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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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74 Responses

  1. ~s~
    ~s~ March 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |

    Yeah, because childbirth is just so easy and painless and not at all gross or potentially traumatizing, you know? Not like abortion. No sirree.

    Maybe pregnant people should watch videos of women giving birth before deciding NOT to have an abortion. Because let me tell you, watching the Miracle of Life in high school science class definitely made me want to never ever ever ever have children.

  2. Emolee
    Emolee March 22, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    In my school, we were shown an “abortion video.” I put this in quotes because I don’t think it was a real one (could it have been??); I think it was pure propaganda. But, yes, it scarred me.

    Transparency is a bad argument unless we are going to make all surgical patients watch videos of any surgery they will receive. Which is clearly a bad idea, and a law that would never pass.

  3. Tom
    Tom March 22, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    Because let me tell you, watching the Miracle of Life in high school science class definitely made me want to never ever ever ever have children.

    Ha, yes, I was going to mention that, too. I’m pretty sure the intention was to scare us away from having sex, but in reality I think it just made us believe childbirth was gross. I doubt it actually prevented anyone from having sex.

  4. Laura Gentle
    Laura Gentle March 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    This is the best critique I’ve read about this nonsense! Thanks you!

    In the past year, I’ve had two surgeries related to my lady parts, and if I had to watch what was going to be done beforehand, my nerves would have been shot. Anxiety is high enough before a procedure, high enough when you sign documents acknowledging you understand the operation and any/all health risks involved.

    This isn’t abut transparency, and we all know it. The mandated ultrasounds, mandatory waiting periods, the personhood amendments, now this – is all an attempt to make women comfortable with, and second guess, abortion procedures. Procedure with an “S” because I highly doubt Ms. Proud realizes the varied abortion procedures fitting for specific trimester timeframes. Abortion is not a one-stop shop, but evangelicals keep pushing the imagery of late-term abortions as the norm, when in fact less they account for around 1% in the U.S.

    Will all women also be mandated to watch the various outcomes of full-term pregnancies before they deliver – still borns, deformed babies, women bleeding out, etc? No, probably not, because the point is to force a woman into motherhood without any consideration at all for her, her freedom as a human being, or her life circumstances.

  5. Shelly
    Shelly March 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    I actually like to watch Youtube videos of medical procedures that I’m going to get. I like to know exactly what’s going to happen to me even if I am unconscious. Before I went in to get my wisdom teeth out, I watched a bunch of clips about it. For some reason, I had always assumed that they just grabbed your tooth with pliers and yanked. It was very comforting to see that they just kind of levered it out after cutting it into smaller chunks.

    This is just a strange preference of mine that I wanted to mention, forcing women to watch abortion procedures before they are allowed to get one is both cruel and pointless.

  6. may
    may March 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    Open heart surgery is pretty gorey. I think if one has heart trouble then s/he should be forced to watch one first.

    How about plastic surgery, that is about as disgusting as it gets…

  7. Caperton
    Caperton March 22, 2012 at 10:41 am | *

    A couple of years ago, I was writing copy for a research poster about bone grafts and joint replacements, and when I opened the copy points no one had told me that there were pictures. And I’m not talking illustrations, either–I’m talking photographs of the procedure that were so graphic and gory that I won’t describe them here. I close to threw up on my desk.

    Which means bone grafts are morally wrong.

  8. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. March 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |

    Add me to the list of women who determine never to have babies after watching one be born. It was the scissors…scissors should never be near that part of my body.

    Query what the video would be for a pharma-abortion? Very boring film. If shown to a pregnant person after the scissors, it might be considered advertising…

  9. Dibbit
    Dibbit March 22, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    Does this mean that for Plan-B there will be a 10 minute short of someone swallowing a pill and feeling bloated for 3 days?

    There also seems to be a loophole involving the blind, although I suspect that there will be a “tactile feedback machine amendment” that earmarks millions of dollars to provide, well, actually, I don’t know what it should provide. Something gross, I suspect

  10. Han
    Han March 22, 2012 at 11:51 am |

    So this is the same state that passed legislation that allows doctors to lie to and withhold crucial information from women about their pregnancies, right?

    Because, again, Transparency.

  11. A.Y. Siu
    A.Y. Siu March 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    I wonder if Terri Proud would also like to get rid of all the military recruitment commercials in favor of showing all young people interested in the military some videos of soldier’s limbs being blown apart by landmines. I highly doubt it.

  12. Edie
    Edie March 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

    Make men watch treatment for priapism before allowing them to get their erectile dysfunction scripts.

  13. SWNC
    SWNC March 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

    This is completely insane. No one forced me to watch a video of a C-section before I had one.

