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Another Right Wing Lie: Planned Parenthood Does Not Require Ultrasounds

Right wing disinformation machine kicks into high gear
Health • Views: 29,314

One thing the right is amazingly good at: circling their wagons around an issue and parroting talking points in absolute lockstep. Whenever a controversial issue pops up, the right wing blogs and media can be counted on to almost immediately start building their wall of noise.

Today, they’re all in unison again, defending Virginia’s slut-shaming mandatory ultrasound legislation by circulating a claim that ultrasounds are already part of Planned Parenthood’s abortion procedure.

First, the wingnut chorus is obviously a little unclear on the concept of consent. Even if ultrasounds are part of the Planned Parenthood procedure, it’s rather obvious that any woman who undergoes one will have explicitly given her consent. This is vastly different from a state law requiring the procedure in all cases, medically necessary or not.

But is it even true that Planned Parenthood already requires ultrasounds before abortions? Let’s check out their website under In-Clinic Abortion Procedures:

What Happens During an In-Clinic Abortion?

It’s common for women to be nervous about having an abortion — or any other medical procedure. But most of us feel better if we know what to expect. Your health care provider will talk with you and answer your questions. But here’s a general idea of how it works and what to expect.

Before the abortion procedure, you will need to

  • discuss your options
  • talk about your medical history
  • have laboratory tests
  • have a physical exam — which may include an ultrasound
  • read and sign papers

Notice the operative term: may include an ultrasound. Planned Parenthood’s policy is to do ultrasounds when they are freely chosen by the patient, with the advice of the medical professional doing the exam.

To equate this situation with a state-enforced law is not just misleading, it’s downright dishonest. But this entire debate over whether women need to be humiliated is just rancid with dishonesty.

For another example, the anti-choice website lifenews.com chimes in with one of their typically mendacious articles: Planned Parenthood Rape Myth Debunked, 99% Do Ultrasounds.

Surveying 72 of the abortion businesses that sold the abortion pill to women, the researchers found abortion facilities frequently use vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion to determine the gestational age of the baby or afterwards to determine if the abortion was complete. In fact 99 percent of the abortion facilities surveyed always or sometimes performed an ultrasound in association with the surgical abortion — while just one percent did not.

This article is packed with lies and spin (“abortion businesses?” “abortion pill?” “gestational age of the baby?”), but notice how they’re trying to muddy the waters by claiming that “99% of abortion facilities” do ultrasounds, then slip in the little phrase “always or sometimes.”

They’re trying to move the debate past the “mandatory state-sanctioned” part of the issue, because they understand in a dim fashion that this isn’t really working out for them among the vast majority of women in the United States; in fact, it’s making them look like cavemen.

Even if Planned Parenthood performed trans-vaginal ultrasounds before 100% of abortions, the bottom line is still that it would only be done with the explicit consent of the patient.

But this isn’t about consent. The “mandatory” part of these ultrasound laws is absolutely required in order to carry out the real purpose: shaming and humiliating women, and making it more expensive and more onerous to choose abortion.

(h/t: allegro.)

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92 comments

1 Kragar  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:17:31am

which may include an ultrasound

Which means if its medically necessary and the woman consents to it, not because some politician decided she needs to be taught a lesson based on his beliefs.

2 Iwouldprefernotto  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:17:36am

I always or sometimes do the right thing.

3 jamesfirecat  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:21:19am

Not intended to be a factual statement!

4 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:21:40am

Basically if a woman is between five and seven weeks pregnant, whether to use a vaginal or external ultrasound depends on her physiology. There may be reasons why an external would be needed before then. After seven weeks-- still within the first trimester-- and external ultrasound is used.

This bill doesn't appear to specify trans-vaginal insertion, though-- unlike some of the other bills. So actually, until this gets struck down in the courts, doctors may be able to ameliorate it somewhat by doing an external one.

Anyway, it's not just the insertion, though obviously that's the most creeptastic part, it's the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat that actually disturbs me the most. That's such a blatant attempt to make women feel horrible, it does no damn good.

The medical professional performing the ultrasound must obtain written certification from the woman that the opportunity was offered and whether the woman availed herself of the opportunity to see the ultrasound image or hear the fetal heartbeat.

5 Four More Tears  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:24:25am

Ah, that talking point NJDHockeyFan brought up this morning...

6 lawhawk  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:25:34am

The debate about using this kind of ultrasound should have ended once it was established beyond a doubt that it isn't medically indicated in order to carry out an abortion.

