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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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50 Responses

  1. EG
    EG February 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

    Yes. They really don’t understand the concept of women’s consent and control over their own bodies. I’m not joking. They clearly can’t wrap their minds around the idea that women’s desires matter. I’ve always suspected that this is the case.

  2. Anecdotal
    Anecdotal February 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    I know I’m getting all ‘women’s studies 101′ here, but DAMN that is a lot of internalized sexism. Consent once doesn’t equal consent to anything and everything that follows. My vagina is my vagina, and anything that goes there that I didn’t either put there myself, want there, or need there (I’m referring to pap-smears and other medically necessary procedures a woman would OPT to have for medical reasons) is rape.

    Many conservatives, or even moderates and progressives who think social issues should take a backseat to economic and foreign policy issues (assuming one agrees with current Republican primary candidate’s economic proposals and views on foreign policy) argue that through out history the pendulum of public opinion and things that are considered to be ‘up for debate’ swings back and forth. I often hear the case made that social/religious/cultural issues will always be fair game for debates like these, and there’s some truth to that, but sanctioning what amounts to the rape of a woman sounds unprecedented to me. Frankly, I find it to be rather chilling.

  3. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen February 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

    Desire! What’s that? You mean women have a right to say no even after they’ve already engaged in penetration?! Heretical, I say — Phyllis Schlafly always said women who get married give up their right to say no! Next thing you know, those darn liberals will start arguing women who’ve had sex are still people, not used lollipops!

  4. Sandy
    Sandy February 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

    “Similar trans vaginal procedure”? Um, no. The procedure of a trans vaginal ultrasound is nothing like PIV sex. Physically and emotionally, these ultrasounds are uncomfortable, unpleasant, and sometimes painful. Plus awkward. Much more of all those things for me than a standard speculum penetration (don’t ask me why that is. Maybe because the ultrasound wand is so dildo-like, complete with condom and dollop of lube, maybe because the penetration was deeper with more intense pressure, because it hurt more, because they lasted longer, I don’t know). If experiencing a trans vaginal ultrasound is very similar to experiencing PIV intercourse for you, all I can think is that you’re doing PIV incredibly wrong. Or having the best trans vag ultrasound ever, in which case, please share the name of your technician.

    These things have penetration in common. Penetration varies from context to context. Rape and consensual sex often have penetration in common too. This argument of “it’s just like the sex you had, what’s the big deal?!” is stupid and I want to yell at the people who put it forth.

  5. Sandy
    Sandy February 19, 2012 at 8:23 pm |

    you’re doing PIV incredibly wrong.

    Sigh. Was writing angry, didn’t mean to marginalize anyone here. However one does any kind of sex is all good and well and right, of course, so long as it is consensual. Sorry. I just.. am peeved.

  6. shelly
    shelly February 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |

    Okay, what?! Is this the part where I ask someone to stop the planet and colonize the moon or something? *shakes head*

  7. TechTropes - Matt
    TechTropes - Matt February 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |

    Holy shit, I saw this post, and had the usual “it’s not helpful to call things that aren’t rape, rape” reaction.

    But reading more on this, I’m still not sure rape is the appropriate term, but I can’t say it’s far off the mark.

    Mandating sexually invasive procedures solely to punish people for making choices you don’t approve of, how the fuck do these people remain in office?

    Isn’t there anything your doctors can do about this? I can’t imagine they are too thrilled at the prospect.

  8. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable February 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

    Thanks, guy with shitty blog I won’t visit, for arbitrating what is and isn’t rape.

    With love and a hearty “fuck off” from a rape survivor,
    PA

  9. Marissa123
    Marissa123 February 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

    And, there we have it folks. The reason why one in four women are sexually assaulted/raped in their lifetimes. People can’t even comprehend there’s a _person_ attached to that vagina.

  10. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick February 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

    They really don’t understand the concept of women’s consent and control over their own bodies.

    That’s become the only explanation that makes sense.

  11. Ines Stelzer
    Ines Stelzer February 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm |

    What I find disturbing is that a woman is saying this. I sure hope she never gets raped. I’d be curious to see how she feels about vaginal probes then. Women – we need to give it back to them. We need bills introduced that give women power over men’s penises and balls…fair is fair. Why do they only go after women? You need a man’s sperm to make a baby yet we never hear about banning vasectomies, or outlawing condoms.

