It was a story about how the state of Alaska is the latest state to consider a mandatory ultrasound law for women who seek abortions. What's this "mandatory ultrasound," I thought to myself, (still laughing about the elephant in my uterus), I could hardly get approval from my health insurer for an ultrasound that I wanted to have when I was pregnant and had no intention of getting an abortion. About this time I was realizing this was not a hilarious humor article about stuffing enormous animals into small spaces. Oh.
Alaska (along with Idaho, Pennsylvania, Texas (of course),and Virginia) is trying to pass a law so a woman who seeks an abortion must have a medically unnecessary ultrasound whether she wants it or not. I actually heard about this a few weeks ago on a blog called The Middle Voice. The title of her post was called Virginia's New Honor Rape Law, and she brilliantly compared the way some countries in the Middle East punish women by raping them (which nobody in this country would disagree is appalling) with this new law. She said the only ultrasound that would be able to pick up an early first-trimester pregnancy is a transvaginal ultrasound. Here's a picture:
The Mudflats article also reported on how the aptly named Alaska State Representative, Alan Dick, said at a House Health and Human Services committee meeting that he doesn't believe when a woman is pregnant that it's really her pregnancy. He thinks that if a woman wants to get an abortion she should have a permission slip from the impregnator. A fucking permission slip. He said,
“If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…”He'd feel better if a man gave his permission for a woman to decide whether or not she wants to spend the next eight months carrying a baby she never intended to have. Because lord knows, men know WAY more about what is good for women than women do.
every sperm is sacred. To be fair, after Dick made that appalling statement, he heard from a LOT of women and he apologized for his "artless" comment and said that maybe a not a permission slip, but the woman should definitely be required to inform the impregnator. I can't say it any better than this: (from The Mudflats)
There was no clarification about what would happen if the impregnator was a woman’s rapist, or father, or abuser, or how paternity would be determined beforehand. No word about how it would be enforced, or what would legally happen to a woman or a doctor if it wasn’t. No word on how a signature would be validated, or what notarization or witnesses might be necessary to prove the signature was real. Nothing about what happens if a man and a woman disagree, or if a man refuses to acknowledge the notification, or if he can’t be contacted.Ladies, we have to wake up and take a role in preventing our country and our bodies from being taken over by neoconservative nutjobs who want to simultaneously prevent the poor and middle class from receiving affordable health care (because, let's be honest, if you have enough money, these particular laws can be sidestepped), but also forcing us to go through with pregnancy whether we want to or not.
We have to stop entertaining ourselves with hilarious ideas of cramming gigantic animals into small spaces ("Help! Help! There's a narwhal in my small intestine! OMG! LOL!), hibernation plugs (gross! LOL!) and chin beards, and start paying attention to what the people who write the laws are trying to do to us.