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Englin Blasts GOP Bill for ‘Requiring Vaginal Penetration’

by ARLnow.com February 14, 2012 at 11:39 am 32,604 219 Comments

Del. David Englin (D) is sharply criticizing a Republican-supported “informed consent” bill that requires women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion.

The bill, which passed the House of Delegates yesterday and the state Senate two weeks ago, would require an ultrasound to determine a fetus’ gestation age. It would then give the woman the option to view the ultrasound before her abortion.

Englin said the bill represents a level of government intrusion that “shocks the conscience.” According to Englin’s office:

… only an invasive transvaginal probe ultrasound can effectively determine gestation age during much of the first trimester, which is when most abortions occur. Englin offered an amendment to require the pregnant woman’s consent prior to subjecting her to a vaginal penetration ultrasound, but House Republicans rejected the amendment by a vote of 64 to 34.

Englin issued a statement in response to the bill’s passage:

This bill will require many women in Virginia to undergo vaginal penetration with an ultrasound probe against their consent in order to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion, even for nonsurgical, noninvasive, pharmaceutical abortions. This kind of government intrusion shocks the conscience and demonstrates the disturbing lengths Republican legislators will go to prevent women from controlling their own reproductive destiny.

I offered an amendment that would have protected women from the unwanted vaginal penetration required by this bill. House Republicans rejected that amendment. The next time Virginia Republicans speak the words ‘government intrusion’ I hope voters will remember this vote and hold them accountable for their hypocrisy.

Republicans, however, countered that the abortion itself is an invasive procedure.

“If we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have,” said bill sponsor Del. Kathy Byron (R), according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

  • Jennifer

    Hmmm, if only there was a word for vaginal penetration without a woman’s consent…

    • Southeast Jerome

      You know what it is. And thats what the Republican party is doing to the women of this country.

      How on earth can you possibly not think they are insane?

      This isnt 1940. Hardly anyone with an education and a decent income votes on such insanely bible-praising nonsense.

      I dont think I have ever been more ashamed to be a human, let alone a Virginian, after reading that people exist in this world that would force another person to undergo this procedure, without their consent.

      Nice job republicans. And you almost had me on your economic policies only to have your 2000% insane social issues drive me further and further away.

      • Quoth the Raven

        If you believe that abortion is murder, wouldn’t you do absolutely everything in your power to stop it? If you could possibly stop a murder, would degrading the murderer really be something you cared about? Agree or disagree with that viewpoint, but it doesn’t seem to me to be surprising that prolife folks would try to stop abortions from happening. And if something degrading is the method, then why not?

        • QTR, you have a point. But, if you consider this action government sanctioned rape, then a different point emerges. If you were to do a study of jail time associated with rape, and compare it to jail time associated with murder, I’m betting the rape sentence is longer. We put a heavy price on rape in this country. While one person feels they are stopping a murder, the other feels they are being raped. Which is heavier?

          • Southeast Jerome

            And the point is even greater when the person being raped doesnt feel a murder was comitted. And neither does the law.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Don’t disagree at all, OB. I guess my post was in response to all the silly posts about “I’m ashamed to be living in Virginia”, and was trying to point out that one shouldn’t be surprised by such a proposal if one considers the viewpoint of the people making it. If you’re pro-life, you’re not going to see this as rape, and you’re going to see it as a good option to try to stop abortions from happening.

          • Great. We agree. It is all dependent upon the particular citizen’s point of view. If you are not an extremist, you can see that. If you are extreme left or right you are blinded.

          • Quoth the Raven


            Isn’t that the truth in regards to virtually every issue?

          • WeiQiang

            the law is not even neutral on this. an unnecessary invasive procedure not wanted by the victim is unconstitutional. this is electioneering by male politicians.

            their personal beliefs can be that … just theirs and they can happily abide by them. this is overreaching and they know that they can claim ‘judicial activism’ when it’s overturned. win-win for them and a temporary requirement to invasively traumatize women. wait, didn’t NC try that with sterilizations?

            Virginia … being dragged kicking and screaming in to the 19th century

          • BoredHouseWife

            well what can we expect from an entity that sanctions executions

        • drax

          They’re not doing everything in their power to stop it though. They’re not out blockading clinics every day and trying to shut down fertility clinics for that matter (extra embryos get killed there). They’re just sitting around talking about it.

          • Not everyone thinks they need to “occupy” something to get their word out.

        • Cate

          “And if something degrading is the method, then why not?”

          You just answered your own question. The anti-choice people already want to force women into not having any say over their bodies, but it makes them even worse people that they think forcing women into unnecessary procedures is acceptable.

        • Dominique

          Quoth the Raven,
          If we all believed what you believe and we were all labeled the way you label us then I have to believe you are a contributor to a sick and backwood society. I believe men should not be allowed to take Viagra. I believe that when men rape a women they should castrated. I believe that if you don’t want government in your lives then stop running on the government is to big and they can’t tell us what to do with our medical insurance. This is the ultimate insult to women ,insult to educated thinking people, and lastly to the the fact you think this is a “viewpoint” When was the last time some stranger stuck something into your uterus and it wasn’t for sex? Sick society .If you believed every man was a rapist,wouldn’t you do absolutely everything in your power to castrate him? Are you hearing yourself?

        • duncan

          And I suspect, neither do you. Are you doing anything, let-alone “absolutely everything” to stop any of the murders that are happening right now? I mean, anything at all? Praying even?

          But anyway, a baby has to be born to be murdered. Anything before that is called aborted.

    • BoredHouseWife

      if i could like your comment i would.
      I am glad he is illuminating this fact. most, people are not aware of this fact.

      • BoredHouseWife

        wow. reverse the could and would

    • jovan

      There is, Jennifer. It is called rape. Or sexual assault. Take your pick.

      What the VA GOP is doing is raping the women of Virginia. The Dems are right. This is government intrusion at its absolute worst. Glad that the Dems are finally outing the GOP for the hypocrites that they are. I have been exposing the conservatives for what they are for nearly five years now, but no one would listen.

    • carey

      Please Run for Office and get the anti-women pigs out. Thanks Englin, for stating the obvious and not being insane.