    I’d like to know why the medical community isn’t speaking out more vocally against this bullsh*t. Why isn’t the AMA loudly saying that lying to your patients and forcing people to watch medical procedures before having them done themselves is unethical and barbaric? Why aren’t doctors in all specialties being vocal about this?

  14. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen March 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm |

    I couldn’t be bothered to inform Rep. Proud that fetuses lack the vital organs to be considered children, and that nobody in this reality-based Solar System performs elective late-term abortions on fetuses with such organs. These are the same maroons who believe there are videos of first-trimester fetuses trying to fight back during abortions (as if first-trimester fetuses have brains, limbs or anything resembling consciousness or a human body), and that doctors who testify that nobody performs late-term abortions except during emergencies are liars.

    It takes an impressive level of narcissism for politicians to think they know more about medicine than medical providers do.

  15. Toby
    Toby March 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

    I think about the pooping analogy every time I see one of those abortion protest posters with the bloody fetuses.

    Just this week, I had to have a simple follow up test to my pap smear that I was so nervous about, I had to take medication to allow me to go through it without panic attacks (and I have never had to take such medication before). I wasn’t nervous about the possibility of cancer; I was nervous about the procedure itself. My doctor was kind enough to ask me “Do you want to know what I’m doing step by step, or would you rather not know.” RATHER NOT KNOW! I replied, so grateful that she’d asked. My not wanting to know had nothing to do with shame; it had to do with phobia of medical procedures taking place in my vagina.

    “if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care…”

    You have no right to tell me what I “shouldn’t care” about. Some people are fine with that stuff, but I think there are plenty of us who are not.

  16. Ruchama
    Ruchama March 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    I probably would want to watch a video of a medical procedure before I had it done, but I know that I’m weird in this case. When I was five, my mom had open heart surgery, and turning to the “heart” entry in our World Book Encyclopedia and looking at the pictures of open heart surgery actually reassured me, because not knowing what was going on was the scariest part. (I tried to show my older sister what I’d found, but she took one look and ran off screaming.)

  17. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists March 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

    I had ankle surgery recently because I had a tendon that kept popping over the bone spur on the outside of my ankle. The idea that there was some structural damage INSIDE my skin was not a happy one, but my mind was blown by the idea that there were people who knew how to CUT ME OPEN and fix that shit.

    Imagine if your friend came to you and was like “Hey, I need you to knock me out and then cut my leg open so you can sew up some tendons. It shouldn’t be hard, because you make dresses right?”

    No. Of course not. That’s ridiculous.

    Because pretty much ALL surgery is ridiculous, and amazing, and a mind boggling endeavor. That’s why we have special people with years and years of training do it for us.

    The point of doctors is to relieve pain, to fix serious problems that a patient cannot fix for themselves, and to make this as least traumatic as possible.

    Legislation like this does the opposite. It’s a violation of “do no harm” and nothing more than an attempt to punish women.

  18. karak
    karak March 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

    I thought this was interesting because it views the very serious bias in our culture that bodies and natural body functions are inherently frightening and disgusting.

    I personally think that the reason so many people are disgusted by and fear menstrual blood is the same reason they’re freaked out by regular blood, or farts, or surgeries, or even zits and skin infections.

    These things are really normal and they really freak us out–and I am one of the people that MOST freak out when I see pus and tissue. I feel like vomiting and fainting–and vomit also alarms me.

    So, like, we live in a society where looking normal is disgusting and shameful, especially for women, who must shave their natural body hair, put cosmetic on their face, and hide their menstrual cycles and pooping, and fear any kind of surgical procedure.

    All that said, that woman is a giant asshole that needs an infusion of “Stop being a fucking stupid ass” STAT!

  19. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage March 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

    Therefore, it’s only fair for men seeking vasectomies to watch an up-close-and-inside video of the procedure beforehand. I’m sure they’ll have no problem tacking that on to the bill, because transparency.

  20. JetGirl
    JetGirl March 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    I had a complete hip replacement a year and a half ago. I am happy about the results, but I have no interest in watching someone else get one, or making someone else see mine.

  21. Katya
    Katya March 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

    I thought this was interesting because it views the very serious bias in our culture that bodies and natural body functions are inherently frightening and disgusting.

    If the inside of my body is visible to me or anyone else, something awful has happened, and it is inherently frightening and disgusting–my heart is awesome, but if I can see it, that means it is not being protected by my bones, muscles, and skin anymore and is terribly vulnerable. We aren’t supposed to see our internal organs. Ever. And pus is a sign of infection, so again, disgust is a natural, even healthy reaction–we should stay away from things, like pus, vomit, or visible infections, that indicate or carry infectious disease so as to avoid getting sick. Reacting with aversion to signs of infection and serious injury seems pretty natural to me.