But this isn't about medicine. It's about eliminating the right to obtain a legal and safe abortion. Proponents of these bills have no problem forcing women to undergo needless procedures that are costly and demeaning.

These same proponents - coincidentally GOPers who are claiming to be small government Republicans at that - are intruding into decisions that are most personal and interfere in a doctor-patient relationship by forcing specific treatments (again, not justified by actual clinical need). It's about power and control and the intense hatred of the outcome of Roe that is leading politicians to push this kind of legislation.

It's also a mirror image to the kind of claims that Republicans were throwing at the President's health care reform package claiming the presence of death panels to pick and choose health care options. Here, we're talking about a state statute mandating a medical procedure where one is not necessary other than to further shame, humiliate, and dissuade a woman from obtaining what is otherwise a legal abortion.

7 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:25:49am

There's some more nasty stuff in this bill, too:

If the pregnant woman lives at least 100 miles from the facility where the abortion is to be performed, the fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services shall be performed at least two hours before the abortion

Got to make them sit around feeling shitty for two hours, for no damn good reason.

8 Political Atheist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:25:55am

Even if Planned Parenthood performed trans-vaginal ultrasounds before 100% of abortions, the bottom line is still that it would only be done with the explicit consent of the patient.

THIS.

9 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:26:04am

It's the optional aspect of it that they have trouble geting their heads around.

Just like the idea that no employee of the Catholic Church would be forced to use the contraception offered in their insurance, it's their choice.

For these people it seems that everything must be either forbidden or mandatory.

10 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:26:52am

re: #4 Obdicut

Basically if a woman is between five and seven weeks pregnant, whether to use a vaginal or external ultrasound depends on her physiology. There may be reasons why an external would be needed before then. After seven weeks-- still within the first trimester-- and external ultrasound is used.

This bill doesn't appear to specify trans-vaginal insertion, though-- unlike some of the other bills. So actually, until this gets struck down in the courts, doctors may be able to ameliorate it somewhat by doing an external one.

Anyway, it's not just the insertion, though obviously that's the most creeptastic part, it's the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat that actually disturbs me the most. That's such a blatant attempt to make women feel horrible, it does no damn good.

I've been doing a lot of research on this subject, just to make sure I get everything right, and the sense I get from reading many articles at medical sites is that in the majority of first trimester abortions, a trans-vaginal ultrasound is necessary in order to get clear pictures of the fetus.

So while the Virginia bill does not explicitly require "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds, the fact is that in many (if not most) cases, that is what would happen.

11 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:27:00am

States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011

In the first six months of 2011, states enacted 162 new provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Fully 49% of these new laws seek to restrict access to abortion services, a sharp increase from 2010, when 26% of new laws restricted abortion. The 80 abortion restrictions enacted this year are more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005—and more than triple the 23 enacted in 2010. All of these new provisions were enacted in just 19 states.

Clearly this is Obama's fault.
/

12 erik_t  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:28:13am

When I go out for a jog, I always or sometimes run a marathon.
When I stub my toe, I always or sometimes go/am taken to the emergency room.
When I let my cat in, I always or sometimes find a live bird in her mouth.
When I go to work, it's always or sometimes my first day on the job. And my last, now that you mention it.
When I hear an idiotic RWNJ talking point, I always or sometimes am both amused and disgusted.

Wait, the last one isn't misleading.

13 Four More Tears  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:28:24am

re: #4 Obdicut

That last part is creepy.

14 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:28:25am

re: #8 Daniel Ballard

And they'd be doing it as a private institution. If Planned Parenthood's doctors feel like trans-vaginal ultrasounds are necessary for the medical well-being of the patient, I trust them, because they're doctors, and that is what they do. But I am sure they would not have an absolute rule, because there's always corner cases in medicine. There's not hard and fast rules in medicine, there's best practice, and that can both change rapidly and be highly determined by circumstances.

15 allegro  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:29:11am

re: #4 Obdicut

Anyway, it's not just the insertion, though obviously that's the most creeptastic part, it's the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat that actually disturbs me the most. That's such a blatant attempt to make women feel horrible, it does no damn good.

Fortunately, the staffs at Planned Parenthood and women's healthcare services clinics are compassionate people. With these vicious, slut-shaming bills being passed in multiple states, I can easily see the clinic staffs taking measures to minimize the damage as much as possible.

16 Kragar  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:29:50am

re: #10 Charles Johnson

I've been doing a lot of research on this subject, just to make sure I get everything right, and the sense I get from reading many articles at medical sites is that in the majority of first trimester abortions, a trans-vaginal ultrasound is necessary in order to get clear pictures of the fetus.