  • soarlslacker

    Who pays for this unnecessary test? It is the same test done to see an ovarian cyst and it costs about $400.

    • April

      Of course the woman has to pay. No insurance is going to cover an unnecessary medical procedure, even if the woman has insurance that covers elective abortions, which are not that common.

    • Mike

      Yes, this is just another way for the far-right Republicans to abuse government power to punish women they don’t like. More Republican Taliban-ism.

  • DSS10

    Yes, we live in Virginiastan.

    I am embarrassed to admit I live here…..

    • Mustabeena Soldier

      …..make that Vagistan.

    • KalashniKEV

      DC is right across the bridge…

      • MC 703

        I believe the way DC handles its abortion affairs is interfered with by congress.

      • DSS10

        And Richmond is right down 95, why don’t you move?

        • BK

          Why bother? You can live anywhere in Virginia and benefit from the actions in Richmond. That is what is great about living in Arlington.

      • WeiQiang

        meaning that I should live elsewhere? that’s both a mature attitude and one that just resonates the precise arguments of Thomas Jefferson and the drafters of our Constitution. /snark

    • As so often is pointed out here, vote to give your input. Or leave if you dislike it so much.

      • Stu Pendus

        Yep, elections have consequences.

        • DSS10

          Unfortunately were are in a gerrymandered state where our taxes go to support a bunch of red necks down state who use tax money to do crap like this.

          Time for a modern day succession.

          • BK

            Please explain how Virginia is gerrymandered to give an advantage to down state voters. This should be good.

          • DSS10

            Because the majority of voters live down state and the majority of Tax revenue revenue comes from a minority in Northern Virginia. Virginia is a lot like New York state demographically but for some reason Albany, unlike Richmond is not irrational.

          • Are you are implying votes should we income weighted?

    • novasteve

      Then leave and go to M aryland and enjoy the higher taxes.

      • Juanita de Talmas

        ’cause lower taxes trump everything else.

        • novasteve

          I’d much much rather live in VA any day over MD, and not just for taxes. Maryland is the epitome of a nanny state. Boo hoo about a sonogram requirement. If you want to know restrictions on your every day life, just move to MD and then cry about how horrible republicans are when you have the nannying and corruption of liberal domination.

          • DSS10
          • GreaterClarendon

            I’m as fiscally conservative as they come. But I’m pro-choice and I hate to see Conservatives pushing this religious agenda since it only alienates women voters and independents. Conservative values about self-reliance versus government handouts is a great debate, but trying to embarass women into not having an abortion is pathetic.

          • WeiQiang

            OK, so in the interest of equality and shared sacrifice, I recommend that males in VA get a similar procedure. nothing fancy, just a quick inspection using a speculum. It’s not medically necessary, of course, [like t-v sonogram] but it would ensure that males aren’t subjecting themselves to unnecessary anal trauma. The added benefit is that married men would be able to certify to their families – and the state – that they are not cheating on their wives with a man. Another win-win.

            See how much sense this all makes?

          • Dana

            Yes!!! And maybe the republican’t men in office should be required to wear increasingly weighted maternity forms for 40 weeks; sleep, shower, have sex while wearing it-no break. Around the 3rd trimester have them wear shoes a half a size too small and randomly throw in a dose of ipecac for good measure. Then maybe they won’t feel like every damn sperm is so sacred.

      • SD

        and take Jim Moran with you

        • stupid law

          what does jim moran have to do with this??

      • BallstonDweller

        I lived there for a while, and my taxes actually weren’t much higher. And they were less annoying in a nickel and dime sort of way. And Maryland government stayed out of my private life.

  • louise

    Nice work, Englin. What a stupid bill.

    • stupid law

      eglin did not support the bill. read the post again.

  • nom de guerre

    I am also embarrassed. What a great bunch of elected officials we have in Richmond. Wait-don’t forget Cantor.

    • DSS10

      A-hem, how ’bout Cuccinelli and his filing suit for the research notes from VT on global warming when he is not busy filing federal suits against health care reform.

      Do you know that McDonnald is rumored to be a first tier VP pick?

      • nom de guerre

        Unfortunately I have not forgot about any of them. Our esteemed public servants from Virginia.


      • Suburban Not Urban

        Uh, it was UVA not VT

        • DSS10

          I mis-typed, I stand corrected.

  • MC 703

    Picturing all the old men in the State Senate / HOD gleefully voting for this makes me sick.

  • Skeptical

    Not only does it require vaginal penetration but unless something’s changed, the poor woman is asked to drink water and hold it till she’s pretty much walking around bent over so they can get “a better image.” So in addition to being violated, the woman’s being tortured in a humiliating way. All because a confederacy of people, most of whom will never experience pregnancy, don’t approve of her making her own decisions. Me who have been married learn about the medical particulars, so these wretches can’t plead ignorance. This is barbaric. It is becoming embarrassing to admit I live in this state

    • Skeptical

      That should be “men who have been married.” Finger failer.

      • Stu Pendus

        I read it as mehoo.

        • mehoo

          I think I actually get that joke.

  • KalashniKEV

    I actually have to say I’m with this guy…

    • Josh S

      Which guy is that, Kev?

      • KalashniKEV

        Englin. I’m not a fan of his looks, but I am pro-Choice and sorta like the angle he’s chosen.

        • Not your bro

          Interesting. You don’t like him because he’s good looking?

          And yes, he’s right on the money with that amendment.

  • One Party rapes us one way, the other rapes us another. We live in a sad state of affairs.

    • Josh S

      Not exactly the time for such hyperbole, hmmm?

      • Right, Josh. A politically oriented article on an extreme right action deserves no comparison at all to extreme left actions. Extremists on either side essentially rape the citizens when they act on behalf of their extreme constituents rather than in the interest of the general population they were elected to serve. God forbid we make that comparison here.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          “Extremists on either side essentially rape the citizens when they act on behalf of their extreme constituents rather than in the interest of the general population they were elected to serve.”

          How true, Overgrown Bush.

          • MC 703

            Are you guys the same person or just room mates?

