VA state senator attaches rectal exam amendment to anti-abortion bill

"To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication." (thanks, Antinous!)


  1. Some of us might think a rectal exam already includes a cardiac stress test.  In any case, thumbs up to the good senator!

  2. How about a requiring spiritual counseling by an ordained Abstinence Specialist? I mean, if God has struck a guy with limp boner syndrome, it must be for a reason, and anyway he’s probably too old for having kids, and what other reason is there for [hushed voice]S – E – X[/hushed voice].

  3. So whats so wrong with seeing a picture of the baby youre about to kill? No seriously. Dont tag this as trolling just because its not what you guys happen to believe….im asking a serious and legitimate question. Why is it such a problem if it is just a bit of tissue?

    1. Because the ultrasound used at such an early stage is what they call a “transvaginal ultrasound” (i.e. they insert the device into the vaginal canal).  Which is to say, it’s an invasive procedure that could be quite traumatic for, say, a rape survivor.  Unless there’s an actual medical need for it, it’s essentially just being used as a kind of punishment. It has nothing to do with showing “a baby” because what you’d see, in the average abortion, is something like this:

    2. Because it is unnecessary and must be paid for by the woman who didn’t need or want it.

      FTA  “…require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience.”

    3. Have you ever had a transvaginal ultrasound? Have you ever had one during an emotionally trying time in your life? 

      At the risk of getting too TMI here: It’s not about what, if anything, you’re seeing on the screen at that stage. It’s about experiencing an invasive medical procedure unnecessarily specifically so the emotional stress of having that procedure will manipulate you into making a decision you might not want to make under normal circumstances.

      Even if you weren’t a rape victim. Even if the embryo or fetus looks like a “hidden picture” drawing at that point. Going through a transvaginal ultrasound when you’re full of pregnancy hormones and really don’t want to be having a transvaginal ultrasound basically means you’ve got a high chance of becoming a crying, vulnerable mess. It’s not okay to do that to people so that politicians can score points.  


    4. Hey, you sanctimonious jerk. If you’re so worried about babies why don’t you start pushing for universal prenatal care? If you’re so worried about babies why don’t you push for affordable and universal neonate care?

      I’ve never met a single antiabortion nut who gave a damn about babies. Tell me I’m wrong this time.

      1. Then you haven’t been looking hard enough. Say whatever you will about their position on abortion, the Catholic Church has consistently advocated for universal health care and prenatal care. Just recently the retired head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called out the Republican candidates and reminded them that being pro-life means a lot more than being opposed to abortion.

        1. I’m sorry, but given the church’s position on contraception and their war on Planned Parenthood, I think they hardly earn brownie points for supporting health care.

        2. I’m glad you brought this up. I was a practicing Catholic for the last time in the early nineties when Clinton was trying to get universal health care coverage in place and when the GOP was trying to ban “partial birth abortions.” I heard nothing from the clergy or congregation about the former, but plenty about the latter. When it comes time to expend political capital the church always go after abortion.

  4. She is requiring unnecessary procedures before getting a legal medical treatment, just like what they are requiring from…oh right

  5. I am depressed by the latter comments. The implied hatred and condescension towards all others just cuts into me.

    To And1: If you are going to try and drum up sympathy for men who require a pill to have a good night, I would advise it not come immediately following a joke implying pro-choice women are easy. Combined it gives you a very poor image, and reads to me as the most terrible thing in this thread.

    To Urughak: I see where you are going. How can we give weight to something that is “just a bit of tissue”, unless it is more than that. No one is saying that a fetus is just a speck to flick away, at least no one harboring any humanity. It is extremely hard to not feel something powerful for the beginnings of life sustained by you. We can grow to love even our pet dogs as family, and mourn as well. This is precisely why it is downright cruel to force everybody, under every circumstance, to have to stare that life down AFTER mentally making the decision they cant support it. I am pretty sure abortions already take a heavy toll on the mothers; it is, in my plain judgement, just petty to drag it out. 

    My question to those who would want this: do you believe you have a thorough enough understanding in this issue and everyone involved in it to be making such decisions for them? Are you confident enough to claim responsibility for this grave matter and all the consequences therein?

    1. No, I really don’t. Thanks for the calm, measured response tho. Not an easy topic to talk about, and I really didn’t mean (and hope i didnt) hurt anyone saying that. Just meant that if a girl’s gonna take a step that big, take that responsibility and consequences (to use your words), i think it’s very appropriate. 

      I had a person close to me decide to abort her child and it wrecked her for years. If she decides she can’t support the baby, there are so many who can and want to. 

      I hope I don’t sound terrible and cold. Don’t mean to. I know it’s a terrible thing for a woman to have to consider. I just see it from both sides.

      Thanks for the measured and thoughtful response and not just slamming me as an evil right-wing shit that hates people. Those kinds of replies are so mean and terrible I never understand how those people differentiate themselves from the ‘evil’ they denounce.

      1. No offense, but if you’re a man, you really have no business volunteering your opinion on abortion. It’s easy to deem whats right and whats not for people when its something you’ll never have to go through in your own life. Additionally, for every one woman whose life was “wrecked” by having an abortion, there are thousands who have saved themselves, their unborn child, not to mention tax-payers (who would have to pick up the bill for finacially unfit parents) hardship and misery.

        1. Bull. 
          … if you’re a man, you really have no business volunteering your opinion on abortion.  =  If you are white , you really have no business volunteering your opinion on where in the bus black people sit. 
          Or what? 
          If you’re straight …
          If you don’t smoke hemp flowers …

          It wasn’t the giving of his opinion that was pigheaded but his opinion itself. 


  6. I realize the suggestion is  a snarky one – but it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea – especially the Cardiac test.

  7. Considering I have a family history of colon cancer and a cardiac stress test actually makes sense going on a drug that is going to tax your heart anyway…I’d support the bill.  Just as long as they do a full and thorough exam, I mean if they are up there they might as well check everything out.

  8. What’s the matter with Virginia that so many morons are in the senate? This is clearly a violation of church-state separation, if not explicitly then certainly in spirit, and it’s bad faith with respect to their obligations to the people of Virginia. The dumbing down of America has reached a mouth-breathing crescendo!

  9. I had my abortion in Virginia and I was required to get the ultrasound. When people hear ultrasound they think big belly, exterior device. Many articles about these bills do women a disservice by showing stock photos of huge pregnant women and this exterior device. The ultrasound procedure for an abortion is vaginal, and invasive. Two doctors had to be called in because the nurse couldn’t locate the embryo, and when they found it, it was a small circle on the monitor.

    The idea behind the bill is to shame women to look at the thing they’re ‘killing’ and the hope is that they’ll have some come to Jesus moment and leave the facility. I was in the office for 7 hours. They don’t need to add ‘outs’, there is enough time in the waiting facility to have second thoughts, and of the thirty women there that day, none did. It is the hardest thing to choose emotionally, and the system already makes it difficult. I was lucky enough to have access to transportation because the facility was three hours from my home.

    The common thread between pro life and pro choice movements is that everyone wants to prevent abortions. No one wants to have an abortion. Period. I wish, instead of bills like this, everyone could come together to promote education and improve access to birth control. That would help everyone.

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