Archive for May 9, 2012
In previous articles, I’ve discussed how the so-called Republican War on Women got started, how the meme caught fire, and how the Republican reaction to the fight of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng criticizes some of the same behaviors that Republican-controlled state legislators have exhibited over the past year.
In particular, one legislative approach that has gained increasing popularity in the last year are laws that mandate an ultrasound of pregnant women seeking an abortion. Before five weeks gestation (i.e., about three weeks after the first missed period), abdominal ultrasounds are not feasible. These laws mandate ultrasounds as early as three weeks gestation purportedly to show a woman her child’s “beating heart” (actually a collection of rhythmically-contracting muscle cells that will become a heart in time). Since the only such ultrasound that can be performed at three weeks gestation is a transvaginal ultrasound, these laws essentially require a woman to undergo a medically unnecessary invasive procedure in order to get an abortion. North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma have the most stringent requirements.