Michigan — Lay Back, Relax, and Put Your Feet in the Stirrups

Oh you Michigan lawmakers, rascally Republicans — you’re such naughty boys!  You almost got us this time!

It’s just so cute the way you thought you could sneak a state-sanctioned rape law right under our niave little noses…well, actually it’s not all our noses, only the girl noses, and in fact it’s not their noses at all, but rather their delicate lady-parts exposed while captured backside in stirrups — in a vulnerable position physically, emotionally, and often financially, when having a perfectly legal abortion.  What better time to get your bully on? Misogyny at its finest!

Let’s give lockeroom credit where credit is do — House Reps:  Johnson, LaFountaine, Hooker, Callton, Damrow, Scott, Heise, Walsh, McBroom, Zorn, Muxlow, Cottor, Horn, Franz, Shirkey, Brunner, Yonker, Kurtz, Price, Somerville, LeBlanc, Opsommer, Shaughnessy, Haines, R. Schmidt, Denby, and Huuki.

High fives all around! Woo-Hoo!  (Send them a note of congratulations here, except Scott, he was recalled.)

The really cool part is you lawmakers have built-in a plausible deniability factor so it doesn’t even look like state-mandated rape with a foreign object…. on paper that is, unless you’re a doctor or lawyer.  Oh no, you wouldn’t be so crass as to actually out-right demand, that prior to an abortion, a woman must undergo a  transvaginal ultrasound — an invasive procedure in which a probe (and it’s not a small one!) is inserted in the woman’s vagina to obtain an image of the uterus.  No, you say it so much more nicely — politely, for the ladies.  You must think yourselves terribly clever, but to those of your constituents who know your game, they can bet the law was likely written by one of the many conservative think-tanks that does all the homework for you and your teammates — Conservative Cliff Notes for Dummies.

Seriously now, let’s take a good hard look at HB 4433.  (The bill is still in committee, and our lawmakers will likely wait for the bruhaha over Virginia’s transvaginal political dust-up to settle before introducing it on the House floor.)  This blogger is fortunate to have an OB-Gyn as her best friend.  We sat down and parsed this legislative gem, line-by-line, to determine exactly what it would compel an abortion provider to do.

It starts out innocous enough, stressing the importance of a woman getting “sufficient information to make an informed choice” for their “physical and psychological well-being”.

Caringly, the bill goes on to claim the “state has an interest in protecting women”. Awe shucks guys, thanks!  But please, just tell us how does performing a medically non-necessary procedure “protect” women?  Sure, you could argue that the physician will need to assess the gestational stage anyhow, and that could likely involve an ultrasound, but not necessarily a transvaginal one.  This should remain a private doctor-patient decision.

Next, these thoughtful lawmakers insist that women have a 24 hour waiting period between the initial medical consultation and the procedure. Our boys in Congress really do understand just how fickle the fairer sex is about parenthood. It’s like buying shoes…do I get the red pumps, or the tan kitten-heels?  Oh dear me — I simply can’t decide!

With a little further reading my doctor friend and I got to the pivotal language.  Essentially, HB 4433 requires the physician to use the “most technically advanced equipment available…capable of providing the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible heartbeat.”  That means a transvaginal ultrasound for first trimester pregnancies.

It’s a given that any facility providing pregnancy terminations will have the necessary equipment to perform a transvaginal ultrasound. While the bill leaves it to the technician or physician to determine whether to perform a transvaginal versus a transabdominal (non-invasive), it demands they choose the one that provides the best image — and that’s transvaginal. Because this legislation denies the patient the choice, it’s rape.

By any other name, it’s still state-sanctioned rape. By law and by definition. 

Amy Kerr Hardin

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16 Responses to Michigan — Lay Back, Relax, and Put Your Feet in the Stirrups

  1. Simply Amazed says:

    VOTE THEM OUT !!! Ron Paul is the only REAL choice!

