Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yeah, But Planned Parenthood Does It

Dear Madame L,

I don't get why you're so upset about doctors being required to perform ultrasounds on their patients who want an abortion. It's my understanding that this procedure is routinely performed by Planned Parenthood doctors in their clinics.


What Gives?

Dear This Is What Gives,

Are you suggesting that what Planned Parenthood doctors do is the correct standard for all doctors? 

Or are you suggesting that politicians know better than doctors what's good for their patients?

The problem with the proposed Virginia legislation---even in its current form, which requires "abdominal" rather than "trans-vaginal" ultrasounds of women who request abortions---is that it represents an intrusion into the persons and rights of women. 

Virginia Bob McDonnell thinks this is okay, even though he hates it when the TSA does airport body scans and pat-downs. What's sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander?

"You see the trick, right? It’s either that all doctors do ultrasounds, thus it’s OK for the state to mandate it. Or that only some doctors do it, so it’s OK for the state to mandate it. Again, the state knows better than the physicians."

The fact is, as Lithwick writes, "all mandatory ultrasounds represent an impermissible incursion into a doctor’s judgment and a woman’s rights." 

The Virginia governor, a right-wing Republican who NOT UNCOINCIDENTALLY would like to become the vice-presidential running candidate of whichever Republican wins that party's nomination, claims the ultrasounds will just enhance women's rights "to know all the right medical information before they make an informed choice." 

Madame L has news for McDonnell and his pals in the down-with-women's-rights movement: Women who ask for an abortion already have the medical information. They don't need some politician to get between them and their doctor, or between them and their Constitutional rights.

Again, to quote Dahlia Lithwick:  "Everyone has a right to privacy and dignity, and if the government seeks to intrude on those rights it should be able to articulate a reason. 'Women don’t really know what they’re doing' isn’t a reason. It never was."

And it never will be.


Madame L

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