The Virginia state legislature is fast becoming the nation’s leader in fighting the abortion holocaust. Last summer abortion clinics were required to meet standards appropriate to a medical facility rather than those resembling a chicken factory. A personhood bill is moving forward which will recognize what anyone who passed high school biology already knows, that a fetus is a separate and distinct human being. But the bill that has the left in a tizzy is one that strikes directly at the market for the abortionists’ sales pitch: women who have just discovered they are pregnant. As a result the Virginia GOP is being treated just by the abortion lobby the same way a rehab clinic operator would be treated by drug pushers.
Except in the case of a medical emergency, at least 2 hours before the performance of an abortion a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the direct supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age. The ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, [emphasis mine] contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable.
Before a woman can receive an abortion in Virginia she must have a sonogram. The sonogram must be given by an MD, not one of the hirsute nurses that one usually finds in abortion clinics. She must be given the opportunity to view a print of the sonogram and she must be given the opportunity to hear the baby’s heartbeat. The woman doesn’t have to look at the picture if she chooses not to. The woman doesn’t have to listen to the heartbeat if she chooses not to.
From this the left is claiming that this requires a transvaginal ultrasound which, according to some twit writing at Slate is just like rape. She draws her farfetched conclusion thusly:
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.
So does Virginia’s law require some foreign object to be “inserted into the vagina, and then moved around”? The answer is obviously no. The law doesn’t specify what kind of ultrasound must be used, rather it clearly states that the sonogram “shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community.” This, obviously, is going to be a function of whatever device Dr. Mengele has at his disposal in the abortion facility.
Abdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds are both effective at early stages of pregnancy. This fact is acknowledged in this “continuing medical education” module produced by the National Abortion Foundation (tag line: “A Provider’s Guide to Medical Abortion”):
Transabdominal ultrasound cannot reliably diagnose pregnancies that are < 6 weeks’ gestation. Transvaginal ultrasound, by contrast, can detect pregnancies earlier, at approximately 4 ½ to 5 weeks’ gestation. Prompt diagnosis made possible by TVU can, therefore, result in earlier treatment.
So, yes, transvaginal is more reliable for detecting pregnancies for a period of about seven days. Please note the Orwellian use of the word “treatment” for “killing of the baby.” How does this require a woman to have a transvaginal ultrasound? Short answer: it doesn’t.
Is this just like rape? That’s even more ridiculous. Abortion is a voluntary procedure, one far more vaginally invasive than any ultrasound, and all the state is doing is requiring that anyone choosing that procedure has to first consent to a prior procedure. This is not how rapists, in general, operate. It’s crackpottery on the level of saying that it’s assault to require you to consent to a chest incision before you can have open heart surgery. Doctors perform invasive diagnostic tests before more serious procedures every day without being called rapists by Luddite lawyers.
What Dahlia Lithwick and her sycophants are doing is what leftists do when they are losing a debate. They tell the Big Lie.