Michigan — The Vaginal Probes are Back

Michigan lawmakers are at it again. They just today introduced another vaginal probe bill in the House — HB 4187 of 2013.

At about this time last year, Democracy Tree reported that lawmakers introduced another mandatory ultrasound bill (HB 4433 of 2012) which never emerged from committee –it required clinics to use:

 [The]most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available at that location….capable of providing the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible fetal heartbeat.” 

The new bill uses this same language verbatim. Sure, it does not specifically say “vaginal probe” (too crass), but OB-Gyn Dr. Charlene Abernethy reviewed the language last year and found it to effectively require a transvaginal probe. She explained that it’s a given that any facility providing pregnancy terminations will have the necessary equipment to perform a transvaginal ultrasound. The bill removes the decision from the physician as to whether to perform a transvaginal versus a transabdominal (non-invasive) ultrasound, it demands they choose the one that provides the best image — and that’s a vaginal probe. Because this legislation additionally denies the patient the choice, it’s rape. By any other name, it’s still state-sanctioned rape. By law and by definition. 

As if the past two years of continual assaults on women’s reproductive rights hasn’t been enough…it’s now damn near impossible to find an abortion provider in Michigan at all — and now this?

Time to do a little probing with these stone age lawmakers as to their qualifications to legislate.

Amy Kerr Hardin This article also appears in Voters Legislative Transparency Project

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19 Responses to Michigan — The Vaginal Probes are Back

  1. Richard T. Desvernine Jr. says:

    Wait just a pancake flippin’ minute now! Science will decide what is and is not needed in these kind of procedures and trans-vaginal ultra sounds are not medically necessary. TEA Party morons hear this: 1) You blew it with women who are the majority. 2) You blew it with Moderate Republicans who are sick to death of you making the GOP look like a bunch of morons. 3) You make Michigan as a whole look foolish. 4) Men don’t much care for that Bill either. 5) It can do nothing but hurt your political position. 6) It’s not too late to back off.

  2. Aradia says:

    Get organized! That is how Virginia beat this a year ago. There were women (and men) out protesting at the Capitol every time that the legislation even came up in committee. Women also went toe to toe with State Troopers in riot gear (total overreaction) and were arrested because of assembling on the Capitol steps. Be sure to have photographers and videographers present. Have press releases. Approach physician organizations to get open letters to the legislature opposing this legislation published in the newspapers.

  3. Cheryl says:

    So it’s okay to send up a vacuum and suck the baby out of the womb and kill it, but it’s not okay to stick an ultrasound probe up there to SEE the baby. Gotcha….NOT! Heaven forbid they see the fetus more clearly and make their situation more real. You don’t want a probe up there? Don’t stick a penis up there! Excluding the poor victims of rape of course.

    • AJ says:

      Research shows that requiring women to get an ultrasound before an abortion has NO IMPACT on the women’s decisions. Therefore, it is completely unnecessary and ridiculous to require women to undergo a medically unnecessary treatment, to bill insurances (or the woman herself) for a MEDICALLY UNNECESSARY treatment. By the time a woman has walked into an abortion clinic, she has thought long and hard about that decision and an ultrasound isn’t going to make her stop and go, “OH, there’s a BABY in there! I was confused about what I was doing. STOP THE ABORTION NOW!” What it DOES do is stick a probe into her vagina, against her will, which by legal definition with any other object is RAPE. You obviously have some empathy for rape victims. How do you see this as anything BUT rape?

    • Maryscott O'Connor says:

      Why exclude the victims of rape? If abortion is murder, then why should the circumstances of conception change your stance against abortion? Pitt about the rape, to be sure, but it isn’t the “baby’s” fault. (Never mind that it isn’t a baby –science can take a hike, we’re taking about forcing one morality on everyone, no room for technicalities).

      Take a stand, don’t be a hypocrite. If its murder, then the only exception you should be in favour of should be if the woman’s life is endangered. “Rape, incest, mental health– sorry, lady, you’re carrying to term. That’s my moral code and I’ve decided to pose it in ALL women regardless of their beliefs.”