  22. Grace
    Grace March 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    I’d like to know why the medical community isn’t speaking out more vocally against this bullsh*t. Why isn’t the AMA loudly saying that lying to your patients and forcing people to watch medical procedures before having them done themselves is unethical and barbaric? Why aren’t doctors in all specialties being vocal about this?

    @SWNC: FOR REALS. There’s a great guest post on John Scalzi’s blog about exactly that here, by a doctor.

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

    I had a jaw surgery last year that involved cutting into the bone and moving things around.

    Yes, it did some good things for me– my jaw doesn’t ache, I’ll be able to eat when I’m elderly– but there is no way I could have gone through with it if I’d have to watch it first! I was sobbing from terror before the surgery anyway.

    Either Proud has never had any sort of invasive procedure, or she’s being purposefully callous. Based on her statements, probably both.

  24. Toby
    Toby March 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

    Yeah, it was definitely seeing video and hearing graphic stories of childbirth, plus seeing my mother go through pregnancy, that convinced me I NEVER want to give birth or be pregnant. I realize (or at least I’m told) I’m an extreme case, but there is no possible outcome of pregnancy that I find appealing (for myself). Of course, apparently the state of Arizona isn’t ok with me being on birth control either. My options would seem limited to abstinence, which neither my husband nor I are terribly interested in.

    I’m waiting for someone to create an adorable animated video featuring talking kidney stones directly addressing Rep. Proud, asking her to protect them too. Who will speak for the voiceless kidney stones?! Weren’t those kidney stones placed there inside the sacred temple of your body by God, and until the kidney stones can tell Rep. Proud that they don’t feel pain, who are we to violently and horribly blast them to bits with ungodly lasers?

  25. dami
    dami March 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    I can’t even look when they draw blood, so according to this idiot I shouldn’t get blood tests?

  26. Antonia
    Antonia March 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm |

    @Toby: Do they really blast kidney stones with lasers? That is SO COOL.

    But not something I’d make anyone watch.

  27. Toby
    Toby March 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    @Grace: Thanks so much for that link. It was inspiring and reassuring. The sentence “I think we can all agree that my right to swing my fist ends where your face begins” is the clearest, most concise summary of this whole issue that I’ve ever heard.

    For as much as “conscience clauses” have been promoted lately in relation to physicians and pharmacists refusing to provide women’s health services, it’s interesting to think what would happen if physicians started turning those protections around and refusing to comply to these sorts of unethical procedures. Can’t we turn this discussion around? If all this crap is being pulled under the guise of religious freedom, can’t we start claiming abortion rights and contraception use and refusal of trans-vaginal ultrasounds as part of OUR religious freedom?

  28. karak
    karak March 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    There are some very good reasons for that which are not cultural.

    Actually, they really are. I’ve seen people shit on the streets and walk around the human feces with no expression of disgust or fear anymore than if it was a pile of mud (ie, to be avoided, for it is messy, but that’s all).

    My aunt from Peru is often stunned by how finicky Americans are about body fluids, functions, and injuries, but is also disgusted we wipe our poopy butts with paper and walk off like we’re actually clean.

    Look, it’s good to avoid crapping in your drinking water or playing with your infected wounds, but the fear, disgust, and shame reactions are learned. Small children eat boogers, scabs, and even feces, because there’s no inherent mechanism of DON’T DO THAT.

    Hell, cholera would have died out years ago if people had a natural objection to pooping near the water they drink out of.

    Occassionaly, the actual smell of rotting tissue, or feces, or whatever else is offensive, and we avoid those things, but there’s a difference in finding a green pussy gangrenous infection offensive and being sick that someone’s popping a zit. Americans are taught bodies are gross, body fluids are gross, body smells and body hair is gross. And this feeling of grossness is overwhelming put on women and vulvas. I hear vaginas being described as “gross” all the time—they’re wet (fluid) they smell (well, of course!) they often have hair (naturally)…

    I mean, it’s one thing to avoid poop and pus and vomit and blood because it smells unpleasant and is not good for you. It’s another to faint/vomit/became hysterical because a really normal, natural thing is happening. And there’s this moral component–women who don’t hide the fact they menstruate, or when people don’t cover or hide their sickness, then they’re doing something immoral and shameful.

    I’m just saying–our view of surgery and the human body as inherently mysterious, disgusting, and frightening is a cultural prejudice that neatly dovetails with misogyny (hell, it goes along very nicely with ableism, ageism, and fat hate, too).

