Great moments in the Commonwealth of Virginia

This would be funny, if it were’t true.

Virginia is about to pass a bill that would require pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. Details:

It’s one of several anti-abortion bills now moving through the General Assembly. Others would give legal rights to unborn children, prohibit abortions after 20 weeks unless a woman’s life or physical well-being is at risk, and further limit public funding for some abortions.

But wait.   There’s more:

Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax County, was dismayed enough by the bill’s progress that she tried to amend it so men seeking prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication such as Viagra would be required to undergo a rectal exam and cardiac stress test.

She said that’s “only fair, that if we’re going to subject women to unnecessary procedures, and we’re going to subject doctors to having to do things that they don’t think is medically advisory.”

Her proposed amendment failed Monday, leaving Vogel’s bill on the verge of Senate approval.

Read the rest.


  1. Senator Howell: It’s a deal.

  2. OK by me. Might even save a few lives!

  3. ron chandonia says:

    Jim Galloway, the resident political pundit at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, prefaced the story this way: “Janet Howell of Fairfax, Va., may have just qualified for sainthood – among Democratic women, at least.” The implication, of course, is that “Democratic women” consider abortion a trivial medical procedure and resent being hassled about it. I hope that is not true.

  4. Then you should be willing to pay for all of the medically unnecessary ultrasounds these women incur. Or the state should, if it has that compelling an interest in dictating medical decisions.

  5. It all seems a little juvenile to me.

    Sure, it would be great if American citizens were more informed about a lot of things. But the root of millions of abortions on demand is not ignorance. It’s the hopelessness of poverty, racism, sexism, and a lack of self-esteem that suggests to so many people they can barely provide for themselves, let alone a child.

    The meme if-only-people-were-less-stupid gets altogether too much airplay, especially from people who wouldn’t stand for it were it delivered to them as a means of self-improvement.

  6. The root of millions of abortions is the ignorance or total denial that it is a human being in the womb not a clump of tissue. As for the hopelessness and poverty, that is a nice excuse for murder but there are other options like adoption.

  7. I don’t agree completely. The people I’ve spoken to who considered or who had procured an abortion were all tortured by poverty, or the sense that they were trapped.

    The pro-life movement speaks often of regret in people who have obtained abortions. I tend to think that’s an authentic strain in the experience. And if that is so, then many abortions are procured by people who have mixed feelings. The tipping point isn’t the ignorance. The tipping point is the feeling of being trapped by circumstances beyond one’s control.

    Of course, there are women who obtain multiple abortions and practice the procedure like it were another form of contraception. I think these are in the minority.

    And since many abortions are procured very early in a pregnancy, I don’t think the “lump of tissue” without a noticeable heartbeat at, say, three weeks, is going to convince people who have already deluded themselves. Abortion is too tied in with poverty levels in the world. If we get serious about fixing poverty, we’ll see the abortion rate come down. Of course, there’s always the ability to persuade. No law against that.

  8. I don’t think it’s stupidity. I think their hearts are very far from God.

  9. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    “Stupidity” seems a bit harsh, Todd. So does labeling what some are trying to do in Virginia as “juvenile.”

    Reasonable people can disagree about whether this is good policy or not. But name-calling isn’t particularly helpful to the discussion.

    There are a lot of reasons for abortion. Ignorance, or at least willful denial of the reality of human life, is certainly one of them.

    I worked for a time with a woman who had two abortions, and she insisted for as long as I knew her that what she had carried didn’t qualify as a human being, and was therefore eminently dispensable. She was, by the way, not a victim of poverty or circumstance or abuse. She was an upper middle class single white woman in New York City who was immature and who, ultimately, just didn’t want to be a mother. She wanted a career instead.

    More to the point: the ultra sound policy, it seems to me, isn’t designed to educate, but to shock — to make real something that is for many women abstract, and to plant seeds of uncertainty, in the hope that they won’t go through with it.

    Dcn. G.

  10. Fair point. My claiming some abortion opponents think some women are stupid was exaggeration.

    And to be clear, I’m labeling behavior, not individual people.

  11. pagansister says:

    kenneth, my thoughts exactly. If the state requires the unnecessary ultrasounds, they should pay for each and every one—even if the woman has insurance. After all, they would be the one requiring it.
    Also the proposed idea to give legal rights to unborn children is a bit extreme. I was wondering if the woman could claim a 3-4 week fetus as a tax deduction since it is unborn and by the proposed law would have the same legal rights as a born child. Didn’t Mississippi fail to pass the same proposal? I was very proud of that very conservative state for doing that.
    As for the exam (which naturally failed) for men who need Viagra? Why not?

  12. In think the root of many abortions is that the woman is afraid of the future and does not have a well developed faith and trust in God. I think the Church needs to do a better job in evangelizing – if people do not have a relationship iwth God it will be hard to trust. Trust is hard enough for people who do have faith. Imagine how hard it is for someone who doesn’t. If people have faith and trust in God, then there would be few if any abortions. The Pope has declared that next year is to be dedicated to faith. That is where we come in – we need to be authentic witnesses to the Gospel and to faith. The anger and harsh words do not help people form their faith. They are distracting noise. The Church needs to get back to the fundamentals.

