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The War on the womb: Another Offensive

By now I'm sure you've all heard about it: legislators demanding women get transvaginal ultrasounds before they can have abortions. (Apparently Virginia's governor, at least, may be having second thoughts. Apparently he's heard some people dislike what he's doing.)

These procedures are unnecessary for the most part, and they should only be up to the discretion of the woman's gynecologist, not that of lawmakers who have never so much as had one or anything like it, or who would never need an abortion. It's coerced vaginal penetration--state-sponsored rape.

Transvaginal ultrasounds are expensive. Prohibitively so. They are uncomfortable at best, and if you have anything like cysts or endometriosis, they are painful. No one likes their organs stirred with a baton, even when it's necessary. Worst of all, these alleyway assaultists want to do it to women who are up to 12 weeks pregnant.

And, most importantly, any and all ultrasounds of women are not the business of largely male legislators or of the law at all. Women's bodies are not the business of people who work in big buildings with breasts on the roof. They are not the business of yapping lickspittle curs who run around with bigger curs toting cameras behind them. They are not the business of anyone but individual women and their unlegislated doctors, and I am sick to death of these blatherskite louse-cracking pox-brained scum-lapping muckrollers who want to commandeer our lives for their votes. Goddess curse them all with boils, shingles, and ooze of their privy parts.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Even if you DON'T have any underlying medical conditions, t/v ultrasounds can HURT. Especially if the tech isn't especially well trained or especially sympathetic. I'm a grown woman who's had a natural childbirth, uses mesntrual cups, and has a not-insigificant number of dildos.

It's forceful penetration of a woman's vagina against her will or at the very least, coerced consent under duress. How is it NOT rape?
Feb. 18th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
You're right. I'm editing.
Feb. 18th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Really. I mean that. I do a lot of work with postpartum moms, and trying to get people to take you seriously, that you felt violated by your doctor or the staff while you were in labor or as part of prenatal care is SO HARD to do and it is SO common.
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
trying to get people to take you seriously

The first time I had a pelvic, I was 13 and no one had told me I was going to have one right then or what was entitled. Rattled but trying to joke, I called the doctor "a dirty old man." The staff at the group home reamed me out, made me apologize to him, and ignored my efforts to explain.

It was "coerced consent under duress" that made me see.
Feb. 26th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Possible TMI ahead, but maybe you might understand--no one else seems to.

I can understand. When I was about that age, I would sometimes be unable to pee due to a very painful pain on my left side somewhere. The doctors decided to shove a catheter up my urethra to fill my bladder and give me an ultrasound while I peed on the exam table. I was terrified (enough so that four Valium did nothing to help).

Well, they got the tube up my urethra--after first shoving it up my vagina and filling that with water. And I then got yelled at for screaming in immense pain and for being terrified. (And I never did manage to go on the table.)

I don't know if that experience counts as rape, or if the one when I was 7 and had boils down there and had people poking and prodding and shoving stuff up there when I didn't know what was going on does (as I was a very intelligent but in all other ways very behind seven-year-old, due to undiagnosed ASD and learning disabilities), but it has made me so terrified of anyone doing anything down there that the husband is forbidden to go there, and I can't even contemplate a doctor doing so for any reason.
Feb. 27th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
My God.

No wonder you're terrified. It's amazing you can sustain a sex life at all! I'm terrified of those bladder exams, and I've had them as an adult. They're excruciating when you have inflammation of any kind, not to mention the shame issues involved in urinating in front of people. Urologists are so accustomed to it that they forget, but certainly in the case of young patients they ought to be more considerate, damn it!

People don't get how frightening they are to kids, particularly when they loom over them, don't explain, and yell at the kid for procedures that would make *them* yell.

Have you seen a rape counselor? I'm serious. A lot of the things that happened to you then seem to me to share a lot of the same triggers as rape, and I bet rape counselors would understand better than anyone else, and know more effective ways to help you deal with the ongoing trauma than any other kind of counselor. Especially counselors who are accustomed to working with people who are dealing with childhood assault. It would be worth it, don't you think, if they could help you deal with this pain?
Feb. 27th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
I've not seen a rape counselor, no. I didn't even know such things existed. It is definitely something to look into, it sounds like.