So while the Virginia bill does not explicitly require "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds, the fact is that in many (if not most) cases, that is what would happen.

I made the point yesterday, they're basically saying "You can have any kind you want, as long as it fits this criteria."

"But that only leaves us with one choice."

"Oh, so you've made your decision then!"

17 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:30:56am

re: #10 Charles Johnson

I've been doing a lot of research on this subject, just to make sure I get everything right, and the sense I get from reading many articles at medical sites is that in the majority of first trimester abortions, a trans-vaginal ultrasound is necessary in order to get clear pictures of the fetus.

So while the Virginia bill does not explicitly require "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds, the fact is that in many (if not most) cases, that is what would happen.

Yes, the language about the clarity of picture certainly tends in that direction, and it is very obvious that that is the focus: not on the beset diagnostic procedure, but the one that makes the best (what they think is) guilt-tripping picture.

If you add up that, the two hour wait, the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat and recording whether or not she said yes-- I mean, that last one is so obvious. What medical purpose does that serve? That is so obviously just meant to kick women hard when they're at their most vulnerable.

It is pathetic. If someone wants to take a stand against abortion, I can at least deal with that, but this crap that's supposed to just make women feel horrible about getting one is beyond the pale.

18 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:31:08am

re: #11 Slumbering Behemoth

States Enact Record Number of Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2011

Freedom! Individual rights! Liberty!

Remind me again how the GOP is the party of small government?

19 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:32:50am

re: #18 Lidane

We must leave no stone unturned when fighting Satan for the very soul of this great nation.

20 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:33:12am

re: #17 Obdicut

Yes, the language about the clarity of picture certainly tends in that direction, and it is very obvious that that is the focus: not on the beset diagnostic procedure, but the one that makes the best (what they think is) guilt-tripping picture.

If you add up that, the two hour wait, the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat and recording whether or not she said yes-- I mean, that last one is so obvious. What medical purpose does that serve? That is so obviously just meant to kick women hard when they're at their most vulnerable.

It is pathetic. If someone wants to take a stand against abortion, I can at least deal with that, but this crap that's supposed to just make women feel horrible about getting one is beyond the pale.

That's why I've been calling it what it is: slut-shaming. It's 17th century stuff.

21 Kragar  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:34:29am

re: #18 Lidane

Remind me again how the GOP is the party of small government?

They said smaller, not less

They're making it smaller so it can fit into every corner of your life more easily.

22 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:35:53am

re: #21 Kragar

They said smaller, not less

Good point.

They're making it smaller so it can fit into every corner of your life more easily.

And neatly inside a woman's uterus. How convenient. =P

23 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:37:03am

re: #20 Charles Johnson

Oh man, I didn't even realize-- the two hour wait is for women who live more than 100 miles away. Women who live closer have to wait 24 hours. Nonsensical, bullying bureaucracy interfering in a patient-doctor relationship, interfering with privacy-- how does the GOP manage to convince itself that it's a small-government party? It's more like a useless and assholish government party.

24 Renaissance_Man  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:39:13am

re: #23 Obdicut

Oh man, I didn't even realize-- the two hour wait is for women who live more than 100 miles away. Women who live closer have to wait 24 hours. Nonsensical, bullying bureaucracy interfering in a patient-doctor relationship, interfering with privacy-- how does the GOP manage to convince itself that it's a small-government party? It's more like a useless and assholish government party.

When the only tenet of your philosophy is hating liberals and things you think liberals like, your policies tend not to reflect good government or common sense.

25 allegro  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:39:24am

Part of the problem here is that the slut-shamers are the only ones talking. They have been quite successful in silencing the millions of women who have had abortions for fear of facing screams of "murderer!" These people don't just want to shame and humiliate women before a procedure, they want to make sure that women feel shame and humiliation for the rest of their lives.

I won't do it anymore. I had an abortion in 1979. It was the right and *responsible* thing to do and I have never felt a smidgen of regret. I will not be shamed.

26 What, me worry?  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:40:13am

re: #17 Obdicut

Yes, the language about the clarity of picture certainly tends in that direction, and it is very obvious that that is the focus: not on the beset diagnostic procedure, but the one that makes the best (what they think is) guilt-tripping picture.

If you add up that, the two hour wait, the asking her if she wants to hear the heartbeat and recording whether or not she said yes-- I mean, that last one is so obvious. What medical purpose does that serve? That is so obviously just meant to kick women hard when they're at their most vulnerable.