  29. Tim
    Tim March 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    I realize (or at least I’m told) I’m an extreme case, but there is no possible outcome of pregnancy that I find appealing (for myself).

    @Toby I don’t think you are actually that extreme. A relative of mine had a tubal ligation early in her life to be absolutely sure she would not get pregnant. She was open to possibly adopting kids, but had a horror of the idea of childbirth. A friend from graduate school used to joke about getting a “frivolous hysterectomy.” She too likes children and was kidding around once about teaming up with a another friend and them marrying the same guy; my friend would go get a job and help with the kids if the other woman wanted to have the pregnancies. So that’s two right there I can think of and I don’t know that many people.

    It probably is a minority of women who are seriously turned off by the idea of giving birth, or there would be a lot less of us around, but I don’t think it’s extreme in the sense of being rare at all. And I for one wouldn’t blame them.

  30. Emolee
    Emolee March 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

    If all this crap is being pulled under the guise of religious freedom, can’t we start claiming abortion rights and contraception use and refusal of trans-vaginal ultrasounds as part of OUR religious freedom?

    I think we should be able to. SCOTUS has held that non-theistic forms of conscience also have 1st Amendment protection (not to mention the theistic forms that would find these laws repulsive). But, I sadly doubt that this would work because “religious freedom” in the context of these laws has nothing to do with actual religious freedom (in fact, the opposite… freedom of religion is also freedom *from* religion and these laws fly in the face of that) but everything to do with controlling women and privileging a very specific set of religious beliefs at the expense of everyone else, religious or not.

    That said, I think that doctors, other health profesionals, and patients who find these laws repulsive *should* start a movement to “conscientiously object” to things like medically-unecessary transvaginal ultrasounds and the like. Even if just to make a point. I’m on board.

  31. Julia
    Julia March 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    Actually, Antonia and Toby, they use sound waves to break up the stones, not lasers, but it is still cool.

  32. Natalie
    Natalie March 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

    Because let me tell you, watching the Miracle of Life in high school science class definitely made me want to never ever ever ever have children.

    At 13 that was literally the most frightening thing I had ever seen…. I had nightmares for days.

  33. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers March 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    They wouldn’t *let* me view my own c-section.

    I really wanted to. Both because I am really fascinated by the human body, and not grossed out by innards at all, and because I’m a control freak and I was a lot more bothered by the fact that people were doing surgical-type things to my body behind a curtain, and I was numb so I couldn’t feel it (and didn’t want to, because ow, but that meant I really wanted to be able to see), so I was a little freaked at *not* knowing what was going on.

    But that’s me.

    So. Necessary c-section to protect life of mother and baby, something I’m sure Terri Proud approves of, and they don’t *let* me see it. Why the hell would she assume that it’s ok to force people to view an abortion if doctors won’t *let* mothers see their own c-section even if they ask to?

  34. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable March 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm |

    So. Necessary c-section to protect life of mother and baby, something I’m sure Terri Proud approves of, and they don’t *let* me see it.

    FTFY. Don’t know if she cares much for the life of the mother.

  35. Azalea
    Azalea March 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm |

    I was upset that I wasn’t allowed to watch my csections. Before I consent to ANY surgery, I want to read about and see what happens. But Im awesomely weird like that and demanding that someone watches before hand is awful . The only people who should be obligated to watch surgical procedures are surgeons and their assistants.

  36. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio March 23, 2012 at 4:33 am |

    They wouldn’t *let* me view my own c-section.

    I recently had a stereotactic breast biopsy and they wouldn’t let me watch either. I actually had more agency over my medical care when I was a teenager than I have in my 40s.

    And the forms they want me to sign now are completely fucking outrageous. I haven’t signed a medical form for damn near anything without crossing out and/or writing in alternative language in years.

  37. ellid
    ellid March 23, 2012 at 5:50 am |

    Damn. I had hemorrhoid surgery two years ago and didn’t ask to have it filmed. That would have been so very appropriate for this fine public servant, don’t you think?

  38. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada March 23, 2012 at 7:18 am |

    I guess, then, people should be forced to see eye operation before having one. Also, before having one people should see appendectomies, rhinoplasties etc.

    Looks like we will having a boost of the reality show buisness.

    This will be so funny if it was not real.

    Love,

    Avida

  39. Caperton
    Caperton March 23, 2012 at 9:27 am | *

    Looks like we will having a boost of the reality show buisness.

    Back before TLC stopped being The Learning Channel, they had some show that actually did show surgery, and my dad and I got kind of addicted. If you’ve never seen laparoscopic gall bladder removal, it’s pretty cool.

  40. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve March 23, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    They should force them to watch Celebrity Rehab. That would cause anyone to think twice about bringing another life into this world.