  4. Ather says:

    Can we just impeach these people on the grounds of gross incompetance?

  5. Laura says:

    Cheryl, in the false analogy you’re drawing, the key element you’re missing here is that of *choice*. This bill removes any choice from either the woman or her doctor.

    By legal definition, vaginal penetration without consent of the woman is rape. Even if one doesn’t want to go so far in labeling this bill as to call it rape, since such a vaginal probe is not medically necessary to perform an abortion, and is only to try to create sufficient psychological trauma to prevent the woman from having an abortion, the *best* interpretation one can put on it is that it is government coercion.

    I suspect you won’t actually *think* about what I’ve said, but I hope others will.

    • Dianne Yarnell says:

      Laura: Thanks for your “adult” response. Obviously Cheryl has her own opinion and that’s ok, however, she has no right to tell “me” what my opinion should be or what choices I should have.

  6. Sh'qwan says:

    Calling it “rape” is a bit of a poor analogy. One could contend that many other medical actions prescribed by law could be assault. For example, vaccines.

    • admin says:

      Legally, it is “rape with a foreign object” when performed against the will of the patient. Another popular myth is that abortions are typically performed with a vacuum extraction — an invasive procedure. My Ob-Gyn expert informs me that they are done chemically most of the time nowdays, especially later pregnancies. Her greatest concern is that nearly all late term abortions are due to a non-viable pregnancy, and harassment in the form of medically unnecessary procedures is cruel. These patients have already undergone a transvaginal ultra sound in which they confirmed the bad news, and an additional one is not in the best interest of the patient.

      These lawmakers are clearly misguided in their understanding of both obstectrical procedure and women’s reproductive rights.

      • Ben says:

        The argument made here is simply a misdirection from what abortionists don’t want known by the patient. The truth is that a transvaginal ultrasound is no more invasive than the insertion if a speculum at a well woman exam. The truth is that most abortions are elective and not due to non viable malformations. The truth is that abortionists wish to talk to mothers in terms of fetuses and lumps of parasitic tissue, and if their patients saw the reality of their situation they would be repulsed at the notion of destroying a perfectly good human being. This law is about making full and accurate I formation available to the patient, which is never a bad thing. Heaven forbid the patient make a truly informed decision. If they’ve already had a transvaginal ultrasound, great! Let the doctor sign off on it, attach the pictures and video to the medical record. Bit that’s not the point is it? The reason anyone would be opposed to this law is to hide the truth.

        • admin says:

          Spoken like a man whose never encountered a speculum.

          • Dianne Yarnell says:

            I once asked by doc if he had to use a speculum to administer a pap test and he said no, but if he didn’t he couldn’t guarantee accurate results. He said the “choice” was mine! Bravo!!! Exactly the point!

        • Dianne Yarnell says:

          Ben, you are missing the whole point here. The issue is “choice”, and since you are not a woman, your point is MOOT!

          • Ben says:

            My gender does not preclude my ability to mourn the gratuitous slaughter of innocents. I have to point out that no one opted to address the point I made, and not only was it not addressed, but you all doubly proved my point. That being that in the fight for the lives of the helpless, anti-life proponents have to resort to misdirection and lies. Furthermore, you are mistaken if you believe I am far from the issues. My wife and I are both in the medical field, and we personally had a very close call with our first child and there were transvaginal sonograms and speculums aplenty. I have witnessed patients weeping over what you might call a fetus, but to me there was no denying those children’s humanity. I grieve the fact that a man can impregnate a woman and then leave her to an unknown fate. I don’t know how to get around that issue. But sadly, creating life is one thing that should not be taken lightly. It’s like getting behind the wheel of a car. You can do it responsibly or irresponsibly, but no matter which option you choose, you will be held accountable for the results of your actions. I think we have underestimated the gravity of this issue.

  7. Una says:

    So Cheryl, this is punishment for having sex? Yeah, I have seen that line before.

    Do you eat meat? then you are in favor of a bill requiring you to slaughter any meat that you eat? Yes, I am serious.

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