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View Diary: Indiana would like to be the next state to transvaginally rape you. Twice. For your own good. (176 comments)

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  •  Transvaginal means just that. Beyond. It hurts. (59+ / 0-)

    A lot.  It is Very invasive.

    I can't believe the state can legally rape us.

    And now, pushing for twice in Indiana.  This is just so viscerally offensive and wrong.  Makes the TSA look like playground monitors.

    And the burden on doctors, how can they comply with this?  This War on Women is getting surreal.  

    I'm fed up with being raped.  Sick of so few consequences for rape.  Steamed over being paid less for the same work.  Fed up with asshats who don't even have a vagina making laws about mine.  

    •  They aren't meant to comply. (32+ / 0-)

      These things are left vague deliberately. If no one knows what to do, then to be safe, no performing abortions. The same for parental notification laws. With no specific rules for what is notification, or what to do when a parent is absent, too sad for you, no abortion. That is their logic.

      Oh for crying out loud!

      by 4mygirls on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:30:20 PM PST

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    •  And even worse, they aren't allowed to use (20+ / 0-)

      any kind of sedation or even pain medication because that would interfere with the woman seeing and fully understanding the images.  She is just expected to either scream or use a "bite stick", nothing more.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:23:23 PM PST

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      •  That last part is insane! (21+ / 0-)

        No medication? Really?! Then how is this even considered a medical operation if the woman is PROPERLY sedated? OMG! I am so sick and tired of this shit!

        United we the people stand, divided we the people fall.

        by Penny GC on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:43:20 PM PST

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      •  I'm a little confused (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SneakySnu, milton333

        about this. I don't support these types of bills at all, nor do I have a vagina myself, but I've seen my wife go through multiple transvaginal ultrasounds during her two healthy pregnancies (believe it or not, it's the accepted way to do an ultrasound up to the third trimester now) and never did she seem to indicate it was painful at all. Have you had a bad experience? I'm not sure why you would need sedation, pain medication, or a bite stick. Thousands of women do them during healthy pregnancies routinely around the country.

        •  I've had it... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          4mygirls, Ahianne

          ...and the worst part was drinking the half-gallon of water beforehand so that they could get a good picture of what was going on in my vage...

          Not fun.

          •  That doesn't make sense. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare

            They only do that for the abdominal ultrasound so that the full bladder pushes the uterus forward.   With the transvaginal ultrasound, the uterus is of course just beyond the cervix, so there's no need for a full bladder.

            I had a transvaginal u/s when they weren't able to get a good image with an abdominal u/s.  They actually had me empty my bladder before the second ultrasound.  

        •  I've had it - hurt like hell (6+ / 0-)

          I'm sure the level of discomfort varies from woman to woman.

          I've had endo and PMS/cramping issues virtually my entire life; at times, inserting an object the size of a tampon can be painful. Sorry if TMI.

          God bless our tinfoil hearts.

          by aitchdee on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:30:26 AM PST

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          •  I can imagine. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aitchdee, 4mygirls, Ahianne, milton333

            That's been my whole point in responding in this thread--personal experience can vary dramatically with respect to this particular procedure, which is why it should only be used when deemed medically necessary by a gynecologist in consultation with the patient.  

            I was really grateful to have the transvaginal ultrasound available during my first pregnancy when I miscarried.  I did not find the probe that terribly uncomfortable, but maybe I just had really good techs doing it (two ultrasounds done on that occasion).  And I didn't have any other underlying issues.

          •  Interesting (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aitchdee, SneakySnu, milton333

            I definitely wasn't trying to belittle anyone else's experience with this but more trying to understand the objection on the grounds that it's painful. Sounds like yours was definitely painful - I was just surprised that my wife being diagnosed with Endometriosis would have had a similar experience. I'm sure it can also depend on the skill and finesse of the ultrasound tech as well.

        •  The level of pain or not-pain is irrelevant (7+ / 0-)

          What's relevant is that the state gets to rape people. We don't legally judge a man raping a woman based on the pain level, either, because that's not relevant to the crime. This is a crime, and am curious why you think the level of pain is even relevant to bring up. Did you sincerely not know that all women are different and have different experiences with their bodies?

          That came across more hostile than I intended. I'm feeling provoked, for some reason, at the prospect of women being raped by the state. And at the prospect of doctors not being allowed to practice good medicine because legislators obviously know better. And at the idea that women's bodies are not our own and our minds are clearly not up to the task of making decisions for our bodies. Really, really provoking. Try to imagine the male equivalent of all this.

          I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

          by LaraJones on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:43:57 AM PST

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          •  I think you misunderstood me (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SneakySnu, milton333

            The level of pain is entirely irrelevant. I made it fairly clear that I don't support anything like this regardless. I was, however, curious to hear that this is a painful procedure for many women because I had not heard that before.

            I think that from a messaging, marketing, and branding strategy standpoint that making a fuss about this as a horrible procedure is a loser in the eyes of the public - because, as I pointed out, it is a completely acceptable procedure that women undergo during healthy pregnancies (usually multiple times). Our message in supporting women's rights should be that it doesn't matter what the procedure is; if it's unnecessary, if it's forced, and if it's unwanted it infringes on women's rights.

            Could you imagine anyone passing a law that says men had to have a prostate exam before they could legally receive a vasectomy? Of course not, which is why the fact that it's a transvaginal ultrasound is irrelevant to the fact that it infringes women's rights - it could be any unnecessary medical procedure and the logic would still stand.

            I've clarified my political position on this for clarity's sake, but my original comment really was just one of curiosity.