  41. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe March 23, 2012 at 11:55 am |

    I think everyone who eats meat should be forced to tour a slaughterhouse.

    (I’ve toured them, so I don’t say that lightly. Well, maybe a little lightly.)

  42. Worthwhile Reads: Abortion, Laws, and Biblical Translation | Love, Joy, Feminism

    […] anti-abortion laws:Tennessee bill would expose identity of abortion providers and possibly patientsArizona legislator would like to make women watch abortions before they having themI have written before that even though opposition to abortion was originally born out of a desire to […]

  43. Oubli
    Oubli March 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

    Would those of us who opted for the abortion pill be exempt if we had already experienced a miscarriage?

    That’s one of the big reasons why I chose the abortion pills because of it’s similarity to a miscarriage, I knew I could handle that. Simply waking up not pregnant because of a surgical abortion would throw me completely.

  44. Odin
    Odin March 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    I really hate the “let’s rub their noses in it like a puppy who peed on the rug” attitude behind Ms. Proud’s position and the mandatory viewing-a-sonogram/listening-to-a-heartbeat laws. It’s fucking demeaning. (I’m being generous here and assuming these are not intended to be punitive rape or an abuser’s “look what you’re making me do”.)

    Does she have a position on the death penalty? If she’s not against it, can we get her to support a law requiring juries to view videos of executions since we will never have a dead person tell us they didn’t feel any pain (and there’s actual, scientific reason to be concerned that lethal injection in the US is not always painless)?

  45. Short Friday Round-Up, and a Puppy « Skipping Stones

    […] AZ Legislator Would Like to Make Women Watch Abortions Before They Can Have Them […]

  46. R. Dave
    R. Dave March 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

    I’m not even going to address the “until the dead child can tell me” part, at least not until I have ESP and can burrow into Terri Proud’s brain and figure out what the eff she is even thinking.

    …And “we should gross out our patient to make sure they REALLY want this procedure” doesn’t seem like the most ethically sound medical idea.

    It seems pretty blindingly obvious to me that what she wants is to force women to confront, not the grossness of the procedure or its effects on them, but rather the facts (as she believes them to be) of what is being done to the fetus. She believes there’s another living person with moral rights and the ability to experience pain that is being harmed, and she wants the individual causing the harm to have to confront that fact. Like Bitter Scribe noted above, it’s akin to thinking that people who eat meat should have to tour of a slaughter house and confront the suffering being caused by their choice.

    Now, I totally disagree with Proud’s suggestion that women be forced to do this, of course, and I’m sure her understanding of when a fetus develops the ability to feel pain is quite wrong, but her motivation here isn’t exactly a mystery.

  47. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists March 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm |

    @Jen In Ohio

    Please tell me more about this business of editing medical forms before signing them! Do you have any links or sources I could read to learn what sorts of things I should look for and what sorts of changes one might make?

  48. AlisonM
    AlisonM March 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

    Well, when I had my hysterectomy a couple of years ago, I asked the doctor to take pictures of my uterus so I could shake my fist and curse at the thing that had been making my life so miserable for so many years. It looked like a pink playtex glove stuffed with golf balls and tangerines. I could send that to Ms. Proud if I could find it.

    In the meantime, I’m having surgery for bunions and bone spurs on Tuesday, even though I’ve seen pictures. Maybe she’d like me to send some of those on to her so she can be certain I know what I’m consenting to?

  49. Opheelia
    Opheelia March 24, 2012 at 12:15 am |

    She’s on facebook and twitter. Feel free to send her videos and pictures of surgeries, just in case she might need one someday. Because transparency.

  50. Corra
    Corra March 24, 2012 at 4:47 am |

    By that standard then any one wanting to circumcise their baby boy should be made to watch a video of one.

    Tell her to keep her policy out of my pussy!

  51. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio March 24, 2012 at 6:54 am |

    Please tell me more about this business of editing medical forms before signing them! Do you have any links or sources I could read to learn what sorts of things I should look for and what sorts of changes one might make?

    @DoublyLinkedLists, I wish I could give you links, and I’m so sorry that I can’t. I’m totally DIY-ing this thing using my legal education/work background (I am not a lawyer). I can give you examples of the kinds of things I’m doing, though.

    Most typically, I cross through language that gives away any blanket consent, and I always initial whatever I alter. If there’s a blank line where I can write something in, I will specifically revoke any blanket consent for anything and everything in an attempt to make them get my specific consent for each thing they do with/to me and/or my records.

