Last Monday, Idaho state Sen. Chuck Winder took the floor of the state senate to deliver the closing arguments in a hearing on his mandatory ultrasound bill, which requires women to have an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. The bill does not make an exception for rape and incest victims or women with life-threatening medical conditions, so Winder responded to its critics in an interesting fashion: by essentially telling his female constituents that they're too stupid to understand the difference between rape and consensual sex.

According to the Boise paper the Spokesman-Review, this is what Winder said:

“This bill does not require a trans-vaginal exam. … It leaves that up to the patient and the physician to make that determination. Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Precious, huh? It really instills you with a renewed faith in our political system, like the feeling you get when you take a tour of the Capitol building or watch the last ten minutes of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Except correct me if I'm wrong, but in the last ten minutes of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Jimmy Stewart doesn't refer to a man forcibly putting his penis in a woman's vagina as a "rape issue." Nor does he have the gall to suggest that ladies who claim to have been raped are just too goldarn preoccupied with shopping and gossiping and voting for their favorite contestants on Dancing With the Stars to know the difference between a "rape issue" and "normal relations in a marriage."

I also do not seem to recall Jimmy Stewart claiming that even if a woman can work the pink, sparkly neurons in her lady brain to figure out the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex, she will use the latter as an excuse to get an abortion. Because everyone knows that bitches use rape as an excuse to avoid minor inconveniences like pregnancy, the same way Ferris Bueller uses wacky sound effects and rakish wit to avoid getting caught for playing hooky.

I don't remember Jimmy Stewart's character saying anything to this effect, but then again, it's been a long time since I've seen the movie, so I don't know for sure. That aside, however, I think I speak for most women when I say that "trans-vaginal" is a polite way to describe what a douchebag Sen. Chuck Winder is. 

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Commentarium (17 Comments)

Mar 21 12 - 7:39am
NN

Someone is reading way too much into the quote.

Mar 21 12 - 8:41am
theroth says

+1. I have no opinion of the ultrasound legislation either way (I don't think it will accomplish anything, but it won't hurt anyone either), but there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he said.

Mar 21 12 - 9:53am
LM

If I go to the doctor to get an abortion I definitely do not want an ultrasound and I don't want doctor man questioning my reasons. I'd rather not be raped and then told, "Maybe this baby isn't your rapist's, it's your husband's!!!!"

Mar 21 12 - 9:58am
parkle

ummm. off the top of my head, there are like 5 or 6 things wrong with what he said. at the very least, it was monstrously insensitive to rape victims.

Mar 21 12 - 12:15pm
profrobert

Also, do not forget that being forced to have a solid object inserted into your vagina against your will is itself a rape. These "ultrasound" bills do nothing more than create state-sponsored rape. In an attempt to deny women their constitutional right to an abortion, these criminal legislators are trying to force them into a choice between not exercising their legal rights and being raped.

Mar 21 12 - 2:03pm
fishstix

White men are awesome!

Mar 21 12 - 3:32pm
will

what does his race have to do with anything?

Mar 21 12 - 3:09pm
Kel

Nothing wrong with what he said? Abortion, as they have yet to learn in Christian Republican churches, is legal. And all these ultrasounds, transvaginal probes, waiting periods and the like are just obstacles for a woman seeking an abortion, put in place by, well, fucking totalitarian morons.

Mar 21 12 - 4:36pm
j

I'm in Canada and the abortion clinic's website says they do an ultrasound before abortions to date the pregnancy. I've never even heard it discussed as a political issue here. Abortion here is legal to anyone who wants it as far as I know. Why is this such a thing in the states right now?

Mar 21 12 - 5:02pm
profrobert

Does the government require the ultrasound, even if the doctor and the patient don't want it and think it's unnecessary? That's the difference.

Mar 21 12 - 9:42pm
nope

Also iirc they require women to view the ultrasound. The aim is not to gather medical information but to convince women to not have abortions; I don't think even its proponents would disagree about that.

Mar 21 12 - 11:51pm
j

I'm pretty sure they always do it and there is no option not too. So I don't see these sa great changes to how things already are. Also at the same time a pointless law to try and pass.

Mar 22 12 - 7:01am
spaul

Given the sudden rise in creating obstacles in women getting abortions, it's suspicious that there is a focus on mandating an ultrasound. That should be a decision for the doctor to make. As far as I've heard, none of these lawmakers have a medical degree.

And if you take a look at the obstacles that they are putting forth, it's quite clear that their agenda is not providing the best medical care possible for women getting an abortion.

Mar 22 12 - 1:01pm
LT

As someone who worked specifically in women's healthcare for over a decade, j, I can say for sure that in the vast majority of cases there's absolutely no reason for an ultrasound to "date a pregnancy" for an abortion.

We used ultrasound all the time for women who were continuing their pregnancies to make sure it was a viable pregnancy and to get an accurate idea of delivery date. For an abortion, there's no reason to do that at all.

The fact is that the dr/nurse should be able to tell by pressing down on the abdomen and by date of last period. The very rare exception is when someone has no idea when their last period was or for some reason is difficult to figure out by abdominal compression. Then we'd use an ultrasound. I can tell you in my experience of seeing thousands of women it was maybe 3 women who needed on ultrasound prior to termination of pg.

I'm not sure if your information is accurate or not j as I don't live in Canada but assuming it is, it still makes no difference. There's been no need for an ultrasound for 4 decades here and there's no medical reason to implement forcing women to have them now. There is pure harassment of women who choose to terminate pregnancies in this country, that's all.

Mar 22 12 - 4:00pm
Peppermint

As for the ultrasound itself, I don't think that goes crazy far in the sense of violating a woman's rights. I mean clearly it's an anti-abortion tactic like forced counceling, but it isn't actually going to stop women from getting abortions. What I think is total asshattery is the fact that he wants physicians to question women about how they got pregnant in the first place. Who's fucking bussiness is it what women do in their bedrooms or (worse) what is forced on them against their will? If you went in to get treated for herpes or any other sexual issue would you feel comfortable with the doctor asking you specifics about your sex life? Worse, if you were raped, would you want the doc to go "Are you SURE you were raped? Are you sure you're not just a whore making stuff up?" Maybe it's just me but it felt like he was implying women might lie about being raped just to get abortions, and even if that is the case, which I doubt, it's still better to assume she isn't lying than to make rape victems feel like they've done something wrong.

Mar 22 12 - 7:43pm
confiderable

PLease anyone show me where in the Constitution has a mention that it is Legal to MURDER a Baby.

Apr 14 12 - 7:41am
Mireia

Mate. A baby is not a foetus. Do I have to spell it out for you? Go back to your cave.