  12. Azalea
    Azalea February 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm |

    I always thought there was an ultrasound prior to having an abortion to be ure 1) the pregnancy is not ectopic 2) where the sac is and 3) one after to be sure that everything is out or else there be fetal remnants that could cause severe harm to the person who had the not-so-well-done abortion. Alas: this law sounds angry, it sounds vindictive it sounds like a punishment.This anger, this vindication, this punishment is to be dealt with a phalax shaped tool into a woman’s vagina against her will with the sole purpose of giving her discomfort and or pain. Who the fuck questions the comparison between that and rape? I didn’t like transvaginal ultrasounds when I was pregnant and I had to have them often because I needed so many ultrasounds in the beginning of the my pregnancies.

    And another thing, just how are they supposed to prove it happened? Im feeling a “how bout I dont and we just say I did” moment between doctor and patient coming on with this law. If it hurts and it is unnecessary it shouldn’t happen!

  13. Ariel
    Ariel February 20, 2012 at 2:06 am |

    ditto to Azalea

  14. Mxe354
    Mxe354 February 20, 2012 at 2:15 am |

    All right, so if a woman loses her virginity, then clearly it’s okay to rape her from then on. Or if someone rapes a woman, then clearly she can be raped again. If she didn’t mind it before, she surely has no reason to object to forced penetration of any kind!

    Assholes. I have no words to describe my sheer hatred for creepy, invasive misogynists who feel that they must have a say in women’s bodily matters. I honestly feel visceral revulsion at statements like “She should have kept her legs shut!” It’s like they have an abnormally keen interest in the sex life of women. Fuck off, already.

    It’s amazing how some people think that feminism is now unimportant and forget about matters like this.

  15. Matt
    Matt February 20, 2012 at 5:03 am |

    Pretty Amiable – assuming your response was to my post

    My questioning as to semantics, if insensitively phrased in this instance, is something I feel strongly about. The notion that for the severity of a situation to be acknowledged, it must be tied to specific word choices, is something that I feel is damaging.

    The situation described above could probably, as I suggested in my original response, fit the strict definition of rape. I’m still not sure that using that term is helpful, because of the baggage that has (rightly or wrongly) attached to the word’s use outside of the narrowest definitions.

    Simply put, it tends to result in arguments about semantics when the discussion should be directed at the situation itself.

    I have absolutely no doubt as to the severity of the situation, it’s possibly the single most screwed up thing I’ve read about this week, and I live on Earth.

    Look, people.

    I am sure you have seen some pretty impressive shit dropped into the comments here.

    I am here because I think feminism is an important subject that I don’t often get the opportunity to talk about.

    If some of my opinions are inflammatory to people here, please accept that this not my intent.

    My intent is that if they are inflammatory because I am in the wrong, then when I find that out, I will no longer be wrong. Not being wrong is important to me.

    I realise that this tests people’s patience here, and you no doubt tire of correcting the same mistakes. But I’m sure you yourselves appreciate that you will not fight ignorance in a an echo chamber.

    I assure you that if my intent was merely to promote my own blog, then doing it in a blog full of people who might get very upset at me is a terrible, terrible, idea :-)

    I have no desire to troll and upset people, if people here genuinely think I am better off not commenting again, then I will respect that opinion.

    If people want to suggest some reading material to start with, or subjects that should be approached carefully, or avoided initially, then I’m happy to do that too.

  16. Ruth
    Ruth February 20, 2012 at 7:22 am |

    Azalea, I thought so too, but perhaps it’s different in different areas as someone told me on the last post about this that they didn’t think ultrasounds were needed. Though I just checked the relevant website for my locality and it just says you “may” need an ultrasound, so I don’t know, as I was convinced you always did.

    I do think we are approaching this the wrong way. I don’t think it matters that TVUs can be painful. All that matters is the lack of consent. If it’s the most gentle technician ever and you are being forced to take the test, it’s violation. It’s often an uncomfortable and painful procedure, and that makes this law even worse, but that’s not why it’s bad, because even a gentle rape is rape. The violence is in the act itself, not how it was perpetrated.

  17. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated February 20, 2012 at 7:45 am |

    Virginia also has a misogynistic mofo Marshall legislator who had the gall to tell the world that women who have babies with birth defects are being punished by God for having abortions.
    This state was founded to contest taxation without representation. Women (and any man with a cerebral cortex) should strike en masse to protest. Throwing the solons in Chesapeake Bay with an ultrasound wand down their gullets for their loose talk would be appropriate.

