Virginia's state government has angered vaginas and doctors alike with a proposal that would have required many women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory vaginal ultrasound before undergoing the procedure. The Senate passed it, and today the General Assembly passed it with the provision that vaginal ultrasounds are optional. The governor had joined in expressing his wholehearted support of the measure. Until today.
Bob McDonnell, a Republican, had previously said that he'd unequivocally support the law that would have required ultrasounds for all women seeking abortions. But today, he announced that upon review, it actually was sort of gross that the state would mandate further invasive procedure on pregnant women. He said in a statement,
Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.
How low are my expectations that McDonnell's statement made me want to jump out of my chair for joy and write a letter personally thanking the Governor for meeting minimum standards for how humans should approach governing other humans?
Dear Mr. Governor, Thank you for seeing me as a human being, from the bottom of my vacant uterus...
According to ThinkProgress, McDonnell's previous position of unwavering support for the bill seemed a little hypocritical in light of the fact that he was opposed to TSA pat downs in airports, and this is a little more invasive than having some guy's hand lightly brush your butt region.
But just because public outcry over this measure has caused Virginia's governor to back down doesn't mean that lawmakers in other states have learned their lesson. Alabama and Pennsylvania are currently considering similar ultrasound requirements. And there's still that pesky bill that passed out of committee that would allow a woman's spouse (or underage girl's parents) to get a court injunction to block her from having an abortion by accusing her of being motivated to terminate her pregnancy by racism or sexism. In the year 2012. We've come a long way, baby.