I do not understand why doctors can't be more understanding of when people are scared and hurting because of something the doctor is doing. Then again, even my mother got mad and yelled at me for being terrified and screaming in pain--apparently I embarrassed her.
Feb. 18th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
I think that we can say your rage has taken you to a different plane of existence, not just a nearby expansive field.
Feb. 18th, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
Well said. I'm applauding you <3
Feb. 18th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Seconding the applause.
Feb. 18th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
Here here!
Politicians need to get their heads around the fact that this should not be an issue: if we were to hear about placing equivalent medical procedures on men, there would be uproar. This double standard between men and women is getting absurd.
Feb. 18th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
There was -- the woman legislator who tried to amend a bill so that every man who wanted Viagra or similar would first need a rectal exam and a stress test to see if he was healthy enough to engage in sex. Of course it was voted down by the mostly-male body, and was only a one-day wonder in the news.

I'd love to see a bill for 'no Viagra over 50', on the theory that if your SO is past child-bearing age, the man has no need for erections. Maybe *that* would make them think.

You're right; more people need to do or say something to force a reality check on men. EG -- Do you *want* to work three jobs to provide for a family of 6, or 8, or 10 children? Are you willing to not have sex with your wife for 10 days out of every month so you can avoid having 6, 8, or 10 children? Do you *really* consider women unequal beings who are only good for bearing children?

(Which may be the case, but even if they deny it, putting the question that way may make more people think about it. I wish.)
Feb. 19th, 2012 09:37 am (UTC)
You're right; more people need to do or say something to force a reality check on men. EG -- Do you *want* to work three jobs to provide for a family of 6, or 8, or 10 children? Are you willing to not have sex with your wife for 10 days out of every month so you can avoid having 6, 8, or 10 children? Do you *really* consider women unequal beings who are only good for bearing children?

Since the men are anti-birth control for women, I think that a woman politician should propose a bill making forced sterilization mandatory for all men whose wives and/or girlfriends do not want to have children, cannot safely have children, or who have genetic conditions that they don't want to pass on to children.

Also, all unwanted children resulting from the anti-birth control nonsense shall have multiple fathers under law--the co-sponsors of the anti-birth control bill (if there are any women co-sponsors, this will apply to them as well) and each and every Catholic bishop. The legal fathers will be expected to provide financially for every one of these children. Clergy of any religion will NOT be exempt.

I don't expect either to pass, but the proposals might get the point across to a few male politicians, though not most of them.
Feb. 19th, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like the way you think. My ideas might hit home on an individual level -- if there are men who actually don't want their SO's to use BC -- but yours would stir up a national firestorm/conversation.

For legal fathers, not just Catholic bishops, because clergy of other faiths were on that panel, but any clergy who is anti-birth control.

AND every unmarried male in the nation. If half of the population are forced to be breeding machines, the other half should be forced to support their children.

And no, it wouldn't pass, but it sure would be nice if the voting population rose up en mass and forced the legislators to back off this nonsense, and/or voted every one of them out of the Congress and Senate.
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'd love to see a bill for 'no Viagra over 50',

This would make me happy.
Feb. 18th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
Appreciate the bluntness. I had one of those exams a month or so ago to diagnose something (which fortunately is fixable with minor surgery this spring). I CANNNOT IMAGINE being forced to get a transvaginal ultraound without consent - it's damned uncomfortable and invasive and I don't WANT to imagine what it would be like for an assault survivor or a young girl. These guys don't have any reason or qualification to be giving medical orders. None. I'll second that curse and add a translation of my great-grandmother's favorite: "may they grow headfirst in the ground like a turnip."
Feb. 18th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
I like that curse.

I second it.
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
"may they grow headfirst in the ground like a turnip."

You mean this crop hasn't?
Feb. 18th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)

...have I mentioned lately how much I love you and your way with words? I'm torn between wanting more books from you, and having you run for some kind of public office. I'd move up there just to vote for you, that's for damn sure~

Feb. 20th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
having you run for some kind of public office

Thank you for the compliments, but you know that sooner or later I'd forget myself and say what I really thought, and they're tar and feather me, right?
Feb. 21st, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
lol, they'd have to get through me first~ trust me, it wouldn't happen >:)

Feb. 19th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
I just had one of those ultrasounds, but I'm not pregnant. And as much as it WAS necessary in my particularly situation, I still wouldn't wish it on anyone else. Especially not someone who has been a victim of molestation or sexual trauma. That's seriously fucked up, and the fact that legislators are ignoring how it CLEARLY MEETS the definition of rape if the patient doesn't consent to the procedure is even worse.