  18. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage February 20, 2012 at 7:48 am |

    @16

    Misogynistic and ableist! What a charmer.

  19. hmm
    hmm February 20, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    And another thing, just how are they supposed to prove it happened? Im feeling a “how bout I dont and we just say I did” moment between doctor and patient coming on with this law. If it hurts and it is unnecessary it shouldn’t happen!

    I imagine some doctors will want to do that, but they might be scared off by the idea of “secret shopper” types who would be doing that just to get them in trouble (like the people who tried to go “undercover” to get planned parenthood in trouble last year).

    About the ultrasounds – it might be true that in most cases it is medically necessary, but there ARE cases where its not and in any case that doesn’t make it ok to legislate it. It should be up to the doctor, not the legislature.

  20. piny
    piny February 20, 2012 at 9:43 am |

    And another thing, just how are they supposed to prove it happened? Im feeling a “how bout I dont and we just say I did” moment between doctor and patient coming on with this law. If it hurts and it is unnecessary it shouldn’t happen!

    Doctors can’t do this, because then they’ll face arrest. This is one reason these laws are written vaguely: it places the burden on physicians and clinics to interpret the law as conservatively as possible. Or be shut down.

  21. Chiara
    Chiara February 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |

    I don’t understand. Since it’s established that it’s only medically necessary in a subset of cases, what is the actual reason they are giving that this legislation is necessary?

  22. Officer A
    Officer A February 20, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    I read a couple articles in support of it (I’m a glutton for outrage) and the logical gymnastics they are employing to justify this are jaw dropping.

    One argument framed it as an informed consent issue while another (I wish I were making this up) tried to frame it as an improvement of women’s health care since they’ll get to see the zygote is, in their argument, actually a person and she’ll keep the pregnancy therefore preventing “post abortion depression”, etc.

    I’m digging through SCOTUS case law right now. Something like this has GOT to have already been settled in court and hopefully someone can attack it on Constitutional grounds.

  23. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage February 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |

    I’m digging through SCOTUS case law right now. Something like this has GOT to have already been settled in court and hopefully someone can attack it on Constitutional grounds.

    I’d wager it’s a solid Fourth Amendment violation, violating the physical security of a person by forcing an unnecessary medical procedure upon her without consent. Some upstart civil rights specialist will tear this law to shreds in court.

    Is there any other medical procedure that is forced upon a person by la, particularly a procedure that is not automatically considered medically necessary?

  24. matlun
    matlun February 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm |

    Weird. If they are arguing that sex is actually “similar to a trans-vaginal procedure”, then they are implicitly arguing that having this procedure without consent is (similar to) rape. Isn’t this argument saying the opposite of what they want?

  25. Sandy
    Sandy February 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

    Isn’t this argument saying the opposite of what they want?

    I think it’s their definition of consent that’s fucked up. You want an abortion, you have to consent to this ultrasound. Even if you don’t want it.

    They suck.

  26. Sally
    Sally February 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    As someone who has had an abortion recently, I can talk about what I had to do. I did have two TVUs — one before anything to check that the pregnancy was not ectopic and to verify how many weeks I was. I had another after to confirm that there was no fetal matter remaining in the uterus. These were necessary because I had a medication abortion, and while the initial drug was taken at the PP office, the second drug that induces the actual aboriton was done at home. So I had to go in for a follow-up to make sure everything went as intended.

    While my TVUs weren’t painful, I wouldn’t describe them as pleasant by any means. They were awkward and uncomfortable (especially when the wand is moved around so that can check your ovaries) and not something I would want to have done without needing it.

    At the PP office I went to, before the ultrasounds I was asked if I wanted to see the screen or not. It was an option and I declined. I was also given the option to know if I had a single or multiple pregnancy.

    The decision to have an abortion was very difficult for me. Had I been required to look at the fetus on the screen, I still would have had the procedure. However, I think it would have definitely caused some post-abortion depression. As I understand it, these pushes to require the ultrasound are really about making the woman view the fetus and for me that’s even worse than the procedure itself.

    The requirement of an ultrasound should be from the provider based on medical necessity. The choice to see the images should be left to the woman, just as it is for a woman carrying a pregnancy to term.

  27. Andie
    Andie February 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    Isn’t this argument saying the opposite of what they want?

    I think it’s their definition of consent that’s fucked up. You want an abortion, you have to consent to this ultrasound. Even if you don’t want it.

    They suck.