          • Bluemontsince1961

            No, I just agree with some – some – of what he said, just like other posters may agree with things another poster says.

            Is that now a no-no on ARLnow?

          • Some folks with strong extreme left or extreme right opinions do not like anyone who doesn’t agree with them 100%. I’d like to think the process still works, but we are indeed drifting further away from debate bringing upon compromised solutions.

          • WeiQiang

            You are, of course, entitled to your opinion and free to use whatever rhetorical devices you choose, but I find it both disingenuous and insulting that you would compare the actual, physical unwanted invasive penetration of a woman’s vagina to the figurative “rape” of some conservative ideal.

            I’m a guy and equivalencies like this are childish and seem to deny that this law makes expressly clear that the onerous nature of the t-v sonogram is precisely what lawmakers will hope dissuades women from seeking a private, legal procedure. Using fear of physical or psychological trauma to control behavior has a legal definition. This law is unconstitutional on its face. So, we’re wasting taxpayer money to conduct parliamentary kabuki to debate insane policies.

            Don’t we have, like, jobs to create or transportation to sort out or immigrants to bash?

        • brif

          it’s a ridiculous comparison. Please provide an example of “extreme left actions” that are comparable to forced vaginal penetration.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I believe the pro-lifers would say “Murdering an unborn baby”.

          • Thank you.

          • brif

            And legal abortion is the result of a supreme court decision, not any legislation passed by “extreme left actions.” Still waiting for an example from bush.

          • Brif, a pro-lifer has a point of view such that murdering an unborn baby is a valid example.

            A strong fiscal conservative would also feel “raped” by a fiscal policy strong on spending and taxes. (Yes, my use of the word “rape” here is NOT sexual in meaning folks.)

            There are two, from the point of view of two generic folks with specific opinions.

          • brif

            A pro-lifer’s opinion is not a valid example because as i stated, legal abortion was NOT implemented by any action of the left in virginia. Any feelings of fiscal conservatives regarding fiscal policy should not be directed towards “extreme left actions” as the “extreme left” has far less representation among elected state officials than republicans. In any case, a comparison between virginia fiscal policy and forced vaginal penetration is ridiculous. still waiting for a valid example from bush.

          • Again, brif, the word “rape” has definitions other than “forced vaginal penitration”. Get out a dictionary or just page down. Continuing to demand a comparison based on only one definition of the term only serves to support your extreme opinion, and does not contribute to the discussion productively.

          • brif

            you have yet to show a comparable example of extreme action, regardless of the definition of rape being used.

          • John Fontain

            Overgrown bush, gotta say you are having your A** handed to you over and over by brif. Best to pack up your bags and concede the embarrassing defeat.

          • brif, you are a ridiculous extremist. A quick google search on “taxes rape” produces a point of view article on exactly how my example of taxes are described by the word rape by some in society. The article is entitled:

            “The Economic Rape of America – Chapter Eight


            Example enough of some citizen’s point of view may actually match my example, Mr. brif extreme?

          • brif

            i don’t see anything extremist about asking for a valid example. For the 2nd time, i am not disputing your definition or use of the word rape. I am asking for an example of how state fiscal policy (which you seem to think is equivalent to rape) is the result of extremist action (specifically extremist action by the left, but at this point i’ll settle for extremist action by anyone).

          • Jesus, brif, don’t you read? It isn’t my point, it is somebody’s point and I’ve already given you example.

          • JackFan

            Way to go brif. Overgrown Bush sounds more and more desperate and ignorant. Keep driveling away OB…

          • Josh S

            Except that’s not a “left” action. It’s a personal decision. And you can bet your sweet patootie that plenty of girls from Republican families have snuck (either with or without parental approval) off and gotten abortions.

          • WeiQiang

            To wit, the new law that provides a “conscience clause” to permit private adoption agencies “supported by, sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with a religious institution” to deny gay parents their services. Further, it permits these agencies to place foster or adoptive children or might be LGBTQ according to their religious beliefs. Meaning that an LGBTQ child could be forced to live with a family that believes reparative therapy or shame-based “treatment” is best for the child. The child would have little hope of finding an affirming environment in which to thrive. It is complete ignorance of the current state of effective treatment regimes.

        • Yep Uhuh

          Your ignorant use of the term ‘rape’ is offensive.

          Read this and continue to make “comparisons”


          • noun
            1. the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.
            2. any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.
            3. statutory rape.
            4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside.
            5. Archaic . the act of seizing and carrying off by force.

            verb (used with object)
            6. to force to have sexual intercourse.
            7. to plunder (a place); despoil.
            8. to seize, take, or carry off by force.
            verb (used without object)
            9. to commit rape.

          • You just are too emoitional to realize here the word “rape” has a definition other than a forced sexual act. In fact, you know that but just want to ignore it here to dismiss a valid use of the word making a point as being a “jack-ass”. My use of “raping the citizens” VERY clearly is NOT using the sexual meaning of the word. If you think so you are intentionally ignorant and likely extremist because otherwise you’d agree (notice the point is made at BOTH the left and right extremists).

          • jackson

            The problem is actually that the word “rape” has such a sexual connotation (c’mon, the first three definitions you listed are sex) that using it in another way is just trying to get a reaction. It’s like the nerds saying that George Lucas is “raping their childhoods” by having Greedo shoot first. It’s offensive because it attempts to equate to entirely different things. Taxes in this country aren’t “rape,” and anyone who says they are is silly.

          • jackson

            TWO entirely different things, (heading off the grammar police).

          • Southeast Jerome

            Ironic you say that when taxes are at the lowest rates in decades.

          • Which taxes? Which rate?

          • Liz

            Yup, that’s us emotional women, not being able to use logic and facts and thinking. We best leave that to the menfolk who clearly know our bodies better than we do and who are so much more tactful in their word choice.

          • Ten14

            *snickering at Liz’ comment*

          • Yep Uhuh


            1. causing resentful displeasure; highly irritating, angering, or annoying: offensive television commercials.
            2. unpleasant or disagreeable to the sense: an offensive odor.
            3. repugnant to the moral sense, good taste, or the like; insulting: an offensive remark; an offensive joke.
            4. pertaining to offense or attack: the offensive movements of their troops.
            5. characterized by attack; aggressive: offensive warfare.

