http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162- … -virginia/The Tuesday passage in Virginia of two of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the country has sparked fierce debate over abortion rights the battleground state, with Democrats decrying the acts as an unprecedented encroachment on women's rights as Republicans push to move the legislation forward.
One bill, Republican Del. Bob Marshall's House bill 1, would define personhood at conception and "provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth." The second bill requires that women be required to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion.
The personhood bill, which passed by 66-32 in the Virginia state House, does not ban abortions, the legality of which are protected under the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. It would, however, make illegal certain types of contraceptive measures, including emergency contraception. Women's health advocates say it could also open the door to banning birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUD).
One issue that has come under the microscope with relation to the ultrasound bill is its requirement that some women undergo a transvaginal ultrasound probe, which is considered more physically invasive than other procedures.
While the bill does not explicitly mandate the use of transvaginal ultrasounds, many women would inevitably be required to undergo them; in the early stages of pregnancy, that procedure is often the only form of ultrasound that can detect a fetus' heartbeat.
Republicans argue that the ultrasound bill will protect women from complications during abortion procedures, and that providing a woman with the gestational age of the fetus is crucial to her "informed consent" to have an abortion.
The Virginia state Senate has already passed an ultrasound bill, and Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the legislation when it lands on his desk. He does not have a formal position on the personhood bill.
I wonder what Ron Paul thinks about this. He has called himself an "unshakeable foe" of abortion and has helped get laws through that make abortions harder to get. He also thinks life begins at contraception. But he is such an honorable man and lover of freedom I'm sure he doesn't agree with this.
So is making women get tubes stuck up their vaginas in order to hear a fetus heartbeat before they get an abortion the right thing to do or the wrong thing? I think it's the wrong thing.