Virginia's recently passed "personhood" bill that requires some women seeking abortions to have a transvaginal ultrasound has received strong opposition for being "invasive" and has even been called "state-sanctioned rape".
Not all women would be subject to this type of ultrasound, which uses a probe inserted into the vagina to obtain the image of the fetus. Transvaginal ultrasounds are often the only way to obtain a picture in the early stages pregnancy. Women further along would have a more traditional ultrasound, in accordance with the law.
Many are taking issue with this proposed law because it requires women to have an ultrasound -- of any kind -- which may not be wanted by the patient. But opposition is focusing on the invasiveness of this specific type of ultrasound.
Here's a newsflash: abortions are invasive.
The majority of abortion procedures taking place after seven weeks, at least in Virginia, are performed surgically -- either through suction-aspiration or vacuum. Northern Virginia Women's Healthcare states on its website that women at seven weeks or less would be recommended a non-surgical form of abortion -- methotrexate, a chemotherapy agent used to kill cancer. The women's health information site states that surgical procedures are the most common for women who are seeking abortions within the first 12 weeks.
So let's stop trying to raise hell about invasive nature of these ultrasounds and just get to the heart of the issue. Opponents don't want patients to be required to have an ultrasound if they wouldn't otherwise want them. They don't want ultrasounds to be forced upon patients for what they see is no medical reason.
Why? One can only surmise that they're worried patients will become conflicted in their conviction to have an abortion if they see the human-like image on the screen and perhaps even see the heartbeat. But if this isn't really a "person" what do they have to worry about?
Doctors are and should be required to give a patient all the facts for a medical procedure. Doctors most likely wouldn't be telling patients that they were now seeing the growing human life inside their wombs. They would most likely let the patient look at the image, let the facts speak for themselves and let the woman make her own decision.