    Sounds like workplace sexual harassment. If you don’t want the ultraosound, then don’t get an abortion. If you don’t want your boss to grope you, get another job.

    Yeah, no problem with that, at all.

    I agree, they suck.

  28. SunlessNick
    SunlessNick February 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

    The situation described above could probably, as I suggested in my original response, fit the strict definition of rape.

    It absolutely fits the FBI’s definition of rape, and a semantic argument allows this to be pointed out.

  29. hmm
    hmm February 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Is there any other medical procedure that is forced upon a person by la, particularly a procedure that is not automatically considered medically necessary?

    I think there’s a law that if you want to take acutane (and are female) you have to be on two forms of birth control. Or is that just a rule enforced by most doctors?

  30. Heather
    Heather February 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    I can’t speak for every state, but in Canada, there’s no such law, although doctors do strongly suggest taking every precaution if you are sexually active.

  31. Tina
    Tina February 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

    I think there’s a law that if you want to take acutane (and are female) you have to be on two forms of birth control. Or is that just a rule enforced by most doctors?

    My female roommate in college took accutane and her doctor made her take a pregnancy test before each treatment until she said, hey, I’m not having sex, I don’t need a pregnancy test. (For her it was neither heterosexual nor homosexual sex.) Then she didn’t have to take one anymore. It probably differs by state if there is a law and by doctor if there is not one.

  32. Sandy
    Sandy February 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

    In the US, there’s now a program the FDA made called iPledge that requires people who want to take Accutane to submit to pregnancy tests (blood tests, not urine tests) at an iPledge-approved lab. Two negative tests are required before starting the drug, one to determine eligibility for the drug and another just prior to filling the Rx, and a test is required every month the person is on the drug thereafter. Women of childbearing age taking it are required to be on two forms of birth control. The patient and/or hir doctor also have to visit a website and answer questions about hir cycle and sexual history including STI’s. There are questions to be answered monthly.

    The stated purpose of the program is to prevent any woman from getting pregnant while on the active ingredient in Accutane (the name of which I forget). It’s quite strict compared to the old program. From what I gather, having your tubes tied isn’t good enough to avoid the hoops – you still have to have all the pregnancy tests. Having your tubes tied merely counts as one form of birth control.

    Men and women not of childbearing age also have to visit the website every month and submit to the blood tests.

    I could go on, but I am not sure how much of a derail this is, so I’ll stop.

  33. DragonBreath
    DragonBreath February 21, 2012 at 1:01 am |

    These power mad holier than thou scumbags should have those ultra sound things stuck up their butts, and with out their permission, to see if they are really full of fecal material. Then follow it up with a MRI of the head with out ear plugs to see if said brown material has backed up into their brain assuming they have one. I am sick and tired of these sorry excuses for the male gender making all men look bad.

  34. Matt
    Matt February 21, 2012 at 2:40 am |

    Sandy

    Accutane causes birth defects. Healthcare providers tend to be hyper paranoid about prescribing such things, as the burden of responsibility for ensuring a patient isn’t pregnant (and consequent exposure to litigation) often lies with them rather than the patient.

    I think the blood tests may be screening for additional side effects.

    According to Wiki the iPledge thing was introduced after more than 2000 women became pregnant when taking the drug, about 160 children were born with birth defects, and the previous program, which was less strict, saw the rate of pregnancies increase.

    It’s a very strict program, but there does seem to be some justification for that, at least on the face of it.

  35. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 3:35 am |

    My female roommate in college took accutane and her doctor made her take a pregnancy test before each treatment until she said, hey, I’m not having sex, I don’t need a pregnancy test. (For her it was neither heterosexual nor homosexual sex.)

    So… what kind of sex was it then?

  36. Heather
    Heather February 21, 2012 at 3:40 am |

    Matt,

    The blood tests are at least partially to check for the possible liver and kidney damage that can occur on Accutane. Doctors aren’t just reluctant to prescribe it because of possible birth defects, but also because it can potentially cause a lot of damage to the person taking it even if they don’t get pregnant.

  37. Sandy
    Sandy February 21, 2012 at 7:58 am |

    Oh, I know. I’m very interested in the privacy implications. I was just offering more information in light of the questions in prior comments.