    More specifically, the most recent form I altered was for the breast biopsy procedure I mentioned upthread. Before the procedure, they’d told me that it is now standard practice to insert a metal marker clip at the biopsy site but I declined consent for that because my body has a lot of trouble tolerating metals. The day of the procedure, I showed up and they handed me a consent form to sign. A nurse had hand-written my consent for the insertion of the marker clip on the form. I objected to this, wanted another form, but another nurse simply crossed out the consent language.

    Since I’d already said NO to the clip at least a dozen times to at least a dozen people (no exaggeration), I was starting to become concerned about “mistakes”, so I hand-wrote on the consent form in block lettering, “I do not consent to the insertion of any marker clip whatsoever.” I initialed it, and then I got the radiologist who’d be performing the procedure to initial it. During the procedure, while I was lying on the table with a vacuum needle inserted into my breast, a different nurse tried to get the damn clip out of a locked cabinet but the radiologist ran her off. To the best of my knowledge, no clip was inserted.

    The hospital is now charging me for the insertion of the clip, and it ain’t cheap, either. But they’re in a bad position because of what I did on the consent form. They either have to back down and lower the bill to accurately reflect the services and procedures I had, or else they have to prove they inserted that clip despite my specifically declining consent for it — in which case they’re going to get sued from here to the fuckin’ moon.

  52. Rainface
    Rainface March 24, 2012 at 10:10 am |

    While I was in labor and actively in the process of pushing, the nurses kept asking my husband if he wanted to watch. He respectfully declined several times and stayed up by the head of the bed. Shouldn’t men be required to watch birth live, up close, and in person before they’re allowed to have sex that could result in pregnancy? I’m pretty sure he would have used birth control more diligently had he known…
    Oh wait, it’s not men we’re trying to punish and shame is it?

  53. checksix
    checksix March 24, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    @Corra

    The parents aren’t having the procedure done on them; their non-consenting child is. This would be more like requiring an adult male to watch a circumcision procedure video before getting a voluntary circumcision done. Or a vasectomy video before having a voluntary vasectomy.

    That said, +1 on this bill being some bond-villain level evil bullshit.

  54. Jennifer
    Jennifer March 24, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    Here is Rep. Proud’s contact info:

    House of Representatives
    1700 W. Washington
    Room 309
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Phone Number: (602) 926-3398
    Fax Number: (602) 417-3126

    Email Address: tproud@azleg.gov

  55. Toby
    Toby March 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    The parents aren’t having the procedure done on them; their non-consenting child is.

    @checksix The trouble is, the anti-abortion stance comes from believing this to be true about abortion as well. They think that viewing an ultrasound or video will somehow make the fetus seem more human to those who see it as an undeveloped mass of cells that is forming into a person. They are relying on the “uncanny valley” type response we have to human-ish looking fetuses to influence women to have discomfort about abortion.

    While I completely disagree that a future-human is the same as a human, and I see it as completely wrong-headed to think that the presence of a not-yet-fully-formed-organism existing inside someone’s uterus somehow overrides their personal health and freedom, I get that there are people who believe a fetus counts as a human being and is something they want to defend.

    What I really can’t comprehend is how those same people justify shaming and hurting and judging other people to accomplish this defense, and that they allow themselves to completely disregard the fully-formed humans invested in an unwanted or unhealthy pregnancy. And I don’t get how a country that supposedly makes no law respecting a certain religion is continually making laws that are completely based on Christian, anti-scientific assumptions.

  56. Peter
    Peter March 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    Does Arizona make old, republican men watch a colonoscopy of someone else’s rectum, when these old dudes go in for their bi-annual checkup, or whatever? Inquiring minds want to know!

  57. distantdrummer
    distantdrummer March 25, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    When I was in high school I took a driver safety course and they showed old black and white films of car accidents. It was dated footage, but very shocking. I was told that by simply putting on your seat belt and locking your door, I could avoid the risk of being thrown from the vehicle. Seeing those bodies laying on the payment (I will spare you the details) had a lasting impression on me. I have since then used my seat belt and locked doors even before it was automatic. So maybe it would be good for both films to be watched. We should not be adverse to being educated or empowered. Some auto insurers will not pay for medical coverage if you failed to wear seat belt in an accident.

  58. Godlesspanther
    Godlesspanther March 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

    Is there any other situation in which anyone has suggested that anyone be required to watch a movie about anything?

    The closest thing that I can think of is driver’s education class, for me, over 30 years ago. Part of the requirement, at that time, was to watch a horrible gory traffic accident movie to scare that kids into being safe drivers. But — I remember that kids could be exempt from that if they were particularly sensitive to such thing or if they had a traumatic experience with a car accident and this was back in ’80.

    No — nobody is legally required to watch a movie about anything for any reason. The concept is insane.

