At Thought Catalog this week, I’m writing about transvaginal ultrasounds:
Transvaginal ultrasounds have been the law in Texas since late 2011, but the phrase, which rolls so trippingly off the tongue, didn’t really enter my vocabulary until other states — Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio — started trying to make the procedure mandatory for anyone seeking an abortion, in early 2012. Last year, 11 states introduced laws stating that any abortion must be preceded by an ultrasound, even if the doctor doesn’t deem that imaging medically necessary. Currently, almost a dozen states — Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin — have ultrasound laws, and because many of those laws stipulate that the image must be of a certain level of clarity, the ultrasound cannot be abdominal. The only way to get the level of detail demanded by those laws is to do an internal examination.
Like a lot of pro-choice people, I was horrified by this new trend. I wrote about it, I opined about it on TV, I raged about it to my friends over wine (I’m super fun to get a drink with, you guys). Each time, I’d say the phrase “transvaginal ultrasound,” and I’d often preface it with the word “invasive.” Invasive transvaginal ultrasound. Invasive medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound.
I didn’t know the half of it.
You can read the whole thing here.