...Then again, aren't those the same people who were trying to redefine rape as "forcible rape?" Just a means to this end, I suppose. How can it be rape if we've just redefined rape as a forced entry, proven only by bruising, scraping, and laceration?

This is one of many reasons why I should run for legislative office: so I can be the voice of reason in a room otherwise full to the brim with blithering idiots.
Nicole Inghilterra
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Among the myriad of other things that infuriate me about this whole situation is the quote in the RH Reality Check article crediting the majority of abortions to “matters of lifestyle convenience.” This legitimately makes me feel postal. I applaud any woman who actually assesses whether or not she and her partner, or she alone, can provide for her offspring. We should not bring new life into the world unless we can actually support it, and that is aside from those unwanted pregnancies which are caused by something traumatic like rape. Please give me ONE example of a so called "convenience" abortion. What do they think women are? Vapid beings who see children as something akin to a new haircut? These kinds of decisions are NOT made lightly! And this fury is on top of my overwhelming agreement with you that members of legislature need to keep their grubby little misogynistic paws out of my body!
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
“matters of lifestyle convenience.”

Yeah, the two times I thought I might need one I was a flat broke student who couldn't even support herself let alone anyone else, with a family with no money. It was convenient to my lifestyle not to burden society with another poverty baby if I didn't have to. I also had a fifty percent chance of passing on an ugly neurological disease; no one was contesting my right to have an abortion rather than risk passing that onto a kid. Luckily I had Old Faithful between my legs; both times I was simply late.

My welfare mother was forced to have the baby rather than the "matter of lifestyle convenience." She gave her up for adoption. We have no way to track her down to warn her, since we don't know the hospital, the birthdate, anything.

Convenience abortion the devil's seamed and reeking bum.
Nicole Inghilterra
Feb. 25th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
And there's the rub... These politicians are so busy pointing the finger at women for being these horrid baby killers, they don't care to look at the situation with any sense of logic or any compassion even... I'm so tired of being told by these morons that my decision making processes are faulty when they don't have the same equipment. It blows my mind that there are actually women supporting these people as well. Do they not get that this debate is not just about babies, but that it extends to our very rights over our own bodies and minds? Ugh!
Feb. 19th, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
I saw stuff about this on Reddit, I was none too pleased. It was bad enough that here in Texas they now require the regular ultrasound in order to authorize an abortion. What, do they think women don't KNOW what it means to be pregnant or have an abortion?
Feb. 19th, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
I had this done three years in a row to monitor cysts on my ovary. At best, if you actually need it for a medical reason, it is uncomfortable and embarrassing. But to be forced to do it by male politicians for no real reason? The ultimate in violation by the very government charged to protect your rights and safety.
Feb. 19th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
I live in Virginia, and I'm so angry about this I can barely express myself without descending into complete incivility. All I can say is, I did not vote for these people, and I hope all their careers are ruined forever by bad publicity over this absurd bill.
Feb. 20th, 2012 01:52 am (UTC)
I've had to undergo two transvaginal ultrasounds: once, years ago, when I was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis; the other just a couple of weeks ago, when I had to go to the emergency room with what turned out to be an ovarian cyst.

The first time was uncomfortable. The second time was agonizingly painful, and could easily have been triggering. I'm grateful it wasn't for me, but I cannot imagine going through that as a recent victim of sexual assault. I cannot bear the thought of ANY woman being forced to undergo such an invasive, humiliating ordeal, and all because some asshole has decided we must be shamed and mishandled if we dare to obtain a legal medical procedure.
Feb. 27th, 2012 09:02 am (UTC)
I completely agree. A woman's body is hers to do with as she pleases and no man should ever be allowed to lay down any law to change that. I admire the strength that radiates from your words. You remind me so much of one of your own characters but I suppose that would make sense since I'm sure you write a little bit of yourself into each one. You must be a very strong woman and it gives me pleasure to know that I may one day grow up to be so brilliant :)
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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