  59. E
    E March 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

    I wonder how much of this position is based on Terri Proud not having any idea of what an abortion actually looks like. Medically, an abortion is a rather unimpressive procedure, even into the second trimester. I am in no way dismissing or trivializing the emotions and yes, sometimes pain and discomfort involved, nor should women have to watch one regardless of what it looks like. However, my guess is Terri Proud and many other conservatives think abortions look something like taking a fully-formed baby out of someone’s vagina and then cutting it apart with scissors, and watching one will therefore guilt a woman out of having one performed.

    I wonder if she’d feel the same way if I told her in my experience, women say, “Wow…that’s it?” much more commonly than they say something like, “Wow, that was way worse than I thought.”

  60. Peter
    Peter March 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

    There appears to be a long-standing theme to this conservative fetish with forcing people to watch unpleasant things. Evidently, conservatives know full well that their words and ideas have a hard time gaining traction. I clearly recall in the run up to the 2004 presidential election that americans should be forced to watch video of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, with the goal being to hammer home the awesome-ness of George Dumbya Bush’s war on terrorism. And when the WMD went missing, Fox News went into overdrive with about a billion “documentary” episodes detailing Saddam’s torture chambers.

    I personally have found that conservatives are either ill-equipped, or cognizant that their bat-sh*t crazy values can’t be sold with words and ideas, and they have a long-standing fetish with the power of violent or shocking imagery. What they are incapable of articulating, they evidently can be sold on the basis of forcing people to watch shocking imagery that comport and promotes the wingnut world view.

  61. EG
    EG March 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Small children eat boogers, scabs, and even feces, because there’s no inherent mechanism of DON’T DO THAT.

    Really? I’ve never heard of small children eating feces–I had always read that like rotting meat, it is one of the few things that humans seem instinctually to want to avoid.

  62. EG
    EG March 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

    I like the idea of a film of an abortion being done. It would show a woman panicking about an unwanted pregnancy, deciding to have an abortion, and then calling her best friend/boyfriend/mother to go with her. Then it would show her walking past a gauntlet of hostile, condescending protesters and going to the clinic, filling out forms, meeting with a counselor, and sitting around a waiting room. Then she would go in for the procedure, and you’d watch the nurse monitoring her condition while the doctor inserted various necessary instruments into her vagina. We could do some close-ups on how hard the doctor is working and on the doctor’s and nurse’s concern for their patient, the woman. Then it would show the woman in recovery, feeling very relieved that she will be able to get on with the life she wants. Then she goes home and eats home-made chicken soup cooked for her by her best friend/boyfriend/mother.

    That’s how it went when my best friend had an abortion when we were 20. She never mentioned seeing anything distressing.

  63. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve March 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

    Really? I’ve never heard of small children eating feces–I had always read that like rotting meat, it is one of the few things that humans seem instinctually to want to avoid.

    I’ve seen plenty of children eating Chicken McNuggets, which is basically the same thing.

  64. chava
    chava March 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    Really? I’ve never heard of small children eating feces–I had always read that like rotting meat, it is one of the few things that humans seem instinctually to want to avoid.

    It is, actually. Usually a child eating feces is a sign of something Very Wrong in the brain–last patient of my mother in law to do that had an inoperable brain tumor.

  65. Piper
    Piper March 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

    It frustrates me terribly that people can’t just mind their own business. If you don’t believe in abortions don’t get one it’s that simple. However thats not how people in this country work and now on top of having the government stick their nose in our personal health care, we have people like terri Proud who want to take it even further. Thankfully I don’t think this ridiculous law would ever pass.
    I find it ludicrous that someone would even try. This country claims separation of church and state, yet continuously there are religious based laws being passed. As someone who is not religious and who is studying nursing, I believe in science. That is where all the proof lies and that is how laws should be made. Religious laws should not affect non-religious people it just is not right. Trying to shame women out of getting an abortion is so intrusive and plain rude. What if the pregnancy had the possibility of killing the mother? We live in a so-called free country, let’s please keep it that way.

  66. Alisha
    Alisha March 26, 2012 at 1:37 am |

    Wonderful. If this is their idea of “informed consent,” they’d best give women COMPLETE knowledge of the risks and procedures involved in every choice. This means watching videos of childbirth. Maybe they can show one involving a c-section and one involving an episiotomy or breech birth. Accompanying that should be a list of ALL potential complications and side effects of pregnancy.

