The Republican Party does not want government to go anal-probing corporations wanting to reduce unwanted employees but has no problem vaginal-probing women wanting to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
The Virginia State Legislature recently passed a bill that requires women seeking abortion to have a mandatory transvaginal procedure. What the procedure entails is insertion of a probe into the vagina or, as Maureen Dowd of the New York Times describes it, “a wand being inserted into the vagina”. The instrument then probes the vagina to capture an ultrasound image of the fetus.
The law is meant for women during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a period during which 80% of the termination occurs.The idea apparently is to so emotionally disturb abortion seeking women with the heartbeat and image of the fetus that they would decide against it. Once the probe is carried out the women will have to wait for 24 hours to consider their decision.
The opponents of the law have described it as “state-sponsored rape” and it is hard to challenge the characterization.
It is extraordinary how male-heavy legislating and legislative debate have been in America in recent weeks, including on the question of contraception. It is almost as if women are incidental to decisions which have a direct and visceral impact on them. If you took away all the identifiers from these debates, including their geographical locations and names of the people engaging in it, you might think the whole action may be taking place in a Taliban-ruled territory in the 14th century or, as they say in Afghanistan, modern times.
More than the fact that the Virginia bill was passed, which in the end is merely a function of legislative numbers, I find it disturbing that such a bill was conceived at all. If only there was some way of probing lawmakers conceiving such medieval non-sense. The mindset is medieval but the technology is the 21st century.
The bill now awaits signature by Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, a man seen by many as a potential vice-presidential mate in case Mitt Romney is nominated for president.
Far be it for me to pare the complex debate down to street-level catchphrases but what this is telling me is that the Republicans are essentially saying, “Profit and procreate as much as you can.”
P.S.: I can see how the transvaginal procedure is so fraught with some pretty risqué humor but far be it for me to indulge in it.