When I was about 10, I was visiting my grandparents in Chicago and for some reason I still do not understand, they played us a video of my grandpa’s cataract surgery. It was a close-up of my grandpa’s eye, and then the eye got sliced into, and then a little vacuum thing went in and oh god I won’t get any more detailed but it was horrific and psychologically scarring. Anything eye-injury-related still freaks me out (even more, I suppose, than the standard amount of freaked-out normally associated with eye-related injuries).
Anyway, the point is, medical procedures are often really gross. A lot of the inside of the human body is gross. And it’s asinine to suggest that if you want a surgical procedure, you should be forced to watch it first because anything else suggests a lack of transparency.
Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a “surgical procedure”. If it’s not a life it shouldn’t matter, if it doesn’t harm a woman then she shouldn’t care, and don’t we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else.
Until the dead child can tell me that she/he does not feel any pain – I have no intentions of clearing the conscience of the living – I will be voting YES.
That’s Terri Proud, an Arizona legislator. 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. But look: It would be considered fairly cruel to force, say, a heart patient to watch a video of open-heart surgery or a heart transplant before they could have their procedure. It’s unnecessary and it’s gross, and when people are going to be cutting into your body, or removing something from one of your organs, or filing your teeth down to little points and putting new fake teeth on top, or vacuuming out your eyeball, or whatever totally miraculous but ultimately disgusting medical procedure is being done, there can be some Bad Feelings Of Total Terror if you actually have to watch it being done first. That doesn’t make that particular medical procedure bad. It does mean that we aren’t used to seeing the insides of our bodies, and when we do see the insides of our bodies it’s usually because something has gone wrong, and so we naturally have some psychological reaction to that.
There are tons of things — good, awesome things — that the human body does naturally that I don’t want to see a video of someone doing before I’m allowed to do it (see, e.g., pooping). There are tons of things — good, awesome things — that modern medicine allows that I don’t want to see a video of someone doing before I’m allowed to do it (see, e.g., basically every surgical procedure ever; pap smears; colonoscopies; wisdom teeth removal; HAVING A BABY; etc). Abortion is actually comparably less gross than a whole lot of other procedures that doctors perform with some regularity (have you ever seen someone get their wisdom teeth removed? Holy shit it is barbaric and frightening. And let’s not even talk about what a C-section looks like). But I’m fairly confident that “grossness” is not a factor in determining what should be legal and what shouldn’t be. 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.
Jezebel is inviting you to contact Proud and invite her to your next C-section or kidney stone removal. Or maybe the next time you’re having some digestive issues and you turn to modern medicine to help get things moving, you can send her a photo of what that all looks like. Because Transparency.