    • Tanya Mitchell says:

      Ron Paul is against a woman’s right to choose. How does that make him “the only real choice?”

      • Justin says:

        Ron Paul is against late term abortion.. not a womans right to choose.. he dont believe the government should tell anyone what they can, or cant do with their body.. or put into their own body. Ron Paul is the only real choice, because he’s about ending these illegal wars, and worried about the 16 trillion dollar debt.. and protecting our rights.

        • No – he is against abortion PERIOD. Ron Paul wants to overturn Roe v Wade – no need to do that just to stop late term abortion (which doesn’t make any sense anyway – late term, early in term, big whoop.) What he’s trying to do is lay the ground work to undo 40 years of LEGAL abortions.

          • Andrew says:

            You’re right. Ron Paul thinks that the issue of abortion should be decided by the states. Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, et al. show what a mistake that would be.

  2. Lois Payette says:

    When the heck are these Republicans (State & Federal) going to get their heads out of women’s uteri? Don’t they think they should be applying their time and energy to figuring out a way to improve the state (and nation’s) economy? I am so sick and tired of these ignorant fools trying to take women back to the 1700’s. We are an industrial nation, not as rural/farming as we used to be and we do not need babies to grow up to work the fields. We also will not bear children to be “cannon fodder” for the Republicans and their wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and possibly Israel vs Iran). They keep complaining about the lack of tax revenue (income & property) but are doing nothing to increase jobs in the state. People who are out of work do not pay income taxes nor property taxes! They are just trying to survive. So get your lousy heads out of our uterus and start doing what you were sent to Lansing to do! Energize the economy and create jobs!

  3. Dan Sobol says:

    So money is tight, jobs are hard to find but if you are broke and pregnant AND proscribe to a different religion than these pigs you are S.O.L.?!?
    It’s days like these that the only shame left is that Tar/Feathers has dropped out of fashion whist the rail makers have so much time on their hands!

  4. Martin Ryszka says:

    What concerns me is the number of women in this state of Michigan who will vote rrepublicon no matter how much it voids their rights, identity and abilities as women. I would appreciate any woman who can explain why they support or vote for republicons. Not in the negative–not an I don’t like Obama or Stabenow or any other such negative rather, what [if anything] makes you support a group that has done nothing for over two years other than to place restrictions and impediments to your existence as citizens and women?

  5. Chester Marx says:

    I’m REALLY! getting tired of these men telling me what’s good for me.

  6. Cortney says:

    Politics & medical choice need not mix, nor decide for one sex, what she do, or not do, or to invade her privacy more so than has already been done. Pro-choice! Pro-Privacy! Pro-minimally invasive procedures! That’s safety first. HB4433 needs to go to hell.

  7. Helen says:

    DENBY?!?!?! Is that CINDY DENBY?!?!?!?! Evidently she doesn’t realize this means HER and HER children and HER sisters. CINDY DENBY should be ASHAMED!!! Or have her HEAD examined!

  8. B says:

    My impression of all of this is that American male legislators do not have respect for their female constituents. They would require a child rape victim be revictimized. They would want their mothers and daughters to be treated in this manner? It really brings to light the overall lack of respect for women in this country, by all men. They enjoy the fact that women can get pregnant and they can not, they blame us, it’s our fault. They are saying to all women and children that the government has a right to rape them with an ultrasound examination.

    When are women going to be accepted as intelligent USA citizens? Why is it always womens rights that the republicans are attacking? Honestly, this makes me feel like a second class citizen in the eyes of our lawmakers. What’s next, is the pope going to be the antiChrist and tell the republicans what to do with the rest of the women. If these so called men had any idea what life is like in this country for women they would create a law that castrates rapists of women and children, but NO they can’t do that because they would never alter a MAN medically, but they would shove a plastic tube up a childs vagina. Their wives must really be ignorant people.

    I think this condecending behaviour only adds to the descrimination against women, and tells all males that we are second class citizens and it’s OK to assault us, because it’s our fault if we are attacked like dogs by animals who, if they were of the canine species, would be castrated.

