In Virginia, The State Stops Just Short Of Rape—In Texas, State-Mandated Rape Is The Law
Below is a recent headline from a story in The Economist.
McDonnell’s not-so-magic wand—Accusations of medical rape dog Virginia’s accident -prone governor
(Above–Bob McDonnell. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)
The story was about the effort to allow state-mandated rape in Virginia with a forced-sonogram bill for women seeking a legally protected abortion.
People in Virginia saw that this was rape and they said so.
“… a requirement pushed through the legislature that women seeking abortions must undergo a vaginal ultrasound test. Making this invasive procedure, involving the insertion of a wand, compulsory is akin, say Democrats and women’s rights advocates, to a sexual assault. The aim, supposedly, is to confront women with the reality of their fetus.”
This state-mandated rape was vetoed in Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell was concerned not so much about rape, but about the political consequences of signing the bill.
In its place, a bill only slightly less onerous was approved.
“Under the legislation, a woman would be required to undergo an abdominal ultrasound before having an abortion to determine the gestational age. If the information cannot be found that way, the woman would be offered a transvaginal ultrasound and may refuse….”This is only the second time in history Virginia has mandated a medical procedure,” said Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax. “This law will now stand beside legislation that was passed to forcibly sterilize the severely mentally disabled.”
In Virginia, women are still subject to an unwanted medical procedure, but the state will stop just short of rape.
“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion. Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”
State-mandated rape is the law in Texas. This rape has nothing to do with preventing abortion. It has to do with the power of the State of Texas to rape women doing something that the state legislature and Governor Rick Perry think should not be done.
What steps are you going to take to change this reality? The work of changing and repealing this law is up to each of us in Texas and anyplace where human rights are a concern.
(Below–Rick Perry. Photo by Gage Skidmore.)