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Imagine that you are a male citizen of the state of Virginia. A male citizen seeking help for a prostate problem. You are experiencing more and more difficulty arriving at, and maintaining, an erection....and so you go to see your family doctor in Virginia.
Your doctor tells you that he can prescribe Viagra for you. But before your doctor can prescribe Viagra, he tells you that you must undergo a rectal probe. There's no scientific or medical reason for the rectal probe, he tells you.....but elected officials in Virginia have made it a state law for all males requesting Viagra to first undergo a rectal probe and then wait a week before the doctor can legally prescribe Viagra for you. There are no exceptions.
The doctors of Virginia didn't call for the rectal probe mandate.....instead, it was legislators and a governor who mandated that doctors must perform a rectal probe before Viagra is prescribed in the state of Virginia. Doctors had explained to legislators that a rectal probe was medically unnecessary, an unwarranted invasive procedure.....just for the purpose of prescribing Viagra.
Anonymous sources say that, in passing the Virginia law mandating rectal probes prior to prescribing Viagra, legislators were really attempting to slow the number of prescriptions of Viagra being written in Virginia on "conscience" grounds. A majority of Virginia lawmakers believe that artificial methods of drawing wood makes Jehovah weep uncontrollably. Lawmakers in the state have often been heard saying that if the good Lord can't help a Virginia male get it up naturally, then it just may be god's will that that male must suffer erectile dysfunction for the rest of his life. God works, you know, in mysterious ways.
And so it was.
Some Virginia males complained that if Viagra can be prescribed safely without a rectal probe, and that since the rectal probe is entirely unnecessary for any sound medical reasons.....then what those males were being subjected to against their wishes was a form of anal rape.
No....none of what I've written thus far is factual. Instead, it is a hypothetical turn-about-is-fair-play scenario depicting exactly what Virginia females will soon be subjected to should those females seek to exercise their completely legal right to obtain an abortion in Virginia.
The great Dahlia Lithwick....
This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.
Not only are the Virginia Republicans, who control the governor's seat as well as the state legislature, enacting a Big Intrusive Government program which discriminates against a woman's right of privacy entirely unnecessarily.....but those same Virginia Republicans also rejected an amendment which would have allowed a woman and/or her doctor to opt out of the unnecessary and invasive procedure. The new Big Intrusive Government program in Virginia is not simply Big and Intrusive.....it's thuggish as well.
The new Virginia..."the-state-can-order-the-penetration-of-your-vagina.....for no goddamn good reason other than they can"...law, passed by the same ideological brethren who have been screaming from rooftops over women having access to no-co-pay contraception, targets one specific group of state citizens, reproductive age women....and declares war upon them.
In case people haven't been paying attention....today's elected Republicans have been waging war more intensely against women in the last few years. In 2011 alone, 92 new abortion restrictions were passed in 24 states. In 2005, the previous record of new abortion restrictions was set.....34.
However, it looks like the war-on-women warriors, at least in Virginia, are not going to be satisfied with simply restricting access to abortion through the setting up of a maze of roadblocks which make getting a legal abortion much more frustrating and difficult.
No. Now it's necessary for women in Virginia to be vaginally penetrated, humiliatingly, against their wishes and for no medical purpose. In other words, the government of Virginia has decided to order the "rape" of women who are seeking a legal abortion in that state.
Conservative Republicans in 24 states have been waging political war against the legal rights of women all of 2011. Not to be outdone by their conservative colleagues, Virginia's conservative Republicans are now parading their peculiar version of small government, libertarian ideology around for all to see at the start of 2012. That ideology includes state government power to order the entirely unnecessary vaginal penetration of women wishing to exercise their legal rights.