Ballad of the Virginia mandatory transvaginal ultrasound

Jonathan Mann has devoted today's song-a-day entry to the notorious Virginia transvaginal ultrasound. He notes, "As I was writing this song, the Virginia house passed a bill which still mandates ultrasounds within 24 hours of an abortion, but thankfully, they left out the transvaginal part. I still think the songs stands, though."

More Jonathan Mann songs on Boing Boing.

Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds (Song A Day #1148)


    1. Both the similar Texas and North Carolina laws are tied up in federal court right now, so there are no required ultrasounds there. But what about the four or five other states?

      It’s interesting that the Virginia law is generating so much attention when  other states didn’t. I thinks its because in the intervening time the Republicans have switched to an all anti-reproductive freedom all the time format.

      Do they really think this is a winning message?

  1. The transvaginal part was never in the bill to begin with – it was feminist bloggers that brought up this whole “transvaginal” thing in the first place. The point that they were making is that when the government mandates ultrasound for abortion, it generally has to be done transvaginally in the early stages. With external, you can’t really see anything.

    At most abortion providers, transvaginal ultrasounds are part of  standard care anyway in order to date the pregnancy  and check for ectopic pregnancy etc.  Yes, abortions  can be done without it, but it’s not really the preferred method in Western countries with lots of resources.  In my mind the problem with the bill is not that transvaginal ultrasounds are “icky” and “rapey” in and of themselves.  Instead it’s that this care decision has been taken away from the patient and her physician.

    1. It is most certainly “rapey” if it is MANDATED by the government to have something shoved up your vagina.  I’ve had one of these things (not related to abortion).  I’m really hard to make uncomfortable during medical exams, and by far it wasn’t the worst medical procedure I’ve had, but it was still awkward and weird and it took forever (and every women is going to have a different experience).  To be *required* to have it would be awful, and yes, government-mandated rape.

      Also, my sister had an abortion many years ago, and she got a regular ultrasound; not a transvaginal. It is not always medically necessary to get one during an abortion. This is something the doctor and patient should be deciding, together, not the government.

      And, again, if the government MANDATES someone shove something up your vagina even if it’s not necessary, or MANDATES someone shove something up your vagina with zero input from your doctor, and regardless of the actual situation, it is rape.

    2. So you go ahead and tell a rape survivor who is now pregnant that when the government mandates that someone has to penetrate her with a high-tech dildo whether or not she consents before she can abort her rapist’s child.  And then explain why that’s okay.

  2. I, for one, have to protest the amount of protest over the ultrasounds. Yes, the bill is a backwards attempt to force more controlling politics on women, but I have a slightly unique perspective from most men as my wife is a birth-junkie and is set on becoming a midwife. As such I get to hear shop-talk all the time.

    However the intentions go, the actual facts bear out much in favor of women:

    To get an abortion you need to get an ultrasound for your *own health*. Many other health problems may mimic pregnancy. This bill is ridiculous in requiring them, but medical best practices generally include an ultrasound.

    Ultrasounds are a good idea.

    1. Please see my comment above.  Ultrasounds are, of course, a good idea, but transvaginal ultrasounds are not always needed, and such a thing should NEVER be mandated by the government. It should be the doctor and patient who make this decision, together.

      Have you been hearing a lot of people complaining that doctors aren’t providing needed ultrasounds (regular and trasnvaginal)?  And that it’s killing women?  No?  Not even in this debate has this been brought up.  It’s not like doctors aren’t giving necessary care when, well, necessary.  There was no need at all for the government to mandate this!  To mandate something be shoved up a woman’s vagina, no matter what the doctor or the patient actually needs, is indeed government mandated rape.

      Not to mention, can you think of any other medical procedure that the government mandates be done, always, no matter how necessary or not it is?  Why is it only this that is being mandated?

      DOCTORS ALREADY PROVIDE ULTRASOUNDS.  There is no need to mandate it.  Even normal ones.  To do so is fucking insulting, both to patients and to doctors, and it has nothing to do with the health of women.  NOTHING.  It has to do with controlling the choice of women.

      No one is saying that ultrasounds aren’t a good idea.  No one!  You are making that up.

      They are arguing that the government mandating them is wrong wrong WRONG.

      Does the government think both women AND their doctors are so stupid that they are both unable to know when a transvaginal ultrasound would be necessary or recommended during an abortion? Again, why is it only THIS that is being mandated? Why should any medical procedure be mandated by the government? The government is not a doctor.

    2. Dude, you don’t need an ultrasound of any kind to have a medical abortion when you’re 2 weeks pregnant.  It won’t show you much anyway.

      Except under this law, you do.  And unlike other medical procedures, you’re not allowed to refuse.

  3. You know what’s cute?  Bob McDonnell feels that the TSA pat-downs are an invasion of privacy.  And he at one point compared something to do with taxes or something to rape.  I need to find the exact quote, as I saw on MSNBC last night and I can’t remember what it is, exactly.  But, basically:  He thinks the TSA is an invasion of privacy … but government-mandated rape is a-okay!
    The ONLY reason he is backing down is because he knows it would hurt his chances at becoming V.P., and eventually President.

  4. a) No Webm? What sort of weirdness did the uploader mandate? Can’t view this video on my Firefox on Linux install.

    b) Transvaginal Ultrasound is the name of my Nine Inch Nails cover band

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