    It’s one thing to say – hey, this medication causes serious birth defects, we need to be very careful about when we prescribe it. (I think the requirements of iPledge are overkill, but that’s just my opinion.) It’s another thing entirely to say, hey, we don’t like abortion and we want to make you suffer if you’re going to have one, so here, we’re mandating you be object-penetrated and to have to look at the fetus. I hesitate to say that these two things are anything alike. As you said, there is medical justification for these interventions, at least for those women capable of conceiving.

    It’s also another thing to require answers about a person’s sexual history when that’s not relevant to whether or not that person is or could be pregnant.

    As far as men go, I have not read anything that suggests their blood actually needs to be tested for anything so dangerous that this drug is a special case, one that would call for blood tests at an freestanding FDA-approved lab if women weren’t required to because of the birth defect risk. Plenty of medications have potential side effects, truly risky ones like liver or kidney damage, without patients being forced to get monthly blood tests. So it seems to me like they made it equally restricted for men and women even though this program is concerned with women who could conceive.

  38. Lawyer_again
    Lawyer_again February 21, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    If you make an appointment for an abortion that includes a transvaginal ultrasound;
    and if you lie on the table;
    and if the doctor says “we’ll need to do a transvaginal ultrasound as a first step, OK?”
    and if you say “OK;”

    then it isn’t rape.

    It’s STUPID.
    It’s POINTLESS.
    It’s ANTI-CHOICE.

    It is so many different things, all of them bad. But it’s not actually rape.

    The state has a lot of flexibility in medical licensing. The state controls medicine. If they want to require blood typing or x rays or what have you as a criteria of various procedures, the state can do that.

    I’ve had various surgeries in my life to cure problems. I might believe that I was entitled to get access to those surgeries, and still to be in perfect control over what pre-surgical requirements applied to me. But as you all know, it doesn’t work that way: if you want the medical procedure, you have to follow the rules to get it. Mandatory pre-surgery shots aren’t assault.

  39. Tina
    Tina February 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    So… what kind of sex was it then?

    I don’t understand. It says none, no sex in the quote you grabbed from me.

    Sandy:

    From what I gather, having your tubes tied isn’t good enough to avoid the hoops – you still have to have all the pregnancy tests. Having your tubes tied merely counts as one form of birth control.

    That’s some interesting info. So tubal ligation is merely birth control? I wonder if abstinence, condoms, spermicide or lesbianism count as birth control. It doesn’t seem fair that you have to be on birth control if you aren’t having sex or are only having sex with a woman/women. Also if condoms and spermicide don’t count, two forms? That sounds overkill. I assume the only way to do that would be for one form to be a diaphram? Pill and IUD? Tubes tied and IUD? Seems ridiculous. The whole birth control thing sounds ridiculous to me if you have to take the blood tests anyway. Seems like testing for pregnancy should be enough.

  40. Tina
    Tina February 21, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    If you make an appointment for an abortion that includes a transvaginal ultrasound;
    and if you lie on the table;
    and if the doctor says “we’ll need to do a transvaginal ultrasound as a first step, OK?”
    and if you say “OK;”

    then it isn’t rape.

    It’s STUPID.
    It’s POINTLESS.
    It’s ANTI-CHOICE.

    It is so many different things, all of them bad. But it’s not actually rape.

    *TRIGGER WARNING*

    If a man holds a knife to your throat and says “I won’t cut you unless you let me have sex with you right now” and you say “Ok,”

    IT’S STILL RAPE! Just because you say yes to something under duress, it doesn’t mean you’ve really given consent to it. That’s why confessions extracted under torture don’t count and why saying yes to a rapist who’s threatened you doesn’t count and it’s why requiring a unneccessary transvaginal ultrasound in order to practice your legal right to an abortion is rape.

  41. Emolee
    Emolee February 21, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    they had no problem having similar to a trans-vaginal procedure when they engaged in the act that resulted in their pregnancy.

    Seethe. First, why does she assume the woman “had no problem”? The “act that resulted in their pregnancy” could have also been rape!

    Second, even if the woman did consent to sex… how does this translate into consent anywhere anytime with anyone in any way??

  42. Sandy
    Sandy February 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    The whole birth control thing sounds ridiculous to me if you have to take the blood tests anyway. Seems like testing for pregnancy should be enough.

    Totally. If the pregnancy tests are mandatory, it means they’re not going to take a patient at hir word that ze’s on birth control at all, let alone two forms of it. Okay. But then why do they demand to know what your methods of birth control are? Even that I could see, but why do they demand to know a patient’s sexual history? Why do they demand to know what STD’s a patient has had in the past? Why is your sexual history the business of the state, simply because you want to take a risky drug that they’re already safeguarding (with the blood tests) anyway? There are some really questionable interrogations going on there, in my opinion.

