Several Facebook friends recently posted the same cartoon: a pregnant woman lying on an examination table getting a sonogram is looking at the machine’s screen as her doctor moves the sensor over her belly. She asks “What’s that other thing in my uterus?” The doctor replies “The State of Texas.”
The reference is to one of the latest assaults on women, legislation that would require any woman wanting an abortion to undergo a medically unnecessary sonogram. Since the vast majority of abortions occur within the first trimester, when a fetus is difficult to detect, this procedure requires the insertion of a sensor into the uterus through the vagina. In other words, it requires that the woman be penetrated.
In Virginia, proponents of this requirement defeated an amendment that would have required the woman to consent to that penetration.
Let me try to understand where we are, in the brave new 21st Century. It is a violation of religious liberty to require health insurers to offer birth control coverage to women who want it. It’s a violation of conscience to require a pharmacist to dispense birth control to a willing buyer if his religion disapproves of its use. But it isn’t a violation of personal and religious liberty to compel a woman to be penetrated by a device during a medically-unnecessary procedure before she can exercise a constitutionally-protected right to terminate a pregnancy.
We’re lucky women still have the right to vote.
And speaking of voting–the phrase “use it or lose it” has never seemed more apt.