Joe Kaupp comments on a controversial bill currently making its way through US congress. From Imperial College’s Felix:
On the U.S. political scene, a Republican sponsored bill is causing quite a stir. The “Women’s Right to Know Act” requires females seeking to have an abortion to first undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound. This is a procedure that involves what is known as a “10-inch plastic wand” to be inserted into the vagina. The purpose is to dissuade women from having an abortion by forcing them to acknowledge the fetus that they intend to abort. In some states, congressional members have suggested that women should also be made to listen to the heartbeat of the fetus before they are able to proceed with an abortion.
This medieval type prescription is the latest tactic being invoked in order to moralize the country. It is a demented way around Row v. Wade (an important Supreme Court case in the USA regarding abortion), and is meant as a firm punishment for women irresponsible enough to have gotten themselves knocked up or raped. (Generously, Republicans in some states have amended the bill, making the procedure optional for rape victims.)
“Women’s Right to Know” rests on two baseless presumptions. First, that the right wing has the one and only moral code. Abortion is one of the most polarizing issues being bandied about in philosophy or politics. It’s a moral grey zone for which there is no consensus. For a faction to claim they have the answer displays an especially base type of arrogance. Second, Republicans seem to believe that women are blasé about having abortions. Devoutly religious or incorrigibly hedonistic, it is unlikely anyone is having a red-letter day when an abortion clinic is involved…
Full story here.