    I believe in the separation of church and state and this is probably why the CONSTITUTION calls for the separation. How are these fanatics any different than the murdering taliban, who impose strict restrictions on women like burka’s, when they can be out in public (only with a man), if they are raped it’s the womans fault, etc. How are they any different, they have just as much respect or less.

    Women will never be accepted as equal if this type of fight over women’s rights continues to exist in this country. Every election is another attack on women. Why because these men want to control and degrade women and children. They want to keep us in our places that they as men have chosen for us. Don’t forget that Newt Gingrinch had a plan years ago to build homes (prisons) for unwed mothers. His plan called for women to be incarcerated until they signed away their bastard babies to the government. If the woman refused and kept the baby, then the woman (he felt) should never get any welfare or her social security when she retired as punishment for not giving up the baby to be adopted out to God only knows who.

    Listen up women, this is an attack on our rights and if it doesn’t stop here, what is next? Demand respect, vote these imbeciles out of office ASAP. Demand your rights as citizens.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s time for the “Mandatory Condom Bill”. All men will be required to use a condom…without choice….and they MUST be required to undergo a prostate exam, by a Proctologist, each time they use a condom.

    We will have a panel of only women who will discuss the condom issue.

    If you have any questions, we really don’t care. We’re doing it for the good of the men. Also, the exams will not be covered by insurance. We’re trying to save money.

    Good luck to all involved.

    Will YOU sign the bill????

  10. These are the Michigan Repuglican Taliban, all they lack are bushy beards, a towel wrapped around their heads, a Koran in their hands, a knife in their belt, and an AK 47 over their shoulder. They are stockpiling rocks to administer justice to MI women who would dare to demand the right to privacy in their reproductive lives.

    We are fast moving to a totalitarian gov’t in MI, which will force us back to the 1800s when corporations and their robber baron owners used members of the labor pool until they were all used up, and then discarded them on the refuse pile of humanity.

  11. Corey Turenr says:

    Didn’t you know? Life begins at conception and ends at birth. They want to force you into having all these babies, but they don’t want to help from there – no education, no healthcare, no food assistance.

  12. Sarah says:

    Technically, the abortion doctor has to perform the ultrasound anyway, and if he’s interested in getting the clearest image to do the D&C at the proper site and ensure he has all the “contents” evacuated properly, he will use a trans-vaginal ultrasound anyway. That is if he (or she) is a competent physician interested in performing the abortion in the most effective/ least harmful manner. To me, as a woman, this bill is good in that it demands doctors get the most accurate assessment of the fetus and that the woman is fully informed about what is going on inside the womb. The only thing this bill ensures differently from standard operating procedure in an abortion clinic is that any woman seeking an abortion be shown the image that is produced by the ultrasound. You may call that an invasion of privacy, but please don’t be ridiculous and call it rape. If a woman is seeking an abortion for any reason (rape, incest, financial hardship, etc), she should be entitled to full disclosure of the procedure. That full disclosure would necessarily include a medical description of the fetal development, the size of the fetus to be removed and its location so she can understand the scope of the procedure. I think what most people would object to other than the trans-vaginal probe (which can be inserted with little embarrassment by a skilled OBGYN with good beside mannerisms) is that statistics show that when women see the fetus and its heart beat, they recognize its humanity and the abortion is not sought.

    As per Corey’s argument that conservatives do not care for the woman, that may have been true in the Roe vs. Wade days before the crisis pregnancy centers and church group sponsored baby showers for crisis pregnancies and the high success rate of private adoptions put through these centers. The stigma attached to adoption has diminished in this society with more open adoption laws and I personally know of many examples of infertile couples being able to adopt children they would otherwise not have through the crisis pregnancy centers. While not every child conceived will be put up for adoptions, there are more resources in place for women in need and what should be called for is a greater advertisement of services available to them in the way of child care and donated goods.

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