It is pathetic. If someone wants to take a stand against abortion, I can at least deal with that, but this crap that's supposed to just make women feel horrible about getting one is beyond the pale.

She is already feeling horrible. If there is some idea that woman are HAPPY to have an abortion, I can guarantee you, this is not the case. Not for anyone.

A doctor would be able to decide if a woman needs an ultrasound (of any kind) if they think she has gone over 12 weeks. I think that would be the only reason to perform the procedure.

As to rape, it's even more ridiculous. A woman knows when she's been raped! She knows the date, the hour and the minute of it. If she becomes pregnant because of it, she's going to know that immediately. It's called a pregnancy test, taken by blood and urine, and can be determined as early as 48 hours of fertilization.

27 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:42:11am

re: #1 Kragar

which may include an ultrasound

Which means if its medically necessary and the woman consents to it, not because some politician decided she needs to be taught a lesson based on his beliefs.

You'll note that they're also giving two separate reasons for doing so, first to determine gestational age, if that is an issue, which may determine whether they can legally perform an abortion at all, and as a means of making sure the procedure completed successfully, and that their patient isn't going to go septic.

The first might or might not be relevent to the ones they're demanding in VA, but isn't needed most of the time, the second would have to be done, if needed, regardless of whether there had been an ultrasound before the abortion or not.

28 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:42:34am

re: #24 Renaissance_Man

When the only tenet of your philosophy is hating liberals and things you think liberals like, your policies tend not to reflect good government or common sense.

Emphasis added. Some folk can be incredibly nonsensical in their ideology.

29 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:43:19am

I notice that Instadouche has been promoting a Hitler parody of LGF apparently made by stalkers.

30 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:43:33am

re: #25 allegro

It should be a private affair like any medical decision but also something that women aren't afraid to talk about in public, aren't afraid of other people retaliating in any way, from the professional to the political.

The combination of respectful people treating it as private and the jerks being public about it means that the story is very one-sided. I have female friends who've had abortions and it was the right thing for them to do, but I'm not going to go talking about specific cases because it's their story, not mine.

31 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:45:52am
32 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:46:49am

re: #29 Iosif Vissarionovich Arpaio

I notice that Instadouche has been promoting a Hitler parody of LGF apparently made by stalkers.

Yeah, I know. That's how the right wing blogs roll these days.

33 Renaissance_Man  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:48:47am

re: #31 Lidane

Almost entirely irrelevant. The point is that the state has no business mandating an unnecessary medical procedure, invasive or not. It has no business dictating the course of the physician-patient relationship. And it especially has no business doing so for the sole reason of shaming women.

34 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:48:55am
35 What, me worry?  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:49:17am

re: #32 Charles Johnson

Yeah, I know. That's how the right wing blogs roll these days.

Must be nice to be so irrelevant.

36 Ming  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:49:33am

re: #20 Charles Johnson

[Link: www.nytimes.com...] agrees with the discussion between Charles and Obdicut, above:

"In its current form, Virginia’s bill requires that the ultrasound find and monitor the fetal heartbeat and provide an image of the shape of the fetus. As in other states with ultrasound laws, this will often require a probe to be inserted into the vagina. The nonintrusive abdominal ultrasound, on the other hand, often cannot capture the fetus at its small size in the first trimester, when most abortions are performed.

"Vaginal ultrasounds are often performed by doctors before abortions anyway, but opponents say that the legal act of requiring it for nonmedical reasons is a violation of the doctor-patient relationship."

The point is that when the pregnancy is not far along, e.g. 2 months, the non-invasive abdominal ultrasound is often all that's medically required.

I must wonder: if the law requires the visualization of the shape of the embryo / fetus, how is this accomplished during the very early stages of pregnancy, e.g. 1 month, when the embryo is very small? Will lots of invasive maneuverings be required so everyone can see "the shape"?

37 allegro  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:49:50am

re: #30 Obdicut

It should be a private affair like any medical decision but also something that women aren't afraid to talk about in public, aren't afraid of other people retaliating in any way, from the professional to the political.

The combination of respectful people treating it as private and the jerks being public about it means that the story is very one-sided. I have female friends who've had abortions and it was the right thing for them to do, but I'm not going to go talking about specific cases because it's their story, not mine.

