If a person named Virginia
Tried to stick an object in ya
In a manner you objected to, we’d have to call it rape.
When this horrid violation
Is an act of legislation,
Then not only is it legal, it’s a crime if you escape.
It’s as if the state has told you
“If you struggle, we’ll just hold you,
So you might as well surrender, though it’s all against your will
We’re not looking to dissuade you
From your choice, as we invade you;
It’s the price we pay for safety… and we’re sending you the bill.”
Rant follows (trigger warning)
Imagine, if you will, a young and frightened woman, already the victim of rape, who finds out to her horror that she is pregnant as a result. In such a case, the rape is a horror. The pregnancy is a horror. The abortion is a blessing.
But Virginia is poised to become the 7th state mandating an invasive vaginal ultrasound, ostensibly for the sake of the woman’s health, before she can abort. The state, quite literally, wants to force this woman to submit to vaginal penetration against her will, and wants to force a doctor (perhaps and probably, against her or his will as well) to perform this penetration. The Virginia legislators are signing up to be accessories to a series of premeditated rapes.
They tell themselves it is for the health of the woman, but of course many (if not most) of them would overturn Roe v. Wade in a heartbeat, and back alley abortions are not exactly in the best interests of a woman’s health. They tell us that this procedure is worth mandating… and that women will be billed for it.
Ed writes about the possibility of a conscience clause here, which would allow a physician to refuse to perform this procedure if it violated her or his beliefs (like, say, “first, do no harm”). For my part, I wonder if the rape laws might cover this, and whether the Virginia legislature might be named as defendants as well.