          • I apologize for offending you. However, I will say that many remarks on this board can be offensive to somebody since not everyone has identical views. If your skin is thin to other opinions and debate then maybe you should participate in a forum where varying opinions are not allowed.

          • Yep Uhuh

            I think you need to learn the power of words.

            You say you have been raped by the Democratic party because you don’t like their tax policies;

            You say you are apologising for causing offense, and then immediately imply that it is the offended’s thin skin that is to blame.

            This is neither ‘rape’, nor an ‘apology’.

          • truth be told

            Yep Uhuh, actually you should go back and read OB’s first post a little more carefully. While I will agree he is being a bit insensitive in his word choice, he uses the word “rape” to also describe the GOP Bill as well as the tax example. If you are going to take issue with him using the word “rape”, you need to also take issue with him using it to describe what is being done in the Bill. The ARLNow article doesn’t use the word “rape”. He does. And, by the definition he has provided that IS sexual in nature, force is implied. While the methods being employed by the GOP are certainly right-wing driven, women have the legal right to choose to not have an abortion, hence no force. Hence no rape there either.

            And, if you take issue with his use of “rape” there, you have to also take issue with the first two posts in this thread which imply the use of that word. You have not done that, and I doubt you’d do that now because I would guess their beliefs are more in line with your beliefs and OB is an easier target.

            Poor choice of words, OB, but your point is valid. You won’t get much support here and should expect the backlash from the folks here who are strictly in the BLUE.

          • Yep Uhuh

            I think *you* need to go back and read more carefully, taking note of the times of the posts.

            OB’s comment to which I was replying, in it’s entirety:

            “One Party rapes us one way, the other rapes us another. We live in a sad state of affairs.”

            Poor choice of words indeed.

            I think the Bill in question is repugnant, but it is not rape.

            As to other uses of the word rape here — I do take issue with any and all casual uses of the word ‘rape’ except in it’s most accurate and commonly used sense of violence against women. Using it for cheap effect is highly offensive to me and to women trying to live post-rape.

          • truth be told

            I agree Yep. Poor choice of words. But, you didn’t call him out as insensitive. That would be appropriate. You called him out for being ignorant. Technically, he used the word appropriately. That makes me think the attack on OB was emotional or political. Call him an insensitive dirtbag for using that term. Fine. Let him defend that. Call his use of the word ignorant is wrong. You’d have to take that up with Webster, a million other dictionary publishers, and many people who use that word to describe actions every day that are not violently sexual in nature.

            OB, I agree with those who think you were insensitive here. But, I give you credit for being one of only a handful of posters here that I have read so far who is willing to post opposing views to the blue mass dwelling here. I got what you were trying to say. You were attacking both red and blue. You just put yourself out there for the piranhas to feed upon. kudos on one hand, shame on you on the other.

    • Justin Russo

      How did the Democratic Party in Virginia “rape” you?

      • I’ll bite, with a local example. Democrats in Arlington “rape” my wallet by approving outrageously expensive bus stops, trolley projects, Artispheres, and expend huge amounts of legal fees on dog mural fights.

        • jackson

          You use that example and you’re calling other people “extremist.”

          • I’m just citing the inefficient use of my tax funds for pet projects, overly expensive infrastructure, and useless legal fights. That’s hardly extreme.

          • brif

            hardly extreme and hardly an example of rape.

          • That is a matter of opinion, which is the whole point brif.

          • Josh S

            No, you can’t stand on the “matter of opinion” argument forever. It’s a matter of opinion that Adele is a good singer. It’s a matter of opinion that Whitlow’s is the best bar in Arlington. These are things that are almost completely subjective.

            Equating your dissatisfaction about how the county chooses to budget tax dollars with being forceably sexually penetrated isn’t exactly the same thing. You can’t go around and say – well it’s my opinion that the two are the same and really be expected to be taken seriously. There is no logic / reason to the equivalency.

          • Actually, Josh, an individual’s OPINION on tax rates and taxes is just that….. opinion. And, their OPINION on whether it is extreme enough to use the dictionary appropriate term “rape” to describe the government’s actions is just that….. OPINION. Disagree with it, debate it, but don’t dismiss it.

            As truth be told pointed out this morning, it is an insensitive choice of words on my part (especially for the “piranah” audience here…thanks for that term tbt), but you’ll find a million examples on the net of people describing tax issues as “rape” and it has nothing to do with forced sexual penetration.

            I was asked to provide that example by brif. I did, only to be fed upon which surely made brif smile and feel successful in his daily endeavors. My origional post merely pointed out the extreme side of both the left and right. Enjoy your feeding, for now, but be careful about what you bite because you can’t see what you are eating when your head is so far up your a**.

        • Dana

          Oh, right…wouldn’t want any Art to mess up the view of Walmartistan and who needs public transportation anyway. As for what Americans pay in taxes relative to other countries, here’s a link for you-


  • dallynd

    Great. Let’s follow the example of Texas. The bill also requires that a medical official describe the appearance and heartbeat of the fetus to the mother, I believe. District Courts filed an injunction on this the last time. Excuse me, First Amendment rights? No, you cannot compel a medical official to speak words of your choosing. Sadly, that’s the best argument here.

  • novasteve

    So an abortion doesn’t require “vaginal penetration”?

    Why are people so objecting to informed consent on here? i thought all the facts leads to a proper choice? Or do you want to deny people facts? To protect your precious clump of cells arguments you’ll deny reality? Typical liberal behavior.

    • R0bespierre

      Oh please. Don’t play dumb. This isn’t about informed consent. People KNOW exactly what they are about to do. They are already pretty torn up about having to make such a decision, and people like you want to shove even more of a medical guilt trip down their throats, because you don’t agree with their decisions, but Roe v. Wade will not allow you to violate their rights by forcing them to term. So you do the next best thing…slip in insidious guilt trips and hassles to make life hard for someone already enduring something horrible.

