Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Hostility to agency.]

"I don't have any problem with ultrasound. I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine."—Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, who is set to "sign a measure that's quickly working its way through the Republican-controlled Legislature that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound."

Oh. Well. He's chill with ultrasound, and he's under the impression that most people think ultrasounds are totes cool, so there's nothing to see here. Move along, haters!

Aside from the fact that state law should not be made based on whether it passes with approval through Governor Scott Walker's validity prism, objections to mandatory ultrasounds are not based on whether people "think ultrasounds are just fine" in a void. "Yes, I approve of ultrasound technology!" But Governor Scott Walker knows this. He's just an asshole.

Again I will note—as I do each time one of these mandated ultrasound bills is being debated with the inevitable justification that its supporters are just trying to Very Helpfully "provide women with more information"—that if an altruistic helpfulness were the authentic motivation, then women would be offered a choice as to whether they want to get the ultrasound.

["Helping women" being their framing, but please note that all fertile people with uteri need access to all reproductive options.]

But, of course, these paternalistic scolds are not offering anything kind or decent; they are merely demanding the legal right to try to shame women into not getting abortions, because they believe, wrongly, that women seeking abortions are in denial about being pregnant, or detached from their natural desire to mother, or some other nonsense, and if only they see a picture of the BABY! they will change their fickle and delicate minds.

Being forced to view an ultrasound does not, however, change the reality for a pregnant woman—and there are few minds less persuadable than the mind of a woman who does not want to be pregnant. Which is why even straight-up criminalizing abortion doesn't stop women from getting them.

Forcing a pregnant person to look at an ultrasound will not change the circumstances that made hir seek an abortion: If you don't want a child, if you can't afford a child, if you had a contraceptive failure, if you were raped, if you just lost your job, if you found out the fetus will die as soon as it's born, if you're pregnant by someone who became abusive, if you've been diagnosed with a life threatening illness, or a non-life threatening but life-changing illness or disability, if your existing child has become ill, if your spouse has become ill, if your parent has become ill, if your psychiatric medication is incompatible with pregnancy, if you lost your health insurance, if…if…if a million other variables, if any of a million reasons why women seek abortions, looking at an ultrasound will not matter.

The Ultrasound Gang just can't conceive that there are women who make the measured, rational, self-interested decision to terminate a pregnancy. "But there's a BABY in there!" they insist, and they don't understand that there are millions of women who will reply, with or without regret, "Yes, I know. That's the problem."

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