    I assume condoms and spermicide would each count as a form of birth control. I know a vasectomy counts as one form. I think that info is available somewhere online. I am deeply curious as to the information they’re asking on the website you have to log into once a month. I mean, if they’re asking about possible side effects from the drug, okay, but all I have read is that they ask about your pregnancy status, and if they are intrusive enough to demand your sexual history when you start… who knows. I totally get the need to prevent the birth defects that occur when conceiving and Accutane coincide, but some of the demands of the program strike me as intrusive and creepy. And yeah, overkill.

    Another comment I made is still in moderation, and this one probably will be too, but oh well.

  43. Lawyer_again
    Lawyer_again February 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

    Tina 2.21.2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink
    *TRIGGER WARNING*

    If a man holds a knife to your throat and says “I won’t cut you unless you let me have sex with you right now” and you say “Ok,”

    IT’S STILL RAPE!
    Just because you say yes to something under duress, it doesn’t mean you’ve really given consent to it. That’s why confessions extracted under torture don’t count and why saying yes to a rapist who’s threatened you doesn’t count

    You’re right about this part.

    and it’s why requiring a unneccessary transvaginal ultrasound in order to practice your legal right to an abortion is rape.

    You’re 100% wrong about this part, though.

    The doctor will ask for consent before they start, and if you withdraw consent at any time then they’ll stop. That’s consent.

    Are there consequences of withdrawing consent? Yes: the doctor may refuse to do the rest of the procedure. But the doctor never had an obligation to do the procedure at all: you don’t have a “right to an abortion” the way that you seem to think. And because the doctor is legally and morally entitled to say “no”, then the act of saying “no” isn’t coercive, so this isn’t rape. (Coercion stems from obligation as well as violence. An employer does have an obligation to pay his employees. If he conditions that obligation on sex, it’s rape.)

    I think you’re confused because you’re using “legal right to an abortion” incorrectly. You don’t actually have a legal “right to an abortion.” Nobody does; that’s a misnomer.

    You actually have what we call a “negative” right: a legal right NOT to have the STATE tell you that you CAN’T get an abortion. You can’t sue a doctor for refusing to give you an abortion. You can’t sue the state for refusing to pay for it.

    The state isn’t technically telling you that you can’t get an abortion. The state is telling you that you have to have an ultrasound in order to get one. And whether or not the state is violating your rights to an abortion by inserting that requirement (which I think they are) it’s not rape because you consent to it.

    I believe that a smart court will conclude that this is specifically designed to limit abortions (no shit sherlock) and will strike down the provision. But that doesn’t make it rape, any more than the state is liable for assault if someone gets an illegal abortion due to an unconstitutional law.

  44. Chiara
    Chiara February 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |

    I think the idea is that a woman who is in a financial situation or whatever such that they have to get an abortion or for whatever reason, that the choice is not so much a choice. A choice between having an abortion and having to quit your job or not be able to financially support yourself or whatever is not a very good choice at all. So they are basically forced into doing the transvaginal ultrasound (if applicable in their case). So I can see where the people who say this is rape are coming from. Though personally I wouldn’t use the term because people are always using the term for weird usages these days (though I’m not saying that this is as bad a usage as those).

    I don’t understand. It says none, no sex in the quote you grabbed from me.

    Well you said your friend/or whatever was having neither homosexual nor heterosexual sex. So I assumed that you meant she/he was doing some other kind of sex that I didn’t know what. But now I realize you meant no sex at all.

    Do you peeps think it would be moral for humans to have sex with sentient aliens of similar intelligence to humans? Supposing they acted very people like.

  45. Tina
    Tina February 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

    You’re 100% wrong about this part, though.

    The doctor will ask for consent before they start, and if you withdraw consent at any time then they’ll stop. That’s consent.

    Are there consequences of withdrawing consent? Yes: the doctor may refuse to do the rest of the procedure. But the doctor never had an obligation to do the procedure at all: you don’t have a “right to an abortion” the way that you seem to think. And because the doctor is legally and morally entitled to say “no”, then the act of saying “no” isn’t coercive, so this isn’t rape.

