in there too, don't worry!) one has to wonder: has the entire country lost their minds? These bills bring up some scary future law possibilities, and set some pretty terrifying precedents.
Let's start with the obvious one: the government can now require a woman to undergo a medical procedure that is not medically necessary. A transvaginal ultrasound is uncomfortable. It requires the technician to stick that ultrasound probe into the vagina. This means it is invasive, too. No one else is uncomfortable with that? Recently, a VA legislator presented an addendum to VA's bill that would have required men to have digital rectal exams before receiving Viagra prescriptions. This was dismissed as preposterous and the motion was not passed (however, the bill requiring the ultrasound, continued to move forward.)
I mean I get why it was preposterous! The government REQUIRING a medical procedure? That seems pretty scary. One that isn't necessary? That's scarier. Ultrasounds are not cheap either. An abortion can cost about $500-700. Ultrasounds can cost anywhere from $200-400. The law does not make provisions for those without insurance or adequate income to cover those costs.
The message is, if you're a woman, we don't trust you to make the decision without mandating this frivolous medical procedure. PS: you have to pay for it, we're going to mandate it, but it is your responsibility to pay for it.
If you're a poor woman, we hope you enjoy celibacy (just make sure you don't get raped!) Otherwise you're going to be forced to have that child -- oh, and we don't care if it is too dangerous for you to give birth. PS: we plan to demean you for the rest of eternity, you welfare dependent, food stamp and WIC using WHORE!
But wait, It gets worse.
Let's look at the word "personhood." It sounds like a nonsense word, doesn't it? Well, personhood will confirm the government's stance on when life begins-- and that "when" will be at conception. This is dangerous. It has already begun a war on abortion, and even a war on birth control. Apparently, taking birth control violates an unborn organism's rights. (The unborn organism that seems to have more rights now than the adult female, by the way.) Let's forget all that for a second. What about miscarriages? Remember that Georgia lawmaker that attempted to make a law stating that any abortions (even in cases of rape or incest) AND miscarriages would be considered "prenatal murders"? (If you don't, refresh your memory here)
So now, we've given a zygote more rights than an adult female, we've given the government power to mandate unnecessary medical procedures, and we've set the stage for laws to be passed that punish women who suffer miscarriages. In the meantime, we've also stripped women of the ability to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies by limiting access to (or potentially taking away completely) birth control measures.
When is the white Christian male's war on EVERY OTHER GROUP's civil rights going to stop? As states line up to pass marriage equality, we're simultaneously living in a country that seems to have no issue with stripping women of the right to make medical decisions regarding their own bodies.
The Senate vote in Virginia is monday. Bob McDonnell, who has proven himself to be a misogynist enemy of women everywhere, has stated that he will sign the bill into law. Have I mentioned that he's Mitt Romney's #1 pick for VP?
Come on, America: we can do better than this.
When will EVERY human being OUTSIDE the womb receive equal protection and consideration under the law?