This is so the worst thing you're going to read all day.

[Content Note: Reproductive rights; rape culture; misogyny; hostility to agency.]

At Slate, under the noxious headline "Crying Rape," Carole Joffe argues that pro-choice advocates should quit pointing out that mandated transvaginal ultrasounds to access an abortion, even in situations in which they are not necessary, is rape. And why, pray tell, should we stop making this point?
Most of the time, however, the transvaginal ultrasound is a useful and common tool that helps providers perform abortions safely and well.

But now that women have heard abortion supporters describe this form of ultrasound as "rape," will more of them be terrified when they arrive at a clinic and are informed they will have such a procedure? Or might they be scared off altogether? Will abortion clinic staff who perform the ultrasound be seen as "rapists," as the provider I mentioned earlier worried? This is a possibility not lost on the anti-abortion website LifeNews, which recently ran the headline, "If Ultrasound is Rape, Arrest Planned Parenthood Staffers."
Right. We should definitely stop calling a coercive penetration of a woman's vagina irrespective of its necessity what it actually is—a sexual assault—because anti-choicers who don't give a shit about women might mendaciously try to make hay with it.

Oh, and also because women and other people with uteri are too stupid to understand the difference between: A. Potentially medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds mandated by laymen who want to try to persuade women not to terminate an unwanted pregnancy; and B. Medically necessary transvaginal ultrasounds recommended by a trained medical professional who want to help women terminate an unwanted pregnancy in the safest and most effective way.

Gee, sorry if I scared you and your silly ladybrains by treating you as if you have agency and the capacity to understand the concept of consent!


Honestly, the whole article is based on what I can only assume is a willful misinterpretation of pro-choice—and anti-rape—advocates such as myself have actually been saying, which is not, in fact, that transvaginal ultrasounds are rape, full-stop, but that transvaginal ultrasounds mandated by law irrespective of their necessity in order to access a legal medical procedure are rape.

Which is accurate. And I will absolutely not stop calling it what it is.

[H/T to @ScottMadin.]

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