Techno-Rape by Proxy
Am I the only one who can see that requiring women to submit to a trans-vaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining a legal abortion amounts to sexual assault by state legislature? What else could you call it?
Could it be any clearer that the intent of the law in both Texas and Virginia, and Governors Perry and McDonald, respectively, is to punish and humiliate women who are already in a vulnerable position both physically and emotionally?
To require that a phallic-shaped probe larger than your average dildo be inserted into a woman to determine fetal age—while at the same time directing her to watch the screen so she can understand the reality of her pregnancy—is techno-rape.
Consider the fact that some of the women seeking abortion are victims of rape or incest to begin with and are now required by this law to be re-traumatized. Never mind the fact that it is not medically necessary. Never mind that there was no consent on the part of the woman. Never mind that physicians have testified to the medical non-necessity of trans-vaginal ultrasound for the purposes of determining fetal age.
I am well past the age at which these issues affect me personally. But I am still a woman; I am still a human being. And this legislation offends me—so offends my very personage—that I must speak out.
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, surely you can see that to subject any woman to this treatment—under ANY circumstances—lowers our status in this country and in our culture. If you can’t see that, then perhaps you should leave your membership card to the human race at the door—you aren’t fit to be a member. And that goes not just for the males, but for any females who cannot see the incredible misogyny inherent in this new assault on women’s sexuality. It affects all U.S. citizens in terms of our ethical standing in the world.
A woman seeking an abortion does not need to see video of the contents of her uterus to understand what she is doing. She is there to have an abortion. That very fact implies that she knows she is pregnant. There is no medical reason to do trans-vaginal ultrasounds—abdominal ultrasounds could just as easily and less traumatically determine fetal age. I can’t help but see this as rape—by proxy.
To the people who supported these laws I say simply: Shame on you. To the thinking men and women who oppose such punitive, arcane and sadistic treatment of women, I say: Where is your outrage? I’m not hearing it.
I thought that the presence of hundreds of women standing silently at the Virginia State Capital, as state legislators filed past to vote on this, would shame the legislature into behaving like human beings. It did not.
And they are not done with us yet. Today, March 15, 2012, the U.S. Senate is debating the Violence Against Women Act, and it is expected that there will be opposition to it by Senate Republicans.
Are they insane? Certain Republicans seem to be concerned that some illegal immigrants and some same-sex partners may inadvertently benefit from the protections this law might provide. These cowardly legislators are afraid of looking pro illegal-immigration or pro same-sex marriage.
That prospect is so politically terrifying to them that they are willing to throw women under the bus and leave them without the protections of the Violence Against Women Act.
Voting is our only weapon. How about a grassroots campaign to create a human voting tsunami on November 6, 2012? I propose that we organize and show up at the polls in physical groups of at least 10. I don’t even care which way you vote; just be counted. Our lawmakers need to know that we are paying attention. This is everyone’s battle.
Start making dates with your friends to go vote. Have coffee or dessert or brunch, or drinks afterwards or whatever it takes to make it an occasion to vote. How great would it be to go to the very crowded polls this year and see all those female faces? If you aren’t registered to vote, get started on that today. Just do it.