VA Senator Proposes Rectal Exam For Men In Response To Abortion Ultrasound Bill

Ladies, we have a new hero today, and no, it isn’t the women who boldly went without make-up in public. It’s Janet Howell, a state senator from Virginia, who injected some gender equality into the state’s most recent attempt to set up barriers to access to abortion.

The Virginia state senate, you see, wanted to pass a bill that would require doctors to give women seeking an abortion an ultrasound, and then give the woman the option of viewing it. What that is intended to do, in case it wasn’t blatantly clear, is shame the woman into not having the abortion, manipulate her emotions, or, I guess, just make her feel bad about the whole thing. These laws are usually presented under the enraging-ly patronizing guise of providing the woman with more information, to help her make the decision about what to do with her pregnancy…you know, the decision that she’s already made.

You see how that’s all medically necessary, of course.

Anyway, Senator Janet Howell took exception to this bill — which, by the way, is not a novel idea; plenty of other states either require women to look at ultrasounds of the fetuses they would like to abort, or perform an ultrasound and give them woman the option of viewing it — and so she turned the tables. She introduced an amendment that would require men to get a rectal exams and a cardiac stress test before being given a prescription to treat erectile dysfunction.

Howell told the Huffington Post that:

“The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we’re going to do that to women, why not do that to men?”

The amendment didn’t pass — coincidentally, there are only seven women in the Virginia state senate — but nevertheless, I have this to say about the whole story: JANET HOWELL, YOU ARE MY NEW HERO.

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    • G

      I’m actually anti-abortion (which i know is an unpopular view for a woman to have) just to get that bias out there first. I don’t think there’s anything constitutionally unsound with requiring an ultrasound but it probably shouldn’t be on the patients dime. If the state has such a strong interest in doing so, it should be on the state to foot the bill for the extra cost. If a women already made the choice to abort, isn’t being charged for the extra procedure, and then can simply check a box that says “do not view”, I don’t think that’s unduly burdensome under the law.

      These are always touchy subject though and I realize others may have a different view.

      • Joey

        Why would an ultrasound even be necessary? At 3-4 months the fetus is merely a clump of unrecognizable mass, and most women do not have the necessary medical knowledge to understand it. This bill is obviously just to make abortion more difficult.

      • Miss C

        I second the comment that ultrasounds at this stage are usually trans-vaginal – that means, a cold metal probe being inserted and then moved around the woman’s vagina, including with a thrusting motion as the operator gets the right field of view (because women’s wombs are tilted at various different angles).

        Does that sound reasonable?

        A friend had one (for her very much wanted pregnancy, now a girl aged five) and found it very traumatic, and she didn’t even have a past experience of abuse – goodness knows what it’s like for rape survivors.

        Regardless of who is funding the scan, it is either 1. a waste of (any) money, scanning a fetus that won’t be surviving to term, or 2. (more likely) an attempt to guilt a woman into changing her mind, via a procedure that amounts to non-consensual penetration.

        How far down that route do you think it’s acceptable to go?

    • Caerie

      Janet Howell is getting a lot of kudos from me and my friends, as we’ve been deep in the fight against the “personhood amendments” that are getting pushed.

      There are few people who are actually “pro-abortion” out there. Wanting to preserve access to medical care, wanting women to be able to make their own decisions, wanting to avoid paternalistic BS that tries to manipulate people, wanting to strike down laws that unfairly put economic burdens on women who likely can’t afford them, doesn’t mean you want abortions to happen left and right. It just means you want women to be safe and have a choice.

      • Ronald R. Johnson

        Caerie, If women like you would just be a little more responceable for your actions then none of this would ever be a problem. No mater what you baby killers say, if you crossed your legs and or used some form of birth control that did not involve you killing babies there would not be so many murders! I guess women like you don’t mind a little penetration by a type of Vac that inflicts a lot of pain on a little baby as it sucks it out in pieces. Trust me I could care less what you women with no morals who sleep around with every Tom, Dick and Harry with out protection think, since you brought on your own problems and then want to solve it by murdering a innocent child!
        And if women didn’t sleep around with out protection they would never have need of the medical services you say you are so worried about. Maybe Canada would be a nice place for baby killers who think like you!

      • Ronald R. Johnson

        Cross your legs, buy the dudes condoms [ and make sure he uses them] abstain if you can’t afford birth control!
        This idiot Senator Janet in the event it should become law should be required to be present as her grand fathers,father,uncles, brothers,husbands. boyfriends sons and grand sons,son in laws are required to get them and with her assisting too! What a PIG all that because she wants women to be able to kill babies as a means for birth control!