      What’s next, a law requiring the “mother” to extract the living fetus, cuddle it for a few moments, and then kill it with lethal injection herself? We just want these ladies to be informed! Informed of how much we disagree with their self-determination, so we will pass laws to humanize the fetus as much as possible!

      • novasteve

        can you give me any other scenario where you don’t think people should have access to all possible information before making a decision?

        I didn’t think so.

        • stevis23

          In what way would not requiring a forcible penetration deny them access to information? Anyone could request, and pay for, this procedure if they felt they needed to make it to make a decision about whether or not to carry to term. This law would add no access to information that wasn’t already available.

          Would you propose that a law should be passed requiring prostate exams to be performed to anyone issued a Viagra (or similar drug) prescription? After all, men need to be forced to look at all the possible information to determine if they’re healthy enough for sexual activity, right?

          • JackFan

            +10000 stevis23

          • Arlingtonian

            +a billion

          • MC 703

            Reminds me of the “If men had babies, abortions would be legal and available everywhere” bumper sticker.

          • other side of the river

            Actually, Janet Howell DID propose a digital rectal exam before Viagra prescriptions were written. It lost by only two votes.


        • jackson

          How about when they voted down putting graphic cancer images on cigarette packaging? Shouldn’t smokers have “access to all possible information before making a decision” as well?

        • R0bespierre

          The purpose of informed consent is allegedly to allow women to make their choices free of coercion, but isn’t forcing a woman to take and view an ultrasound a form of coercion? Because it seeks to compel her to visualize the situation in a way which is not consistent with either medically necessary procedure, or else her own will. Someone ELSE wants her to see something that it is medically unnecessary for her to see. THAT is coercion.

        • BallstonDweller


          Virginia has no waiting period for marriage. Don’t have to take any test or prove you know every angle of your mate.

          Voting. We don’t make voters prove they have all possible information. It took the Supreme Court to get involved in that one.

          Can you give me any other scenario where people have to prove they have access to all possible information before making a decision?

          • Josh S

            And the obvious addition to the list – having a child. Being a parent is arguably the hardest and most consequential thing any of us will ever do, yet the state does not interfere at all with any requirements to “get all the information.”

            Why does No-Go even bother to continue to post here?

      • Arlingtonian


      • +1 as well.

    • Always Right

      and….they’ve already given consent to v.penetration.

      • BallstonDweller

        Rape victims?

      • L

        Consenting to one person penetrating doesn’t mean you consent to everybody penetrating. What’s wrong with you?

        • Ten14

          My thoughts exactly, L ….and for those of you who agree with the non-consensual penetration prior to abortion, just wait until your teenage daughter goes to a back-alley abortionist, tries the old coat hanger approach or drinks or drugs herself into a coma to terminate the unwanted pregnancy. And aren’t there enough kids we can’t feed or pay attention to as it is? What’s the latest…2/3 of Americans receive some form of government subsidy!? Oh, yes, please…let’s birth more babies into poverty or abusive situations. Put up more barriers to abortion so they are born to resentful Mothers. It’s too bad you can’t abort adult politicians.

    • DCCHughes

      Actually, no. It doesn’t always. There are means of “pharmaceutical” abortion (as mentioned above for those careful readers looking for information instead of ammunition) that will also be affected by this bill. Especially in the early term of a pregnancy, you can chemically induce a miscarriage (abortion).

  • bluemonter

    I think the Repubs just stepped in it… I see federal injunctions and the Obama team making this a political issue in the coming election. This may turn the tide in the battleground state of Virginia.

    Oh and by the way people, this is why you should vote, you sit out an election and you get this….

    • novasteve

      How can there be an injuction? There’s nothing impermissible about this. In fact this only strengthens pro choice, by dissemination of information. Liberals would seriously hurt themselves by taking any action, which will be shot down as this is not going to stop abortions.

      • April

        There is no information to be disseminated here, Steve, other than that the punishment for seeking an abortion in the commonwealth of Virginia is that one has to submit to being raped. Have you ever seen an ultrasound at 6 weeks? They have to twist and angle that thing around a bit to find the embryo, and then it just looks like a dark blob with a blinking thing in the center where the heart is beating. There are plenty of youtube videos they could show someone if she really needed to see what it looked like, as they all look exactly the same at that point. The ultrasound simply does not give much information at that point, and certainly nothing that needs to be known before an abortion.

    • LuvDusty

      Agreed bluemonter. This was a bad move on the behalf of VA GOP. The state has already proven it’s gone Purple…this sort of thing will bring out left wing voters in droves for Obama in November.

      I’m hoping to see a repeat of 2008 for Virginia..solidifying once and for all that NOVA beats out ROVA every time. We just all need to get out and vote.

  • Rebecca

    You actually need the ultrasound to verify where the fetus is to be able to suck it out. Other states have this. It’s common practice. You don’t have to look at the ultra sound. it’s all about choices, people. Get over it.

    • tess

      I think the only thing “sucking” is your logic. Not every abortion is performed the same way. Like Englin said, “…even for nonsurgical, noninvasive, pharmaceutical abortions.” And, yes, there are other states that require this invasive technique before performing abortions, but it is not common practice to do it otherwise.

    • April

      Really, Rebecca? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. You absolutely do not need to “verify” where the fetus is for early abortions (it’s microscopic at that point, so it’s like inducing a heavy period). Probe rape before an abortion is most definitely NOT a common practice, but it is a barbaric one. And this law does indeed require the woman to look at the ultrasound, and if she you doesn’t want to, she must sign a document registering her refusal which will be placed in her medical files along with printed images from the ultrasound, with a requirement that she be badgered to examine them later on at subsequent medical visits.

      • Ten14

        It’s appalling. As someone who has reluctantly consented to transvaginal ultrasounds for purposes of monitoring a complex ovarian cyst that may be cancerous – which pretty much means I have no F-ing choice – I can tell you how stress-inducing it is…how anxiety-ridden one becomes…and how humiliating it can be, even when the technician clearly knows you are there because you may have cancer. Now, just imagine if that ultrasound tech knows you’re there for a pre-abortion visit. I doubt if they will be met with compassion and a careful examination. The words “shove” and “jam” come to mind. And it’s sickening.