Women talk to each other all the time about our "female troubles" and experiences but we have been made to fear bringing this one up for fear of suddenly being seen as an evil harlot as defined by the pro-forced-birth contingent. It has been screamed so loudly and for so long that it has sunk into the public mindset, and unfortunately and most destructively, our own minds. Even among close friends this typically remains a deep dark secret.

38 Political Atheist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:50:26am

re: #29 Iosif Vissarionovich Arpaio

I notice that Instadouche has been promoting a Hitler parody of LGF apparently made by stalkers.

Is that the same old tired war movie mashup? For these mental infants, the derpilarity never ends.

39 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:51:15am

re: #33 Renaissance_Man

Almost entirely irrelevant. The point is that the state has no business mandating an unnecessary medical procedure, invasive or not. It has no business dictating the course of the physician-patient relationship. And it especially has no business doing so for the sole reason of shaming women.

Oh I agree. I hate the whole concept of these ultrasound laws and all their slut-shaming.

I'm just waiting for the RWNJ's to start calling Bob McDonnell a RINO and saying that he's capitulated or some shit.

40 Interesting Times  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:51:25am
41 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:52:09am

re: #26 marjoriemoon

As to rape, it's even more ridiculous. A woman knows when she's been raped! She knows the date, the hour and the minute of it. If she becomes pregnant because of it, she's going to know that immediately. It's called a pregnancy test, taken by blood and urine, and can be determined as early as 48 hours of fertilization.

Well then, she should have just gone to Ron Paul's doctor's office, and he would have given her a shot of estrogen. Unless his party had successfully outlawed emergency contraception in that state, of course.

//

42 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:53:37am

re: #10 Charles Johnson

I may have missed it, but I still don't know what they are looking to verify if and when they do this?

43 Political Atheist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:53:58am

re: #40 Interesting Times

Hero cam?

44 What, me worry?  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:57:05am

re: #41 SanFranciscoZionist

Well then, she should have just gone to Ron Paul's doctor's office, and he would have given her a shot of estrogen. Unless his party had successfully outlawed emergency contraception in that state, of course.

//

hehe Personally, I think Virginia Republicans should use their state's tax dollars to buy a cable channel and televise all abortions.

Of course, in the interest of fairness, they would also include prostate exams.

45 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:57:19am

re: #42 Red Sea Desjardini Tang

I may have missed it, but I still don't know what they are looking to verify if and when they do this?

Who? Doctors in general, or the VA requirement?

46 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:57:30am

You keep using that word...

James Robison's Declaration of War Against "Secular Theocracy"

Considering their complete misunderstanding, intentional or otherwise, of the ideals that were the foundation of the US, I'm not at all surprised that fundamentalists like Robison don't understand the meaning of the word "secular".

47 Killgore Trout  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:59:34am

re: #29 Iosif Vissarionovich Arpaio

I notice that Instadouche has been promoting a Hitler parody of LGF apparently made by stalkers.

Do I get a mention? I'm not going to wade through it if I'm not in it.

48 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 11:59:49am

Cue the 'splodey heads:

WaPo: Virginia governor no longer fully supports ultrasounds before abortions

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is backing off his unconditional support for a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, focusing new attention on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly this year.

Until this weekend, McDonnell (R) and his aides had said the governor would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. McDonnell, who strongly opposes abortion, will no longer make that commitment.

But delegates and governor’s staff were scheduled to meet Tuesday night to strike a compromise after learning that some ultrasounds could be more invasive than first thought, according to two officials who were aware of the meeting but not authorized to speak about it publicly. Many of the bill’s supporters were apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure could be, one of the officials added.

The Virginia legislation has become part of the broader national debate over reproductive rights and has drawn attention to McDonnell, a rising star in his party and a possible vice presidential contender. The legislation has been the topic of cable news shows, was part of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch and drew protesters to Richmond on Monday.

McDonnell’s office would say Tuesday only that the governor will “review” the bill if it is approved.

49 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:00:55pm

re: #48 Lidane

"We didn't know what was in the legislation. You see, we're not very good at our jobs."

50 Charles Johnson  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:02:22pm

re: #48 Lidane

Cue the 'splodey heads:

WaPo: Virginia governor no longer fully supports ultrasounds before abortions

They're willing to back off on this because there are still plenty of other slut-shaming provisions in the bill. If it passes, the anti-choice cavemen still come out ahead.

51 Political Atheist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:02:54pm

Apologies for OT but breaking news
Obama is proposing a cut in the corporate tax rate. Details at the LA Times.

That will be a pretty good counter to TP rantings.

