It might just be me, but I have noticed the Republican strategy of late to push woman voters away with their attack on woman health is not politically wise. Gov. McDonnell of Virginia has recently, and wisely backed off his support of Virginia’s controversial ultrasound bill. In an attempt to try to save face after great backlash from the bill, Gov. McDonnell stated:
“No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.”(http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0223/Abortion-wars-Virginia-retreats-on-invasive-probe-in-ultrasound-bill)
After this wise retreat in the latest attack on woman’s rights how does Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Kathy Rapp respond? With HB1077; The Women’s Right to Know Act. Obviously a playful use of the lexicon, I ask myself who could be against a Woman’s Right to Know?, Well when you read the bill you see, it is more about letting a woman know that the Republican party is after their right to choose. Not openly of course, not many Republicans are that brazen these days, even though it wouldn’t surprise me. The wording in the bill just puzzles, and amazes me.
“In recognition of the importance of a woman’s dignity in making an informed choice, the factual information provided by an ultrasound test should be provided to a woman as an integral part of the informed consent necessary to undergo an abortion.” ( http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1077&pn=3047)
I don’t understand what factual information an ultrasound will give the woman, I do understand it is an unnecessary medical procedure that has little bearing on the abortion. Furthermore, in a 2010 article for Salon, by Anna Clark, entitled “Can better ultrasounds prevent abortions” she could find little to no research that ultrasounds even stopped one abortion:
“there have been no studies done in the United States that measure the affect of sonograms during abortions, and few done internationally. There was one study done in British Columbia that found that 73 percent of patients (254 people) wanted to see their sonogram if they were offered the chance. But eighty-four percent of those who viewed it said it did not make the experience more difficult, and none changed her mind about receiving an abortion. (http://www.dev6.salon.com/2010/06/15/abortion_michigan/)”
The only change from the attacks on woman’s rights of late, is this bill is sponsored by a woman. I guess the PA House Republicans are learning from the all male panels on woman’s health issues in the US House. With all the pressing matters that the PA General Assembly could be dealing with, the GOP is trying their hand at another unnecessary wedge issue that won’t jobs, improve the common good of the commonwealth, nor protect a woman’s right to know as they claim. Pennsylvanian’s from all political persuasions need to contact Rep. Rapp, and her co-sponsors and tell them the war on a woman’s right to choose is not the path for Pennsylvania. We need solutions from our legislature, not divisive toxic bills. I will be contacting State Rep. Godshall (R-53) who happens to be my rep and one of these unfortunate co-sponsors. I do not know how much it will do, but I can always try to remind the Right that their overreach will not help anyone. However, I for one hope, the Republicans never learn.
The full text of HB1077 can be found here http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2011&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1077&pn=3047