  • novasteve

    Liberals are SO SCARED, and so throwing insane foot stomping tantrums about their “clump of cells” argument being lost. Only a liar and fool will be able to say “it’s just a clump of cells!”


    • Southeast Jerome

      And conservatives are so scared about losing the poor, church-going folk that they need to win elections, they use extreme tactics like this to make sure those same people dont realize the Republican economic policies only cater to the 1%.

      Republican Establishment 101:
      Economic policies for the 1%
      Social policies for the poor, church going 99%.

      • Quoth the Raven

        “Poor, church-going”??? Is there something wrong with being either poor or church-going? You talk about “them” as if they’re some sort of lower form of human. WTF?

        • CourthouseChris

          His point is that the only way Republicans have been able to get the poor to vote against their own self interest is by appealing to their religion. The republican establishment doesn’t give a flying F*** about these conservative social issues, they just use them to get the easily swayed religious social conservatives to vote for them.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Yes, sorry I guess I should have been more PC and used “Evangelicals” like CNN does.

            No, poor people and/or church going folk are not lower forms of humans.

            But forcing women to get their vaginas penetrated before a horribly emotionally traumitizing ordeal is something I consider an idea created by lower forms of humans.

          • CourthouseChris

            “Evangelicals” = Zombie drones of the republican party fueled by an irrational hate of everything they are told is contrary to what they are told is their religion.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Which may be true, but doesn’t at all describe the majority of the “poor, church-going” people that Jerome looks down upon….

          • Southeast Jerome

            Bird man Raven- like I said, I was not trying to say that poor, church going people are below me.

            However- I think you are not being honest with yourself if you dont believe in my theory of how the right tries to win elections.

            Scare social-conservatives such as those that can be described as “evangelicals” into thinking that liberal politicians will destroy everything the man on Sunday says.

            The right then uses economic policies to attract those on the upper-end of the economic ladder who vote more off economic self interest than social issues their church preaches about, if they even go to Church.

          • Josh S

            Actually, as I think someone else pointed out here – it’s the Republican Party which has glommed on to the Evangelicals, not the other way around. It’s an opportunistic effort to ride the social conservatives into power so as to then pursue the agenda that is more important to them – making the rich richer.

      • BK

        Wait, didn’t you say above that the Republicans almost had you supporting them for their economic policies?

        • Southeast Jerome

          Almost and economic policies. Yes.

          • Economist

            The same economic policies that resulted in the Great Recession.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Oh, I’m sorry, were Repubicans the only ones that bought a house they couldnt afford? That issue clearly has faults in many places and on both sides of the isle.

      • Hmmmm…. the poor and church-going people of this country are not cared about by the Democrats? Really? The poor certainly are.

        • Southeast Jerome

          Sorry- needed to be more specific.

          Evangelicals in the fly-over states.

    • Cate

      If anti-choice misogynists call me a liar and a fool, then I know I’ve done something right.

    • soarlslacker

      Have someone make you drink a gallon of water, not let you pee and shove an electronic dildo up your butt and chrage you $400…then tells us your “rightious” opinion.

  • dallynd

    I stand corrected. The verbal requirement in this version appears to have been removed, but:

    The qualified medical professional performing fetal ultrasound imaging pursuant to subsection B shall offer the woman an opportunity to view and receive a printed copy of the ultrasound image and hear auscultation of fetal heart tone and shall obtain from the woman written certification that this opportunity was offered and whether or not it was accepted. A printed copy of the ultrasound image shall be maintained in the woman’s medical record at the facility where the abortion is to be performed for the longer of (i) seven years or (ii) the extent required by applicable federal or state law.

    On the bright side, “offered” rather than forced, but why does she have to sign saying she declined? Where is the medical precedent or legal precedent for that?

  • Hattie McDaniel

    This is the sort of nonsense we can expect on a national level after President Santorum is sworn in.

    • Yep Uhuh

      Don’t even joke about that…brrrrrrrr

    • Ten14

      There is not a single candidate – including the incumbent – that is worthy of my vote. How many citizens does the USA have? And THIS is the best we can come up with!? We are screwed.

  • R0bespierre

    This is just vile.

  • Janet

    I just wrote a big check to Planed Parenthood. I will have nothing to do with anyone who voted for this or lobbied for this. I was formerly Catholic and changed my religion because of these kinds of intrusions into my personal life. The people who lobbied for this are going after contraception next.

    • Ten14

      *applause* for Janet.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    So is the ultrasound requirement waived if the unborn is a result of rape or incest?

    I’m not seeing that specifically in the bill cited.

    • John Fontain

      Probably not.

      Remember, some republicans (such as Santorum) think you should “make the best of a bad situation” and have the baby in the case of rape or incest. After all, it’s a “gift from god.”

    • Sarai

      Oh, you’re trying to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy that is the result of rape? Hang on. Let me rape you first.

      • Ten14

        No kidding. That’s PRECISELY what this is doing.

  • Josh S

    Yes, you are technically right.

    However, the point of my initial comment was that perhaps this isn’t the time or place to be making such comparisons. Because while the word may have that definition, you (or anyone else) arguing that taxation is the equivalent of forced vaginal penetration is not exactly smooth. Let’s just call it insensitive.

    • Yes, I can see some people are emotional about this issue Josh. I would agree.

    • too sensitive

      Josh – Thank you.

      I would love to think that no woman or man would ever again be forced to go through the most frightening, horrible, violating, disgusting, universe changing, crime that is called rape…..to 15-20% of the population rape is not just a word to have a semantic debate about, it is a reality that leaves them scarred for life.

  • SDC

    This clearly is going to create jobs! More ultrasound technicians! GOO REPUBLICANS!

  • SDC

    Small Government Conservatives! GOO REPUBLICANS!

  • Paul

    How did American conservatism end up so detached from, indeed at odds with, facts and rationality? For it was not always thus. After all, that health reform Mr. Romney wants us to forget followed a blueprint originally laid out at the Heritage Foundation!

    The short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.

  • SDC

    Soo who is going to be the lucky woman that gets to challenge this in Supreme Court?

