Another day, another couple more battles waged in the Michigan GOP War on Women

They aren’t giving up so neither can we


With the pushback they received after their explosive inflamed duck session and their loss of six seats in the state House of Representatives, you would think Michigan Republicans would be taking a breather, girding themselves for the battles ahead.

And you would be wrong.

On the contrary, fresh from the winter break, they came roaring back in and in the first few weeks, have shown that they aren’t satisfied in winning the War on Women in Michigan. They appear to believe there is so much more crushing of women’s rights and paternal “protecting” to be done.

As LOLGOP pointed out this morning, yesterday Republicans introduced legislation that mandates forced transvaginal ultrasound probes before a woman can have an abortion. Why are they doing this? To “protect” women. Check out the language from H.B. 4187 (pdf):

THE PERFORMANCE OF A DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION OF THE FETUS AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE AN ABORTION IS PERFORMED WITH THE WOMAN GIVEN THE OPTION TO VIEW THE ACTIVE ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS, HEAR THE FETAL HEARTBEAT, RECEIVE A PHYSICAL PICTURE OF THE ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS, AND HEAR AN EXPLANATION OF THE ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS. THE PERFORMANCE OF A DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION OF THE FETUS, NOW A STANDARD PRACTICE AT ABORTION FACILITIES, PROTECTS THE HEALTH OF THE WOMAN SEEKING AN ABORTION BY VERIFYING AN INTRAUTERINE PREGNANCY, AS UNDIAGNOSED ECTOPIC PREGNANCIES CAN RESULT IN POTENTIALLY FATAL COMPLICATIONS AND INFERTILITY. THE PERFORMANCE OF A DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION OF THE FETUS FURTHER PROTECTS THE INTERESTS OF THE WOMAN SEEKING AN ABORTION BY ASSESSING THE VIABILITY OF THE FETUS AND CONFIRMING THE APPROXIMATE GESTATIONAL AGE OF THE FETUS, AS THIS INFORMATION IS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO DETERMINE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CARE FOR THE WOMAN SEEKING AN ABORTION. {…}

[T]he the physician or qualified person assisting the physician shall: PERFORM A DIAGNOSTIC ULTRASOUND EXAMINATION IN ORDER TO VERIFY AN INTRAUTERINE PREGNANCY, ASSESS VIABILITY OF THE FETUS, CONFIRM GESTATIONAL AGE OF THE FETUS, AND ENSURE FULLY INFORMED CONSENT TO THE ABORTION. THE PHYSICIAN OR QUALIFIED PERSON ASSISTING THE PHYSICIAN SHALL ENSURE THAT THE ULTRASOUND SCREEN IS TURNED TOWARD THE PATIENT TO ENABLE HER TO EASILY VIEW THE ACTIVE ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS; SHALL INFORM THE PATIENT THAT THE ACTIVE ULTRASOUND IMAGE OF THE FETUS IS VISIBLE AND SHE MAY VIEW THE IMAGE ON THE ULTRASOUND SCREEN IF SHE DESIRES; SHALL PROVIDE THE PATIENT WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR OR DECLINE TO HEAR THE FETAL HEARTBEAT AS CONFIRMATION OF A VIABLE PREGNANCY

Doing these sort of invasive ultrasounds is not common early in pregnancies but doctors usually have the equipment on hand so they will be compelled to use them in this way if the legislation becomes law. Why? Because the bill mandates using “the most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available at that location”. So, they will be forced to do an unnecessary and much more expensive procedure, simply to try to force women to change their mind about having the abortion. Make no mistake, all this b.s. about doing it to discover intrauterine pregnancies is just that: b.s. If you want to know just how much these Republicans care about medicine and science when it comes to abortions, simply read the first sentence of the bill:

[T]he legislature recognizes that under federal constitutional law, a state is permitted to enact persuasive measures that favor childbirth over abortion, even if those measures do not further a health interest.

But hey, kids! There’s MORE! Yes, this week Michigan Republicans brought back an oldie-but-goodie. Remember when Governor Snyder vetoed legislation that would have required both public and private health insurance companies to make women purchase a separate policy for abortion coverage? You might have thought that his veto put an end to such utterly ridiculous and anti-women legislation.

Again, you would be wrong.

Yesterday, they brought the same goddam legislation back to give it another go:

State lawmakers have re-introduced legislation that would limit the ability of insurance companies to cover abortions.

The measure would only allow insurers to cover elective abortions through optional rider plans.

Republican state Senator Mark Jansen says many people do not want that kind of coverage automatically included in their plans.

By the way, it’s not just male Republicans signing on to these battles in the War on Women. There are several female Republicans aiding and abetting them.

These are the same men and women who decry “Big Government” and “overregulation that strangles our country’s prosperity”. But, as so many have pointed out before, both of those concepts go out the window when it comes to imposing their “morality” and their worldview on others and, ironically, they will cry to high heavens that we dare to call it a War on Women..

It’s GOPocrisy at its most egregious.

[War on Women graphic credit: Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]

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  • Retired in Spokane

    I don’t see the word “transvaginal” anywhere in the text shown. There is a more common type of ultrasound done during pregnancy that is not invasive. That doesn’t mean that this law is a good one; it simply means that, if transvaginal ultrasound is not specified, this article is deceptive and intended to induce unwarranted fear.

    • http://twitter.com/UnitPrime Eric Guy

      Oh, FFS – most abortions are performed prior to a regular ultrasound being able to show fetal activity. That necessitates the use of a transvaginal probe to show what the law requires.

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Incorrect. The law would require them to use “the most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available at that location”. That means the transvaginal probe in the vast majority of cases.

  • Retired in Spokane

    Eric Guy, I am a mother and so have a fair amount of experience with early ultrasound. It can show the fetus five to six weeks after conception. That’s about the same time many women will make that extremely important decision about the direction in which they will go. Unless you are a medical professional with experience in obstetrics, perhaps you might Google “ultrasound” before you comment, and I have trouble believing you are a medical professional, since you swear without provocation.

    • http://twitter.com/UnitPrime Eric Guy

      Oh please… You can’t tell anything with a traditional ultrasound at 5-6 weeks. Even with a transvaginal ultrasound at that time you would most likely see only the sac. I am a father with 5 kids and have been with my spouse through every pregnancy & ultrasound she has had, including the one where we lost it. As far as swearing, I know multiple medical professionals who swear. Get your ouwn facts straight.

  • Retired in Spokane

    If the law is passed, I’m sure the courts will decide whether a transvaginal ultrasound is required or if a transabdominal ultrasound will suffice. And yes, professionals do swear, but most don’t swear without provocation. After all, keeping your cool is part of being a professional. At least I, a professional, see that as part of the difference between my occupation and that of a stevedore. I hope you don’t use the same language with your wife that you used in your comment in this forum–it tends to reduce the possibility of rational, reasoned discussion.

  • Retired in Spokane

    Thank you for not swearing at me. I still think the courts would get involved in the interpretation of the law, if it is passed, but I hope there will be sufficient public backlash to keep that from happening. As to what their interpretation would be, I propose we agree to disagree and leave it at that.

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