I thought about writing some cute exemplar of how assinine this latest example of hypocrisy is, but instead I decided on straightforward railing. I'll save the creative energies for later.
I lived in the Old Dominion for three years while attending school from '89-'92. Not the DC suburbs, either. A way down in the southwestern part of the state, right on the ever scenic I81. Virginia was not run by loons then, but it sure is now.
Here's the story, if you want the details: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/va-senate-approves-contentious-ultrasound-bill/2012/02/27/gIQAvhiVgR_story.html
Backing down after a well deserved campaign of national ridicule for passing a bill that would require women seeking abortions to have a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires the insertion of a probe into the vagina, the moral paragons have instead only required an external ultrasound of the sort so often seen on TV with the jell on the stomach. For good measure, they threw in an exception for women who are victims of incest or rape. This is the Senate version which now goes to the House of Delegates for likely passage there, too, and eventually signing into law by the governor.
Where to start with the hypocrisy? There are three huge, pink elephants worth that strike me right off the top.
First, we're talking about the commonwealth that was one of the first to file suit to oppose the federal healthcare reform legislation. Much of the purported opposition to that legislation is that it puts health care decisions in the hands of government regulators rather than the individual and his or her doctor. Which is bullshit, but was a big talking point all the same. So now we have the same commonwealth dictating to women what they have to do in their health care. They claim it's to provide all the information possible to women, but women are already given all the information. The ultrasound is solely designed to have women look at an image of a blob on the screen in the hopes that she'll suddenly have an overwhelming love for it and abandon all consideration of an abortion. There's no medical need to require the ultrasound and it shouldn't, based on their opposition to health care, be a decision made by the Virginia government. It should be a decision made by a woman and her doctor.
That's hypocrisy number one.
Second, there's the right wingnuts of the Family Foundation, quoted at the end of the article, who continue to foist the idea that abortion providers are some sort of profit driven industry that just want more and more abortions so doctors who perform them can live a life of luxury. Never mind the reality that it's difficult to find doctors who will perform abortions in most of the lesser populated portions of the US because sympathizers with the Family Foundation have assassinated such doctors and waged decades long campaigns of intimidation against both the doctors and the women seeking their services. Their position is despicable but the hypocrisy comes into play in their silence in the face of actual profit driven medicine. Where's their opposition to plastic surgery on people without health reasons? Where's their opposition to health insurance providers cutting services to people with health problems that need them, all in the name of boosting the bottom line? Fah.
That's hypocrisy number two.
My favorite hypocrisy is the third. The ultrasound will be required for women seeking abortions unless they are victims of incest or rape. So a procedure that is supposed to be performed at commonwealth instruction for the benefit of the health and knowledge of the woman is not needed for victims of rape and incest. Surely if this procedure were really for the benefit of the patients then there'd be no need for the exception. Victims of rape and incest are just as much in need of this valuable health information as women who just became pregnant after a wild night or an unexpected birth control failure, if not more so. But, once again, this just shows the real purpose of the legislation - shove a picture in front of a woman to try to force her to love the image and change her decision. Because, you know, she didn't really think about it before. She just said, "Oh, well. I'm pregnant. Better get down to the abortion provider on the nearest corner, because they're so profitable they're on every block like Starbucks, to get rid of this inconvenience."
Here's a funny (in the not amusing sense) thing. This right to life driven crowd proclaims that human life starts at conception. They also argue that all human life should not be ended before birth. Therefore, by that rationale all fetuses are equal. All of them had no say in their conception and have the equal right to be carried to miscarriage or birth. But, an exception to the ultrasound law, designed as it is to emotionally blackmail women into forgoing abortion, says that the commonwealth has decided that fetuses resulting from rape or incest are not equal to all other fetuses and are valid targets for termination. Why? The movement's logic says these are innocent humans. They're being condemned to termination due to the midseeds of their progenitors, not any crime of their own.
And that's hypocrisy number three. A trifecta of shame for the Commonwealth of Virginia.