The Virginia House yesterday passed two anti-choice measures that would be among the most extreme in the nation, including one that could put birth control at risk and another that requires that women seeking an abortion undergo an extremely invasive procedure without their consent.
The Republican-dominated House passed a “personhood” bill, similar to the one overwhelmingly rejected by Mississippi voters last year, that could put the most common types of birth control at risk. It also passed a requirement that all women seeking an abortion first be subjected to an ultrasound, even if medically unnecessary. Women who are too early in their term for an external ultrasound to be effective – roughly 88 percent of those seeking abortions -- would be required to undergo an invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound.
When a Democratic lawmaker proposed an amendment requiring a woman’s consent for these procedures, it was voted down.
The Virginia bills take the War on Women to a new level. Requiring women to undergo an unnecessary and invasive procedure to please politicians is oppressive and regressive. One Houston Chronicle columnist found that a similar bill in Texas meets the state’s definition of sexual assault: “an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent.”
And Texas and Virginia aren’t the only ones – Iowa’s legislature is also considering a similar mandatory ultrasound bill.
These states aren’t just violating women’s rights – they’re violating women. The fact that this is happening in the U.S. in the 21st century is mind-boggling.