  • Always Right

    It’s obvious these ladies have already given their consent to vaginal penetration. What’s the problem?

  • Always Right

    Since these girls have already given consent to vaginal penetration, what is the problem?

    • Tabs

      And he’s obviously incapable of using the term “women”

    • MC 703

      Comparing consensual sex to forced ultrasound?

    • dk

      This sounds alarming like the argument that a sexually active woman who is raped somehow “deserved it” or was “asking for it.”

    • Liz

      Consensual sex does not mean everyone has free access for all to my vagina. Giving consent once doesn’t mean consent every time. What a rape-y, illogical argument.

    • Ten14

      YOU are clearly part of the problem. Your inflammatory comments getting you the attention you’re clearly lacking at home, or what?!?

  • R. Griffon

    Why do religious folk get so bent out of shape re: abortion anyways? God never had any problems killing children, including babies and the unborn.

    Maybe they need to go back and read their bibles again.

    • tess

      +1. ‘Bout time somebody called them out on that!

    • novasteve

      Guess we should legalize murder then, right?

      • Cate

        It’s not murder. If the embryo cannot sustain itself outside its host’s body, it’s not living.

        • Quoth the Raven

          That “viability” argument is ridiculous and you know it. A newborn can’t “sustain itself” either. Be pro-choice all you want, but trying to justify that decision with a viability argument is not particularly effective.

          • Cate

            The fact that this is the second time recently that somebody’s actually tried that argument. You’re splitting hairs and know exactly what I mean.

          • Sherley

            No, actually QTR has a very valid point and it’s not splitting hairs

          • Cate

            Fine, I will amend my comment:

            If the embryo cannot physiologically function without being attached to, via umbilical cord, its host, it is not living.

        • John K.

          So, would intentionally leaving a severely disabled person to fend for him/herself be murder? Or is it just neglect? Does it become murder in your view since he/she is outside the womb?

          • Cate

            See above. It should be blatantly obvious that I used the term “sustain” in a physiological sense.

            As for neglect vs. murder in the example you’re providing, I don’t know the intricacies of the legal argument there, ask a lawyer or a judge.

      • R. Griffon

        If you were trying to use a bunch of 2,000 year-old mythology as the basis of your laws, then yes. All manner of murder would be legal, including sacrificing people (incl. children) in the name of god, and stoning for any number of a long list of small (and often idiotic) infractions.

        Oh, and don’t forget genocide as well.

  • Cate

    Should I ever become pregnant and subsequently am told I must view an ultrasound before I can terminate the pregnancy, there will be a lot of tears involved. Not mine, but as a result the absolute tongue-lashing I will give to the person who tries to make me consent to said ultrasound.

    • EastPike

      I don’t get it. If you are certain the fetus is not alive, what’s the big deal about looking at the ultrasound? It shouldn’t mean anything more to you than looking at the results of a blood test. What is that that upsets you so much about the idea of looking at the ultrasound? (I can understand arguing that it’s an inconvenience, but you seem upset).

      • Sarai

        I don’t get it. If you’re so certain that people, including fetuses, have the right to not be violated in any way, why are you okay with state-sanctioned rape?

      • Ten14

        I don’t think it’s merely “looking at an ultrasound”. I think it’s the non-consensual vaginal penetration that’s the issue. If I had an unwanted pregnancy – for ANY of the many reasons that can occur – I would not care if they made me look at some stupid ultrasound. But to drink those liters of water & hold it in for an hour, then undress in front of a stranger who puts you in stirrups and shoves an electronic instrument into your most private area because the government says they have to? Um, yeah…..THAT is what is so upsetting,. No one has the right to touch any woman that way unless it is consensual – not even if the government says it’s OK. When that happens, it means it’s time to turn our flags upside down. (look it up)

  • dk

    “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

    –Barry Goldwater

    Did you ever think we’d see the day when Goldwater would be considered a moderate Republican?

    • Josh S

      And a perfect example of what I was saying above about how the Republican Party has latched onto the Fundamentalists as a way to get in power. Prior to about 1970, the Republicans, being the party of well-educated Easterners, conservative in fiscal outlook but really not caring about social issues (being reluctant to get involved in people’s private lives), they had little in common with Evangelicals. Remember, the South was still solidly Democrat back then.

      Fortunately, we had a Cold War going on until 1990 and that helped to unite us and encourage compromise. Plus the lingering idealism and overall sense that we were leading the world through the 1950s and 1960s and even the 1970s and 1980s.

      But we have pretty much squandered all that away. Giving the Evangelicals a national voice, having them begin to shape our national character, especially in the eyes of the world – this is all a huge drag on our prestige and therefore our power. There is not much left of the good ol’ American Know How and the Can-Do Spirit.

      It is a crying shame that we can seriously consider that dealing with Barry Goldwater might be easier, and better, than dealing with someone like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or *shudder* Rick Santorum.

  • arlwhat

    America’s GOP: Government large enough to take your money, government small enough to fit into a woman’s uterus.

    • Trixie

      So, what I want to know – since there is no language in the bill that I can see – who is going to police this requirement once the law goes into effect? How will it be regulated? Where is the money in the budget to pay for the whatever department now has to be created and to staff it? So much for small government.

  • Brooke

    Its State Rape. Pure and simple.

    Keep your rosaries off my ovaries!

    • Ten14

      Amen, Brook!!! I’m proud to be a Christian who POSITIVELY supports the right to choose, the right to stop over-population AND the right for women to say NO to rape of ANY kind. Including state-mandated rape.

  • April

    Just musing here, but does this mean that women who have decided to have an abortion just might put it off until later in the pregnancy, when it is possible to visualize the fetus with an exterior ultrasound? Because a lot of moderates on this issue are not at all keen about a bill that actually increases the number of second trimester abortions.

  • bluemonter

    Overgrown Bush you are a still a donkeys rear end.

  • longtail

    I find it absolutely incomprehensible that Virginia women feel that they should be vaginally probed by the government but the evidence it right there in front of everyone. I hope they have been fooled into voting for these people and will think better when they next go to the polls.

  • TT

    “Rape” is a good word for it.
    Rape as punishment makes it even clearer what these Republicans are doing.