52 Targetpractice  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:04:01pm

re: #50 Charles Johnson

They're willing to back off on this because there are still plenty of other slut-shaming provisions in the bill. If it passes, the anti-choice cavemen still come out ahead.

Not to mention that, while this bill is getting a shitload of press, the personhood one remains virtually unchallenged. So we may succeed in shaming them into dropping this bill, but they'll still ultimately succeed in their jihad against women.

53 Renaissance_Man  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:04:41pm

re: #51 Daniel Ballard

Apologies for OT but breaking news
Obama is proposing a cut in the corporate tax rate. Details at the LA Times.

That will be a pretty good counter to TP rantings.

Sure, just like the way the total lack of gun control bills has been a pretty good counter to apocalyptic NRA rantings.

Oh wait.

54 HappyWarrior  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:05:53pm

re: #48 Lidane

Cue the 'splodey heads:

WaPo: Virginia governor no longer fully supports ultrasounds before abortions

Well there goes Bobby's "true conservative" card. If he ever seeks higher office and I fully expect it, he'll try to Romney out of it.

55 Political Atheist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:05:54pm

re: #53 Renaissance_Man

Actually it has, among those other than the Obama obsessed. I have had a lot of fun with that among my gun friends.

Of course that pales in comparison to California's egregious excess in gun regulation.

56 Gus  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:05:55pm

Even if PP required ultrasounds it's a whole different context and requirement. Apples and oranges.

57 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:07:03pm

re: #51 Daniel Ballard

I guess I know what Mark Levin won't be talking about on his show this afternoon.

58 Achilles Tang  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:07:27pm

re: #45 SanFranciscoZionist

Who? Doctors in general, or the VA requirement?

Doctors. Medically.

59 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:07:49pm

re: #46 Slumbering Behemoth

You keep using that word...

James Robison's Declaration of War Against "Secular Theocracy"

[Video]Considering their complete misunderstanding, intentional or otherwise, of the ideals that were the foundation of the US, I'm not at all surprised that fundamentalists like Robison don't understand the meaning of the word "secular".

secular = non-theocratic

60 lawhawk  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:08:25pm

re: #48 Lidane

"Apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure is?"

Are you kidding me? It is completely and utterly insane for them to claim that they were somehow unaware that the procedure is invasive when the whole point of that particular procedure requires sticking a probe deep into a woman's vagina to scan the developing embryo/fetus (depending on its developmental stage) and then to produce an image that she must see prior to deciding to have the abortion. It's about as invasive as one can come up with.

Then again, if it's a bunch of old white guys who came up with the idea ....

61 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:08:55pm

re: #59 Ministry of Fairness and Balance

I know. It's total projection on Robison's part.

62 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:09:30pm

re: #51 Daniel Ballard

Apologies for OT but breaking news
Obama is proposing a cut in the corporate tax rate. Details at the LA Times.

That will be a pretty good counter to TP rantings.

No it won't. They're already pulling out the talking points calling it an assault on dividends:

[Link: patdollard.com...]

63 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:09:30pm

re: #56 Gus

Even if PP required ultrasounds it's a whole different context and requirement. Apples and oranges.

Yes.

If Planned Parenthood sometimes uses them, I assume that all other abortion providers do as well. (Repeating my oft-repeated comment--Planned Parenthood is far from America's sole abortion provider. And yet, no one ever attacks Kaiser or Blue Shield.)

However, legislatures do not determine best medical practice, and the context of the bill makes it fairly clear that there's no actual medical point to this.

If they were insisting on this because women had been dying in Virginia due to doctor's skimping on the ultrasounds, I could see it, but they haven't.

The point is quite evident.

64 Gus  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:10:55pm

re: #62 Lidane

No it won't. They're already pulling out the talking points calling it an assault on dividends:

[Link: patdollard.com...]

Pat Dollard. That junkie is still around?

65 lawhawk  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:11:14pm

re: #49 Obdicut

"We didn't know what was in the legislation. You see, we're not very good at our jobs."

In my line of work, I see that all too often. Most legislators (and the folks that are tasked with writing legislation) aren't very good at the legislating part - from knowing what's in the bills, to knowing what is or isn't constitutional under the state or federal constitutions. They simply have the idea and demand it be done - a la - "... so it was said, so shall it be done *clap clap*."

66 HappyWarrior  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:11:32pm

re: #54 HappyWarrior

Well there goes Bobby's "true conservative" card. If he ever seeks higher office and I fully expect it, he'll try to Romney out of it.

