Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rectal probe amendment fails

From Indecision Forever:
With polls showing voters are most concerned about jobs, economic growth and the continuing foreclosure crisis, state governments have responded in their usual fashion: with anti-abortion bills and "personhood initiatives."

While the latter have failed in state after state, with voters probably realizing that recognizing a bunch of blastocyst persons would be hell on a state's unemployment rate, legislation mandating trans-vaginal ultrasound has been debated from Texas to Kentucky. Virginia is the latest to ride the sonogram emotional-extortion bandwagon, but not before one State Senator suggested that what's good for goose is good for the anus…
To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.

"We need some gender equity here," she told HuffPost. "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 failed on a 21-19 vote, while the underlying mandatory sonogram bill was adopted, but at least the bill's opponents got to say "Up yours" in the snarkiest way possible.

Heh, heh. This is why we need more women - progressive women, at least - in public office!  Right-wing men have no problem mandating these medical procedures for women - or forcing women to undergo an unwanted pregnancy - because it doesn't affect them in the slightest.

Women might look on these things a little differently... Not all women, of course, but diversity is valuable. I've never in my life had to worry about rape, and certainly never about getting pregnant. I can go anywhere I want here in Lincoln, at any time of the day or night, and not have to worry about my personal safety.

It infuriates me that women can't say the same, but that's not my point here. My point is that women tend to have somewhat different concerns than men. Most of our concerns are the same, no doubt, but women might look at some things differently (just as members of racial or religious minorities might look at some things differently).

This amendment made that point pretty well, don't you think? Too bad the Virginia senate as a whole wasn't smart enough to see that.


m1nks said...

That was a really close vote - I'm stunned. If it had passed would guys seriously have been forced to do this? Or would it have hit the media and maybe caused them both to be dropped as a 'ok, fine, we are all being silly'?

WCG said...

It was an amendment to that mandatory sonogram bill, m1nks. If the amendment had passed, the bill wouldn't have.

That's one of the typical ways people try to stop legislation, by attaching amendments that will peel off supporters of the original bill.

In this case, I really doubt that Sen. Howell expected her amendment to pass. In fact, she was probably surprised it was that close. This was just introduced in protest (and for publicity, of course).

But if it had passed, I'm sure it would have torpedoed the whole bill.