    In greater society, most see ‘rape’ as a sexual act.
    In fact, psychologically, ‘rape’ is considered an act of power and dominance. Rapists don’t always derive pleasure from the sexual act, rather they get pleasure from the power, control, and dominance that they have over the victim.

    So, what the legislature is doing in Virginia is an exercise of power, control, and dominance over women who have made the choice to have an abortion. This is very much a “Ok, well we’ll show you how much it’s really gonna hurt.” Also, another part of this is humiliation. To force a genital probe into a woman’s vagina for NO medical reason, and against her will, is absolutely humiliating and robs the woman of the right to her liberty, and it doesn’t promote her general welfare. The rape is the greatest violation of individual rights, and is the ultimate form of punishment and control against a woman. This, is being done by a governmental agency IN THE USA! Unbelievable! The Virginia capital needs to be overrun by all citizens who respect women, individual rights, and who abhor rape, especially state sanctioned RAPE.

    Trying to defend this punishment by rape, one Republican offered this nugget of “wisdom”:

    “If we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have,” said bill sponsor Del. Kathy Byron (R), according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.:

    Kathy Byron, are you so stupid that you don’t see the huge difference between a woman making a choice to undergo an abortion procedure, and a vaginally invasive unnecessary procedure that she DID NOT choose to have!? I’m shocked at the idiocy of your comment. It does at least give some insight into why you are the bill sponsor. This whole legislation can only be created and accepted by truly disturbed persons.

    • dk

      so well said. +1

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t they just go all out and require a metal rod to be shoved up their A_ _ too? Just as relavent from a medical perspective?

  • Dawn Churchwell

    If the Virginia Republicans want to play this game and by their logic…”God” making men be flaccid is a natural state of birth control..since Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications make sex again available to these men against “Gods” natural plan..and they are able to possibly create a human life….would it be correct to say that a man, before getting a prescription for his erectile dysfunction medication, undergo WITHOUT his consent, an ultrasound probe entering his anal cavity to make sure he doesn’t have prostate cancer or any other abnormalities in his colon. This is about as medically logical as the woman having the vaginal ultrasound and be penetrated vaginally without her consent in order to have an abortion. I wonder how many Virginian Republican men are currently taking an erectile medication? I’m just saying.

    • Ten14

      …just sayin….and saying it WELL, Dawn! (only you’ll never get any politician to get on that bandwagon….you can tell by looking at them that they are flaccid, using Cialis or Viagra to get it up again much to the dismay of their wives who must be appalled).

  • lisa

    is insurance going to pay for this unwanted unnecessary procedure?

    • Liz

      Nope, the woman has to pay out of pocket for the privilege to be probed.

  • anon

    I have to honestly question Del. David Englin’s statement that this bill will force women to undergo *transvaginal* ultrasounds.

    I suffered a missed miscarriage at about 9 weeks of pregnancy (but my child was measuring two weeks behind) and while I was initially given a transvaginal ultrasound, the doctor sent me for a second sonogram to confirm that it was a missed miscarriage and not that I simply had the dates of my cycle wrong. (I didn’t.)

    For confirmation, the doctor sent me down to the perinatal unit of the hospital, where they confirmed the diagnosis by a second ultrasound. The second ultrasound machine gave a much higher quality picture, but it had a”traditional” exterior ultrasound wand. It was NOT a transvaginal ultrasound.

    Therefore, I wonder why, if the transvaginal ultrasound machine in my doctor’s office couldn’t even be used to determine if my unborn child was alive or dead, that would necessarily be the method used to determine gestational age for a woman considering abortion. I wonder if Del. Englin’s statement is, in fact, accurate.

    • Liz

      Oh it’s absolutely just a way to shame women out of abortions. This isn’t about women’s health, it’s about making the progress as complicated and embarrassing as possible in hopes that women will just give up and have a baby. It’s pure slut shaming. If we women are going to keep being slutty sluts and getting ourselves pregnant and demanding access to abortions, then they’re going to make it as difficult and uncomfortable as possible.

      • anon

        I think you misunderstand me…

        My doctor had to send me down to a department that had a better ultrasound in order to confirm that my unborn child didn’t have a heartbeat.

        The better ultrasound the perinatal unit used to confirm my diagnosis was NOT transvaginal.

        I don’t think Del.Englin was arguing that the abortion providers would spitefully use transvaginal ultrasounds. I think he was arguing that transvaginal ultrasounds are a medical necessity. That has me (because of my experience) scratching my head, and questioning the accuracy of his understanding.

    • Englin’s Amendment

      In any case, Englin’s amendment was to require a woman’s consent before being given a transvaginal ultrasound and did not apply to the non-invasive kind. Why would you be against needing to obtain the woman’s consent ?

  • Donna Germany

    I believe the state senate and the house of delegates should be subject to an unwanted prostate exam before they decide on what women should be subject to, except Englin we’ll need his consent first.

  • KH

    Why do small government republicans love to impose their BIG GOVERNMENT world view on Americans. I don’t belive in abortions but guess what, I’m not the judge, jury and executioner. If you want to call abortion murder guess what, they have to answer to God; not me. Stop trying to legislate morality and let adult Americans do as they please with their lifestyles and their bodies. Stop being so darn judgemental of everything that offends your delicate sensibilities. Grow up republicans, particularly men or we’ll mandate that every viagra prescription comes with an old fashion prostate exam!

  • DWPittelli

    The text of the bill which I found online requires “transabdominal ultrasound” — that is, with the ultrasound device on the outside of the belly. It goes on to say “If gestational age cannot be determined by a transabdominal ultrasound, then the patient undergoing the abortion shall be verbally offered other ultrasound imaging to determine gestational age, which she may refuse…. Nothing herein shall preclude the physician from using any ultrasound imaging that he considers to be medically appropriate pursuant to the standard medical practice in the community.”

    So it appears that, unless the bill has since been amended (please inform me if so), this “rape” claim is a bogus issue. (Not that I’d vote for the bill, but facts are facts.)

    • DWPittelli

      This may not be the current version of the bill. Pardon me if I am completely wrong here.


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