[First posted to the Freethinkers Mailing List (http://groups NULL.google NULL.com/group/freethinkers-club/browse_thread/thread/462211f6b5586c52?hl=en_US)]
I’ve already mentioned the flap over Christian institutions having to provide birth control, but there’s a lot more asshattery over reproductive rights down there.
One of the most galling came from a big contributor to Santorum’s campaign, Foster Friess (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/blaghag/2012/02/women-should-just-keep-their-legs-shut-amirite/):
On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.
Har-de har har. That joke is older than me, y’know, dating back to when the pill was first introduced. Ironically, the primary inventor of the pill, John Rock, pushed it as a Catholic-friendly form of birth control; since eggs are never released, no fertilization occurs and thus even to the “life-at-conception” people couldn’t call it abortion. It exploits natural hormones to work, and Rock added the week of placebo tablets to ensure women still menstruated, so it wasn’t an artificial control in his view. When a government official said the church would never approve of it anyway, Rock shot back: ‘Young man, don’t you sell my church short.’
Oops (http://www NULL.gladwell NULL.com/2000/2000_03_10_a_rock NULL.htm).
I should also point out that more than 50% of women don’t use birth control pills for birth control. They also take the edge off menstruation cramps, which is kind of a good thing. They’re so popular, 99% of women take them. The rate of use for Catholics, I’d like to point out, is 98% (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/blaghag/2012/02/the-catholic-contraception-kerfuffle/#comment-75858).
But alas, that’s not all folks. No, Virginia just passed a law that amounts to state-sanctioned rape (http://slate NULL.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/02/virginia_ultrasound_law_women_who_want_an_abortion_will_be_forcibly_penetrated_for_no_medical_reason NULL.html).
Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.
Again ironically, legislation intended to protect the religious may save the day. In Virginia, it’s legal to refuse a procedure on moral grounds. Intended to make it easy for doctors to refuse to perform abortions when medically necessary, or for pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills even when presented with a prescription, smart doctors could use the same law to refuse this procedure on the grounds that it violates the Hippocratic Oath.
There is a silver lining, though; it’s led to no shortage of funny jokes. My current favorite: “Remember, only old white men know how to run a uterus (http://freethoughtblogs NULL.com/almostdiamonds/2012/02/17/i-need-an-aspirin/).”