    Might as well throw in a video of a miscarriage. I’ve had a few. They’re pretty common, and usually quite physically and emotionally wrenching – you can’t have informed consent without discussing miscarriage. To be fair, we’d also want to throw in a video of an adoption where the kid comes back to find her biological mom 18 years later, resulting in a gut-wrenching emotional experience for all. And while we’re at it, we’d be remiss if we omitted a video of a child who wasn’t born to a well-off, fully healthy mother, or who didn’t come out physically or mentally perfect, or isn’t a member of a privileged race, etc. and is now bouncing around from foster home to foster home as a toddler.

    Depicting one procedure as gory, horrific mutilation and all others as a pink, fluffy cloud bursting with happiness, teddy bears, and bows isn’t informed consent. It’s a propaganda campaign.

    Or, we could treat women like the adults they are and trust that they can take the responsibility to research the pros and cons of each potential choice themselves. We trust them enough to do their own research when making other major life choices, like accepting job offers, buying or renting homes, applying for college or grad school, or deciding to marry or partner up with a lover for life. And yes, all of those things, too, have the potential for snafus, disasters, or heartache down the line, yet we still trust women as the thinking, reasoning individuals they are to work out the cost-benefit analysis on their own.

    Jeez!

  67. Michelle
    Michelle March 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm |

    There seems something somehow craven and cowardly about these attempts to bully women into not doing something that they have a legal right to do. If they can’t control abortion completely, they at least try to raise the cost of freedom.

    And yes, transparency is a phoney rationale. We each have a responsibility to ourselves to inform ourselves about our medical procedures; but no one should be forced to do things that make an already difficult procedure more arduous just because someone else opposes it. That is no kind of medical grounds; and it is shoddy moral practice. Moralising, yes; moral, no. And that stands independently of the rights or wrongs of having an abortion.

  68. Elle
    Elle March 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    The birth video did make me want to only have sex with those (men or women) who had/have well-groomed pubic hair. That, it did.

  69. Katie Grosso
    Katie Grosso March 29, 2012 at 9:13 am |

    “I really hate the “let’s rub their noses in it like a puppy who peed on the rug” attitude behind Ms. Proud’s position and the mandatory viewing-a-sonogram/listening-to-a-heartbeat laws. It’s fucking demeaning.”

    I have to agree on this point and ad that such proposals as that of Rep. Proud construct ‘abortion’ as an inherently simple choice for women to make, almost a non-choice. As if the decision to have an abortion is as banal as whether or not to take sugar in a coffee. Within public discourse, the subject of abortion, the woman, needs to become a woman who is faced with a decision that is fraught with contradictions, complicated by her relation with the father, her family, her religion, her education and economic situation, her desire to have children and when and how to have those children, concern for her health, the stigma that she internalizes about abortion, among other factors… Sadly the subject of abortion today is the woman who uses abortion as birth control, sluts who are habitual baby killers because it is just so easy, mentally, emotionally and physically to have an abortion.

    And why does the public discourse about abortion always construe the fact that an embryo exists as some sort of individual act? Funny how the subject of abortion is the woman who got pregnant all by herself!

  70. Mztress
    Mztress April 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    “Add me to the list of women who determine never to have babies after watching one be born. It was the scissors…scissors should never be near that part of my body.”

    Shame on the entire American medical community for willingly & unflinchingly cutting into women’s genitals at the drop of a hat like that. Episiostomies generally have no purpose other than to speed up the birth process for lazy, barely competent doctors (or maybe to further abuse us, degrade us, & take away our autonomy over our bodies).

  71. Mztress
    Mztress April 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    “I like the idea of a film of an abortion being done. It would show a woman panicking about an unwanted pregnancy, deciding to have an abortion, and then calling her best friend/boyfriend/mother to go with her. Then it would show her walking past a gauntlet of hostile, condescending protesters and going to the clinic, filling out forms, meeting with a counselor, and sitting around a waiting room. Then she would go in for the procedure, and you’d watch the nurse monitoring her condition while the doctor inserted various necessary instruments into her vagina. We could do some close-ups on how hard the doctor is working and on the doctor’s and nurse’s concern for their patient, the woman. Then it would show the woman in recovery, feeling very relieved that she will be able to get on with the life she wants. Then she goes home and eats home-made chicken soup cooked for her by her best friend/boyfriend/mother.

    That’s how it went when my best friend had an abortion when we were 20. She never mentioned seeing anything distressing.”

    But you forgot something in that story: all the shaming & cruelty.

  72. EG
    EG April 4, 2012 at 10:43 am |

    But you forgot something in that story: all the shaming & cruelty.

    Honestly, she didn’t mention any. But we were in NYC and she was of age; from what I’ve seen, there are significantly fewer protesters and they have significantly less support/traction than in other places.

  73. Joey
    Joey April 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

    Looks like the internet is catching on to the Arizona craziness. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTm6lQ1b0As

    Pretty funny though!

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