Friday, February 24, 2012

Republican misogyny

If you haven't already heard, the Virginia state legislature recently proposed a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to pay for and be subjected to an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of the fetus before the procedure could occur.  The ultrasound would be administered by means of a vaginal probe.

Several states (Alabama, Michigan, and Texas (naturally), among others) have already enacted similar laws that require women to undergo ultrasounds before an abortion.  But the Virginia bill raises the level of degradation .

A vaginal probe?  A government-mandated, medically-unnecessary procedure that violates a woman's body?  It's nothing less than bureaucratic rape.

Last week, the bill was on the fast track to enactment.  It passed the (Republican-controlled) Virginia State House and looked to be heading for easy passage in the (Republican-controlled) Senate, from whence it would head to (Republican) Governor Bob McDonnell's desk.  McDonnell indicated that he intended to sign the bill.

Then, all hell broke loose.  National media attention and protests by concerned Virginia citizens caused such a ruckus that on Thursday morning the Governor backed down and the Virginia Senate withdrew its version of the bill.

At this point, the Governor and the Senate look to be seeking a way to alter the bill such that it satisfies the Republican base but does something to cool the white-hot anger they've stirred up among outraged women.  I wish them luck.  (Not really.)

Take a good look, people. This is what today's Republican party is all about.  Never mind the sanctimonious rhetoric about "unobtrusive government."  The Virginia legislation reveals the true priorities of the GOP:  expressing contempt, debasing and humiliating the people who don't believe as they do.  In this case, women who demand control over their own bodies.

A vaginal probe?

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