No, this is not the Mad Biologist’s guide to dating. It’s about the continual attempt by conservatives to mandate transvaginal probes for women who want to get an abortion. While transvaginal probles do have a legitimate medical role in abortions, the theocratic right wants to use them to convince women not to have abortions (as well as provide unnecessary discomfort). The irony is that there’s no evidence that viewing the fetus changes women’s minds; in fact, it might convince them to go ahead with the procedure (boldface mine):
First, the purported medical evidence is speculative. In the above excerpt from AUL’s argument, each sentence includes a footnote to a 1983 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine that hypothesized that ultrasound viewing could dissuade women from having an abortion. However, the authors of the editorial based their conjecture on experiences with two—yes, only two—pregnant women who viewed their ultrasounds. This hardly counts as medical evidence.
Second, to date, no peer-reviewed empirical data has supported this proposition that viewing an ultrasound image discourages women from abortion. In fact, what limited information does exist suggests that women seeking abortions have a range of experiences associated with viewing their ultrasound and any mind-changing occurs in a complex context that may or may not include ultrasound viewing along with other factors.
In work my colleagues and I conducted at the UCSF ANSIRH program, we discovered that many women who voluntarily choose to view their ultrasound image find viewing helpful—and sometimes it even confirms their decision to have an abortion. Those who oppose abortion rights might be shocked to find that their efforts to ensure viewing actually help women choose abortion and resolve conflict over their decisions. This is true for women at all stages of gestation.
But what conservatives don’t realize is that women who don’t need these transvaginal probes usually don’t want them. Most women probably won’t talk about the probes because it’s a private matter and in some circles there’s a stigma attached to abortion. But in those states where women are forced to have this procedure, they will remember who forced them to do this. And conservatives are deluding themselves if they believe that ‘their’ women don’t have abortions–Texas has nearly the same rate of abortion as Massachusetts.
With over one million abortions per year, conservatives, through their cruelty and lack of empathy, are creating a silent majority (to use a phrase) that doesn’t agree with them at all.