    • M

      @G, requiring any medical procedure is a violation of rights as far as I am concerned. But, even more problematic in this case is that most first trimester ultrasounds are trans-vaginal, rather than abdominal. So, this law would be requiring a woman to undergo unwanted penetration of her body with an object (which legal qualifies as rape under the recent change in federal definition of that crime). And, the procedure is often physically uncomfortable or even painful, and can be incredibly traumatizing for survivors of sexual abuse and assault.

      • KeLynn

        Crap. I was against this to begin with and I didn’t even realize early ultrasounds had to be trans-vaginal. Now I don’t see how ANYONE could be OK with this.

      • Ronald R. Johnson

        M, I see you are real big on a woman’s right to not be penetrated, well if she had had enough brains to use protection then this would never be an issue and she would not have to or want to be so big on murdering a innocent child! Abortion is not a proper way of birth control, since there are so many other better ways that don’t involve murdering innocent babies just because some woman wants to play around and not use some form of protection. Could it be that women who thing like you just enjoy the thought of being able to murder innocent babies and get away with it!

    • Joey

      As a Canadian citizen living in the US, I constantly feel angry towards these anti-abortion policies and sympathetic of Americans who are against them. In Canada, not only abortion is legal, it is also covered by national healthcare, which means women do not have to pay a single penny to receive the medical procedure of their choice.

      • Ronald R. Johnson

        Joey, you people in Canada can keep your habit of Murdering innocent babies in Canada, Next thing you idiots in Canada will be doing is, having your government to start killing people who get old or very sick. Oh and our polices here in the U S A is none of your business! So keep your murdering thoughts in Canada! Abortion is not the best idea of birth control, crossed legs do just as good and does not kill innocent babies!
        I bet you people in Canada probably kill young children if they are cripple too!

      • jimpeel

        “…women do not have to pay a single penny to receive the medical procedure of their choice.”

        Wow! I’ll bet that sure takes the apprehension out of having unprotected sex, stinking drunk, in the back of a car in the parking lot of the local bar at 2am.

    • Eileen

      I’m totally against abortion (though I don’t think it should be illegal, at least in the first trimester), but I think the ultrasound thing is silly. However, I do think that men getting ED meds should be examined to prove they’re healthy enough for sex, much as women wanting hormonal BC are examined to ensure they’re not at high risk for blood clots. She should have come up with something ridiculous if she wanted to make a point.

    • Rachael – OHIO

      I’m proud to share the same last name with this woman.

      • Ronald R. Johnson

        Rachael, do U really mean you are dumb enough to say that in public?
        There is a big difference in what she proposes verses that for women, since what she proposes would not stop the murdering of innocent babies!
        Are you and she not smart enough to know that!

    • Ronald R. Johnson

      Miss C, if your friend and other women who think like you would use your head and be more careful went you are sleeping around and use protection none of this would ever be needed and it’s of very little concern compared to murdering thousands of babies just because women with out Morals want to use Murder[ Abortion] as their first choice of birth control!
      Oh and to Joey tell us just how many abortions you have had that makes you such an expert on murdering babies? If this bill you speak of saves just one babies life the it’s a great bill and would never be necessary if some women would not use Abortion as their only means of birth control and because of having no Morals either!

    • T.D.

      Ronald R. Johnson = obvious troll trolling

    • jimpeel

      Ms. Howell, we already have rectal exams regularly. We call them prostate exams; but you can call them anything you like — finger up the bum, snap and “Yow!”, prostate massage — we don’t care.

      You, madam, are a glittering jewel of colossal ignorance.

      Neither a prostate exam, nor a stress test, are “totally unnecessary medical procedure[s].” They are vital examinations necessary to the continued health of men, in the first instance, and all humans in the second.

      You champion a woman’s “right” to kill her child, which has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, and compare that unnecessary procedure to procedures which are necessary.

      You, Madam, are a bigger joke than your idiotic proposal.

      • parlerparler

        HAHAHA wow this is so amazing–don’t you get it? She’s using the ridiculousness of needing a rectal exam for that medical procedure to showcase the irony.

        WE DON’T NEED AN ULTRASOUND for an abortion. It’s to guilt people into a moral and religious conception that quite frankly is medieval.

        Until you get a uterus, shut up because you are ignorant. Abortions are carried out for a variety of reasons–not just because women are irresponsible sluts.

        Thank you for making me laugh at your inability to see the whole point of the policy. Brilliant.

      • jimpeel

        Another glittering jewel of colossal ignorance.

        You keep killing your kids and I will keep telling you what you are.

        The legitimization of killing at any level legitimizes killing at every level.

        Do you think that these kids shooting up schools have any respect for life? Where do you think that respect was lost? Why did these killing start in the 90′s under your hero Clinton?

        Who will be your next target for elimination under the guise of a “right” or “quality of life”? The aged? The infirm? The mentally deficient? Down’s children? The autistic? The deformed? The undesirable? The suicidal? Those you deem undesirable?