Huh why was I downdinged for this? It's true. I am not saying I agree with the rationale but I have no doubt if McDonnell ever sought high office, he'd get shit from the Santorum wing of the party that is stronger than ever for backing out of this. I am happy he did, don't get me wrong but it's true.

67 Gus  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:11:48pm

re: #32 Charles Johnson

Yeah, I know. That's how the right wing blogs roll these days.

68 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:12:14pm

re: #65 lawhawk

Most legislators (and the folks that are tasked with writing legislation) aren't very good at the legislating part - from knowing what's in the bills, to knowing what is or isn't constitutional under the state or federal constitutions. They simply have the idea and demand it be done - a la - "... so it was said, so shall it be done *clap clap*."

there oughtta be a law against that...

69 ReamWorks SKG  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:14:02pm

The basic issue here is that medical doctors should decide when to provide a medical service or procedure.

70 Gus  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:14:06pm

Poor Glenn Reynolds. Another washed up member of the anti-Jihadist butthurt chairforce. And how can we forget:

Instapundit: ‘Shoeshine Boy’ Picture Not Racist

71 Targetpractice  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:14:32pm

re: #65 lawhawk

In my line of work, I see that all too often. Most legislators (and the folks that are tasked with writing legislation) aren't very good at the legislating part - from knowing what's in the bills, to knowing what is or isn't constitutional under the state or federal constitutions. They simply have the idea and demand it be done - a la - "... so it was said, so shall it be done *clap clap*."

I've been informed on more than one occasion that a seasoned politician doesn't try to read the whole bill, he just gets a page to do so and give him the summary. Or he gets the person who drafted the bill originally to give him the low-down on what it really says.

72 William Barnett-Lewis  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:14:59pm

re: #63 SanFranciscoZionist

(Repeating my oft-repeated comment--Planned Parenthood is far from America's sole abortion provider. And yet, no one ever attacks Kaiser or Blue Shield.)

Yet. Once PP is destroyed, then the other providers will somehow be forced to stop. That's an obvious goal at this point. The simple "chilling effect" will do most of the damage they want done.

73 ReamWorks SKG  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:15:06pm

re: #70 Gus

Poor Glenn Reynolds. Another washed up member of the anti-Jihadist butthurt chairforce. And how can we forget:

Instapundit: ‘Shoeshine Boy’ Picture Not Racist

Not only is it racist, it's very badly done (speaking as someone who was on the Photoshop product team many years ago).

74 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:15:59pm

re: #70 Gus

Poor Glenn Reynolds. Another washed up member of the anti-Jihadist butthurt chairforce. And how can we forget:

Instapundit: ‘Shoeshine Boy’ Picture Not Racist

Not only is it not racist, some of its best friends are blacks!

75 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:16:18pm

re: #69 reuven

The basic issue here is that medical doctors should decide when to provide a medical service or procedure.

And they should do so on medical grounds. Which the majority do, but I'm thinking of the pharmacists refusing to dispense medication.

Which is another thing the GOP is trying to legitimize.

76 ReamWorks SKG  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:17:18pm

re: #75 Obdicut

And they should do so on medical grounds. Which the majority do, but I'm thinking of the pharmacists refusing to dispense medication.

Which is another thing the GOP is trying to legitimize.

Exactly, and it's very confusing, considering all the hoopla about the government getting involved in health care four years ago.

77 HappyWarrior  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:19:48pm

It is weird since these guys were acting like Obamacare was the most intrusive invasion of government EVER and here they propose stuff like this. Then again these are the same people who rush to support bans on gay marriage so yeah their "small government" and "individual rights" creds aren't exactly strong to begin with but still.

78 Gus  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:25:11pm

So Governor McDonnell actually came to his senses. Good.

79 Targetpractice  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:29:50pm

re: #78 Gus

So Governor McDonnell actually came to his senses. Good.

No, he just read the writing on the wall and decided that if he ever wants to be seen as acceptable for higher office once he leaves the governor's mansion, he can't be seen as the guy who signed off on cramming wands up women's girly parts to satisfy the party nutjobs.

80 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:31:39pm

re: #58 Red Sea Desjardini Tang

Doctors. Medically.

Well, in the case of an abortion, the two things they mentioned above are checking gestational age, which might be important for legal or technical reasons if there's any doubt about how far advanced the pregnancy is, and aftercare, making sure that nothing's wrong in the uterus.

