Assault Continues on Women’s Reproductive Rights

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/us/virginia-senate-passes-revised-ultrasound-bill.html?pagewanted=all&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

During the furor over the GOP primary race in Michigan and Arizona, this sort of snuck by.  But it is troubling.  On the face, they left out the mandated transvaginal ultrasound, but it still can be used.  And “In Idaho, senators introducing a similar ultrasound bill added language on Monday requiring use of “whichever method the physician and patient agree is best under the circumstances.””  Nice to know my state uses vague language that makes it possible to be used without the full consent of the patient.

Virginia would become the eighth state to require that women have ultrasounds before abortions and also be “offered” descriptions of the fetus. Offered descriptions.  To me that is a clear attempt to influence a woman’s choice, and I think should be challenged in court under Roe v. Wade.  I’d have to do some legal research and see the language used in the case, but it seems clear to me that such a direct attempt to change a woman’s decision is wrong.

In other states, the move is to force women to hear the heartbeat, see the ultrasound, although she can avert her eyes, as the doctor narrates what is seen.  Doctors not doing so can face felony charges.

“In Alabama, the Virginia furor fanned new controversy over a proposal in the Legislature, prompting a swift reaction from voters and the author of the bill, which is called the “Right to Know and See Act.”

Even if it is amended to offer a choice of probes, the bill would contain some of the country’s strongest pre-abortion mandates.

It would require the ultrasound screen to face the woman while the doctor narrates the images, although the law states that it should not be “construed to prevent a pregnant woman from averting her eyes,” the bill reads. Doctors who do not follow the prescribed routines could face felony charges and could be sued by the potential father and grandparents.”

“The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a law with some of the country’s strongest provisions. It would require vaginal probes in many cases, display of the scanning screen to the patient and a printout of the image for inclusion in the patient’s medical records. It would also impose a 24-hour waiting period between ultrasound and abortion that critics say would be a burden for some women.”

“In Mississippi, a bill working its way through committee requires an ultrasound that provides an image of high quality, which cannot be achieved with abdominal procedures in the initial months of pregnancy. The woman must be offered a chance to see the image and hear the fetal heartbeat. She cannot avoid hearing a description of the sonogram unless, among other things, she is a victim of sexual assault or incest or the fetus is medically compromised.”

This is such an invasion of a women’s reproductive rights as to be a direct attack.  And in so many states.  What happened?   I want this before the court, and declared to be outlawed under Roe v. Wade and other cases.

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