  13. Ultrasounds are a reasonable, non-invasive component of competent Ob-Gyn care. The preponderance of abortions are done by “ultrasound guidance” and ultrasounds are commonly done to ensure that the no fetal parts are left in the womb (as the child is commonly dismembered in an abortion).
    The amendment of Ms. Howell displays a common logical fallacy of thought – Viagra and related agents restore an injured or improperly working part to normalcy. An abortion disrupts a normally progressing pregnancy by the intentional killing of the maturing child. Part of abortion’s mystique is the veil of the womb and ignorance of the person within the womb, person, I might add, who has federal protection from murder (but not abortion).
    Ultrasounds reduce the incidence of abortion because it unveils the child for the person that she is, and the mother naturally understands this.
    Further, every surgical procedure done in the U.S. is preceded by imaging procedures. Competent surgeons properly review these images with the patient to discuss the pathology involved, the approach and the means to eradicate it.
    Why women in general are not afforded the standard medical care and afforded any surgical patient boggles the mind. Ultrasound are not unnecessary, they are the standard in obstetrical care in a pregnant patient. Ultrasounds need to be regulated because abortion practitioners tend not to follow common medical standards as three indictments for murder in 2011 alone seem to illustrate.

  14. I basically said that on a fairly “Pro-Choice” leaning forum. I don’t know if they believed my sincerity, but I was being sincere. Well mostly sincere.

  15. I admit I probably shouldn’t say this, but would an ultrasound in the first-trimester always make that clear? Maybe later in the trimester, but wouldn’t it be a bit plausible s/he is still small enough at that stage they would get an indistinct image?

  16. An ultrasound might not pick up the 8-week heartbeat. It definitely would outline a fetus by the time of three-month’s gestation, but it’s still not going to look quite like a baby. You can see lots of images here:, but ask yourself honestly: will it convince someone embittered and desperate?

  17. Here is a link to CNA’s 2010 story regarding the US Bishop’s support of the Dream Act:

  18. pagansister says:

    But Daniel, this proposed ultrasound is not necessary for the health of the woman who has requested to have, in her mind, a necessary procedure. You mentioned it was standard procedure in pregnancies. That would probably be for those that are contining with the pregnancy. All of a sudden this procedure requires an ultrasound? Someone mentioned what would the woman see at an early stage? Not much. Those of my grandson early, early in the pregnancy didn’t look anything like a “child”, so I personally can’t see it changing the minds of all woman who have made up their minds that they need to do this. Another intrusion on what is still a legal right for women in this country.

  19. The woman only has the right to make a request to certain licensed professionals to procure an abortion. Since she is not doing the procedure herself, she needs to employ a 3rd party to exercise this unique right (what is unique about this right is , the employment of a 3rd party to exercise it).

    Citizens, have the right to legislate the standard of care for medical procedures. The use of X-rays, the disinfection of operating rooms, the licensing of doctors, etc. are all regulated via the voice of the people exercising their rights to self-govern. These standards evolve. Abortion care is no different.

    People of good will need to oversee the abortion industry to ensure proper care and fully informed consent. This legislates not the woman request, but the caregiver’s acts. This component of the healthcare sector has a disproportionate number of indited felons – indited for manslaughter and physicians that seem to perform below par. Continuity of care and doctor – patient relationships are practically non-existent in the abortion business and many abortionists do not have admitting privileges to hospitals. Accordingly, citizens properly legislate and mandate standards of care that in this case include common ob-gyn imaging protocols. The same thing is done throughout medicine. Most patients are happy to be protected by citizens who have carefully studied the circumstances. Those seeking abortion are understandably distressed because it casts into the daylight the nature of the deed and its intent, which is the root of the protest. But the right to ask for an abortion is not regulated. The practitioner is – and this is normal in medicine.

    In 2nd and 3rd world countries these regulations are non-existent. I am yet to meet anyone who would go to the unregulated parts of this world for abortion care – and for good reason no regulations or standards.

    The mere fact that you lacked the training to recognize a child, does not mean a child was not there. With the proper training one would immediately recognize that the ultrasound reflects a human fetus at a certain gestational age and if the woman was more than 2.5 weeks late, detect a heartbeat. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) protects this child from murder “at any stage of development”. Since only persons can be murdered, logically, the fetus must be a person under federal law for the purposes of indictment for murder.

  20. If the only thing which determines medical necessity is the well being of the mother, than virtually ALL ultrasounds are medically unnecessary.

  21. pagansister says:

    Like I said, if it is a person under law, then it should be a tax deduction immediately upon conception, right Daniel?
    Those I have known who had an abortion, the physicians that performed the procedure were not felons or in any way below par. Certainly there are some who have the problems you mentioned. However, if indeed this women’s right was taken away, there would be a revival of the back alley “doctors” from before the time this became legal. Most of the time those would meet the qualifications you mentioned.

  22. Tax deductions are the whim of the U.S. government who can allow them for whatever they want to encourage, and under our current tax laws, I would be THRILLED to deduct a child from the moment pregnancy is confirmed back-dated to the point of natural conception in that I begin funding that child’s expenses from that point.

  23. pagansister says:

    So Daniel, what happens if there is a natural abortion? Next year you take the embryo off your taxes? Really, IMO giving the same rights to the unborn as those who are born, is just plain unreasonable.


  1. [...] pizzas for LentVirginia scraps ultrasound billFeb 23rd, 2012 by Deacon Greg KandraIt engendered a lot of controversy – and now the governor has decided not to support it.Details: A Virginia bill that would have [...]

Leave a Comment