Also, an early ultrasound might lead to realizing that you have a medical situation which would require an abortion or other intervention. A friend of mine had a condition--cannot recall what it's called--where instead of doing the usual embryonic development, the body starts forming cells into these bizarre formations that look like bunches of artificial grapes. She found out about it when she went in for an ultrasound, and they realized it wasn't a viable pregnancy. So I'm not sure if the ultrasounds in question would always be done once the patient had determined on an abortion, or if the paperwork on the abortion begins with 'patient had an ultrasound on X date, and we confirmed that...'

82 What, me worry?  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:39:08pm

re: #81 Slumbering Behemoth

Awesome!

83 Lidane  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:39:13pm

Incoherent wingnuts say what?

84 A Mom Anon  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:39:37pm

I don't know if anyone can answer this,but what the hell.

Would alot of this crap stop if abortions were provided in hospitals instead of stand alone clinics? I'm sure abortions occur in ob/gyn units all over the country,and yet you don't see the right to life peeps protesting,harassing and trying to shut down those ob/gyn units. Why was the proceedure separated from hospitals in the first place?

85 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:47:05pm

re: #84 A Mom Anon

Some hospitals do do them. UCLA does.

86 allegro  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:47:49pm

re: #84 A Mom Anon

I don't know if anyone can answer this,but what the hell.

Would alot of this crap stop if abortions were provided in hospitals instead of stand alone clinics? I'm sure abortions occur in ob/gyn units all over the country,and yet you don't see the right to life peeps protesting,harassing and trying to shut down those ob/gyn units. Why was the proceedure separated from hospitals in the first place?

I've often wondered that as well. It's been that way since abortion became legal.

87 lawhawk  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:48:48pm

re: #71 Targetpractice

The memorandum of law/bill summaries are usually the only thing the legislators read because of the size and scope of the legislation passing across their desk. It's particularly bad in budget season, where in NY they simply don't even bother with the bill summaries and instead wait for ways and means to run the numbers and have the bill drafting commission and ways and means staffer to clarify what's going on. Lots of budget bills are highly technical in form and dollar amounts are established from formulas and the like.

88 A Mom Anon  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:49:34pm

re: #85 Obdicut

yeah,I know that. I am just curious how the whole idea of the stand alone clinic became more of the norm. I get it for underserved rural areas where the nearest hospital is really far away,but why did that become the ideal in more populated areas?

89 Obdicut  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 12:55:09pm

re: #88 A Mom Anon

yeah,I know that. I am just curious how the whole idea of the stand alone clinic became more of the norm.

Probably mainly for insurance reasons, but there might be some cultural stuff too. I mean, it's not that odd. There's eye clinic centers, and ear nose and throat places, and derm centers.

90 mr.fusion  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 1:21:13pm
Planned Parenthood Rape Myth Debunked, 99% Do Ultrasounds.

Only RWNJ's could look at the term "forced ultrasound" and think it's the ultrasound that makes it rape and not the "forced" part

They might as well just say rape doesn't exist at all because women have sex

91 dr. luba  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 1:40:16pm

re: #80 SanFranciscoZionist

I haven't done any abortions since residency, and that was a long time ago, so I can't speak for what current standard procedures are. But if I were doing them, I would want to do an ultrasound to assess the gestational age (pelvic exams aren't always accurate), make sure there is a pregnancy in the uterus, and make sure it is not a hydatid mole (the grape-like thing you were referring to.)

Different procedures are used at different stages of pregnancy, so dating is important. So is the location of the pregnancy--an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is potentially life-threatening is not managed properly (either medically or surgically). And a molar pregnancy is a potentially cancerous condition; treatment is evacuation of the uterus, but proper follow-up with blood testing is mandatory.

Much of this can be determined with an abdominal ultrasound in the non-obese patient with a decent ultrasound machine. But you can't see or hear the heartbeat well in early pregnancy with an external probe, nor take really nice detailed pictures. And you don't need to for dating purposes.

Few patients will mind having a transvaginal ultrasound if it is medically indicated and done for their benefit. But, as Charles noted, this is done for shaming and dissuasion.

92 dr. luba  Wed, Feb 22, 2012 1:49:37pm

re: #89 Obdicut

There's also the expense....and inconvenience. It's generally much more expensive to do procedures in a hospital than in an outpatient setting. Hospital ORs are more oriented towards major surgery, and schedules are often exercises in fiction. Cases can be delayed, run too long, or get bumped by emergencies from the ER.

I always tried to avoid doing any minor cases in the hospital OR, and scheduled them at the outpatient surgery center.


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