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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2018

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New Bill Threatens Women’s Rights

New Bill Threatens Women’s Rights

By ANNA HALBROOKS-FULKS

The Virginia Senate ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution on Feb. 7, 2012. The ERA guarantees, “Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Fredericksburg’s State Sen. Bryce Reeves voted in favor of the ERA when it was in the privileges and elections committee.

“I have a wife and daughter, I’m for it,” said Reeves. However, when the bill came to the Senate floor on Feb. 14, Reeves voted against it, claiming that it is no longer necessary. Despite Reeves’ vote, the ERA still passed the Senate.

Virginia State Sen. Walter Stosch was the one Republican to join Senate Democrats to vote in its favor.

On the same day that Sen. Reeves voted against the ERA because it is no longer “necessary,” the House passed SB 462, which requires women to receive an ultrasound before they obtain an abortion, even if her doctor does not recommend one and even if it is against her will.

In order to meet the requirements set forth by this bill, most women obtaining abortions will have to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound. A transvaginal ultrasound is performed through vaginal penetration. In order to obtain an abortion, women must undergo this invasive procedure even if their doctor does not recommend it and even if it is against their will.

Reeves voted in favor of this bill. The House has already passed a similar bill and once it becomes law, women in Virginia will have to submit to a medically unnecessary, costly and intrusive procedure in order to exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

In light of this development, Reeve’s comments seem absurd. The ERA is no longer necessary? How can Sen. Reeves say that women have equal rights under the law when our autonomy over our own bodies faces such violent threats?

Comments

  1. Myself

    So why are men still forced to enlist with selective service when we turn 16? Or do you not care about that because you are not a man and it is therefore “not your problem”.

  2. Forced enlistment and forced rape are like apples and oranges.

  3. BotanicalWits

    Forced rape and forced ultrasound are like, well… rape and ultrasound.

    Comparing an ultrasound to rape is degrading to women and incredibly offensive to victims of such violent, hateful acts. Almost no one is forced to have an abortion procedure. Rape, on the other hand?

  4. I’m just using the terms that other people (anti) have used about this. I personally have no stance on this topic.

  5. BotanicalWits

    I don’t think detractors of this bill understand what is actually involved in an abortion procedure. Ultrasounds are necessary (and already mandatory, according to Planned Parenthood policy) to document the gestational age of the fetus. It’s a safety precaution for women, and Planned Parenthood will not perform an abortion without one.

    They obtain consent, sure, and if you don’t want a transvaginal ultrasound they’ll let you wait till you can have a transabdominal ultrasound, but an ultrasound is required. Essentially, SB 462 only ensures it is also the policy at non-Planned Parenthood clinics. There is nothing new in the bill that isn’t already common practice.

    On a side note, I’m going to agree with DC Planned Parenthood official Adrienne Schreiber:

    “But if she’s uncomfortable with a transvaginal ultrasound, then she’s not going to be comfortable with an equally invasive abortion procedure”