    If the procedure was medically necessary, then I would 100% agree that a doctor should be legally or morally entitled to say no, we will not perform this abortion. That was not what I was calling rape, however. I was calling a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound as a condition to getting an abortion rape. You could make up any stupid rule as a condition to getting a medical procedure and then argue that the doctor doesn’t have an obligation to do the procedure. That doesn’t mean that those stupid rules aren’t violating the patient.

    The state isn’t technically telling you that you can’t get an abortion. The state is telling you that you have to have an ultrasound in order to get one. And whether or not the state is violating your rights to an abortion by inserting that requirement (which I think they are) it’s not rape because you consent to it.

    Again, it’s not consent if it’s under duress. If pregnancy and childbirth is something a woman doesn’t want, of course she’s going to put up with horrible and unnecessary rules in order to get an abortion. She shouldn’t have to put up with them, however, and just because she says yes to them doesn’t mean she really wants to or that she has total freedom to say no. Especially if it’s a law and she can’t visit another doctor and have a different experience. Just because the state tries to enforce it doesn’t all of a sudden make it not rape. You’re just arguing that if a state requires you to be raped, then it can’t be rape because the state is requiring it.

  46. Tina
    Tina February 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |

    Do you peeps think it would be moral for humans to have sex with sentient aliens of similar intelligence to humans? Supposing they acted very people like.

    That is a facinating question. I am tempted to say it would be moral as long as we were somehow assured of being able to truly communicate with each other. Really I’m not sure though because how would we know that we are really able to communicate or that we really were of similiar intelligence? Plus, they could be so different from us that our cultural mores could be almost impossible to reconcile.

  47. EG
    EG February 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    you don’t have a “right to an abortion” the way that you seem to think.

    Wrong. Health care is a right.

  48. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers February 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

    We consider it coercion if the state says “We will give you free housing, but on the condition that you get sterilized.” Technically speaking, you don’t have the right to get free housing; free housing would be a benefit granted to you. But demanding that you get sterilized before you get the free housing would still be considered legally coercive.

    An employer who says “I won’t pay you unless you have sex with me” is violating Department of Labor pay regulations, but in an at-will state, an employer can say “I will fire you for any reason I feel like”, and you do not have the right not to be fired for any reason the employer feels like… except for reasons that have been deemed discriminatory, *and* reasons like “You refused to have sex with me.” You don’t have the right to keep your job, but it is coercion, and sometimes considered rape, to be told that in order to keep your job you have to have sex.

    So no. You don’t have the right to an abortion, but if the state mandates a medically unnecessary penetration of your vagina before it will permit a doctor to give you one, then they are coercing you into submitting to vaginal penetration against your will, which is rape.

    Medical necessity is generally not considered rape because rape kind of carries within it the context that it’s not done to benefit your health or well-being in any way (weird shit would happen to consent laws if we were ferrets, and a human woman could possibly *be* in a position where biologically lack of sex could kill her, but we’re not ferrets so we don’t have to worry about that.) A doctor can be sheltered from charges of rape if the doctor can prove that most reasonable doctors would agree that the treatment in question might be medically necessary and could well have medical benefits, but doctors are charged with rape when they lie and claim that sex with the doctor will have medical benefits in order to coerce patients into sex. So if reasonable doctors agree that a treatment has no medical benefits, but the patient is being coerced into submitting to it in exchange for medical treatment, that’s coercion… and being coerced into submitting to vaginal penetration is rape. (By the new FBI rules, even.)

  49. Sarah Harper
    Sarah Harper February 22, 2012 at 2:51 am |

    Is there any other medical procedure that is forced upon a person by la, particularly a procedure that is not automatically considered medically necessary?

    If your definition of “law” includes court orders:

    electroshock
    neuroleptic drugs, administered orally
    lock-up (not technically a medical procedure, but done in a hospital setting so I’m including it here)

    The following two are not medically necessary but frequently used by medical professionals on non-consenting people to shut them up:

    tranquilizers, administered via injection in buttocks (yes, this is sexually traumatizing)
    tranquilizers, administered orally

  50. Meropi
    Meropi February 22, 2012 at 7:30 am |

    This sadly blurs the line between what’s medically necessary and what’s not. There are plenty of cases where TVUs need to be performed before an abortion. Will this law push doctors to lie about the medical necessity of this procedure in order to obtain their consent? It wouldn’t be consent under duress if the person involved would actually be convinced the procedure is necessary. And what happens in cases where TUVs represent and actual medical necessity, could a patient automatically mistrust a doctor’s reasons to require one?

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