        •  I'm in total agreement with you on your question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          defenderTX

          I've had a healthy pregnancy, IUIs to get pregnant, several early miscarriages of wanted pregnancies, and a medication abortion.  I am no stranger to the transvag ultrasound.  While it is awkward, I've never found it to be painful, and you're right that many women routinely experience these.  The "screaming painful" angle is simply not going to resonate with most women, nor with with most men, because it is not the typical experience.

          I'll also say this - the proposal is with respect to medication abortions (RU486 or the abortion pill).  The medication abortion procedure is only FDA approved up to 7 weeks of pregnancy, administered off-label up to about 9 weeks.  That means that most women who seek a medication abortion will be too early in their pregnancies to visualize and DATE the pregnancy with abdominal ultrasound.  This is also the case if you are carrying extra abdominal weight.

          In my experience, it is more painful to attempt an abdominal ultrasound with very early pregnancy, because they have to push very very hard into your abdomen to try to image the pregnancy, and it is, IME, more uncomfortable than the transvag ultrasound.

          It is a totally normal standard of care to get a transvag ultrasound when getting a medication abortion.  Additionally, if the medication abortion does not complete, then you need to follow up with a surgical abortion.  So it's not unreasonable to require a follow-up appointment with an ultrasound to ensure that the pregnancy was terminated and all products of conception are out of the uterus, and, again, with early pregnancy you're usually talking transvag ultrasound.  It's part of the deal.

          Now, sure, Indiana is doing this to be assholish.  And the appropriate response should emphasize that legislators should not be interfering in the delivery of medical care, and health care providers' determinations of what is medically necessary.  But most women seeking a medication abortion will encounter a transvaginal ultrasound at some point, and playing up the scare tactics of "OMG they're going to painfully RAPE you with a giant dildo" almost certainly serves to dissuade some women from seeking abortion.  I object to KJG's tactics on this issue for that very reason, that it is almost certainly scaring off a lot of women who would make this choice.

          Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

          by milton333 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:08:50 AM PST

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          •  I did not know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            milton333

            that transvaginal ultrasounds had a medical argument in early abortions. This just further cements my philosophy that the issue should revolve around if it's medically necessary and nothing else. If it's medically necessary then you need to accept it as part of the "package" of getting an abortion. If it is not medically necessary and it's forced arbitrarily then it infringes on women's rights.

            I'm not an OB/GYN, so I'll leave the medical necessity argument up to them. Like I said, though, the "painful rape" angle is just dead in the water in my opinion because it's misleading.

          •  Well whether it is painful or not and if so how (0+ / 0-)

            painful would partially depend on the skill of the technician and how much surgical lubricant is used, wouldn't it?  I would imagine if the technician just shoved it up there dry it would be pretty painful.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:07:31 PM PST

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            •  Eh (0+ / 0-)

              It's covered with a lubricated condom, and using lubricant has always been part of the practice whenever I've had one.  It's also a slender wand - thinner than a tampon, for the most part, with a slight bulbous end that's about the size of the largest tampon I've ever used.  It's far thinner than any penis I've ever encountered.

              Here's the thing - I don't think the legislature has any business in making health care decisions.  That's my objection.  But "OMG it's painful rape" is totally over the top and divorced from the reality of the situation.

              In no way is a transvag ultrasound more uncomfortable than the insertion of a speculum for an annual pap smear, or the scraping/scrubbing of the pap brush against my cervix.  In no way is a transvag ultrasound more uncomfortable than cervical dilation associated with a D&C or surgical abortion.  

              Here's another uncomfortable reality - being a woman means not having bodily integrity.  Even a celibate woman will be penetrated in a medical context at least annually for all of her adult life, while screening for cervical cancer.  Every woman will be penetrated vaginally, sometimes anally, as part of routine medical care.  That's just part of the package of being a woman.  I've chosen to have an abortion, and until fairly recently with the advent of medication abortion, there was no way to obtain an abortion without some form of vaginal penetration.  In the context of the medication abortion, reliable ultrasound dating of the pregnancy is also usually going to involve penetrative transvaginal ultrasound.

              I'm totally on board with not inserting generally male legislators into the process of administering health care, and especially not into abortion.  But the arguments that this is an unconscionably painful procedure just don't ring true for me, nor do the arguments that this is "rape."  We need to find another angle.

              Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

              by milton333 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:17:40 PM PST

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    •  The last one I had didn't hurt per se, but (12+ / 0-)

      it felt like being slowly and inexpertly screwed with a large dildo.  The weirdness of it, and of the responses to having certain sensations in THAT setting, were the creepy thing about it.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:24:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly...I know how you feel (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, revsue, schnecke21, Ahianne

        When it was still kinda unheard of in 2001, I had to have one because I had incredible pain in my back, and in their effort to find out what was wrong (8 disks in my back had burst, nada to do with my woman parts) they decided to do this procedure, theoretically to look for a kidney/bladder problem. I was not comfy with the idea at all, but the scariest part was when the make technician came whistling into the room and said, "OK Mrs B we're going to do a transvaginal ultrasound probe" and then he started to whistle again, kinda all happy-like. Then his whistle choked off and he said, "Whoa! Oh, you're a woman...you'll have to wait while I go find a female nurse or somebody to remain with you while I do this..." - My 15 year old daughter was with me in the room, and we both laughed a little hysterically and asked him how many transvaginal procedures he'd done on men? The whole thing was uncomfortable, apparently for him as well, because he went and found some lady to do the actual probing while he ran the buttons. No it didn't hurt, but I have to say it was not my favorite moment in a hospital. I kept telling them it was something wrong with my back but they spent over a week looking for something wrong with my feminine parts instead. 11 days in a hospital in agony before they did a MRI of my spine and went oh wow, 8 disks have burst and bled into your spine and that's why you hurt so bad and can't operate your legs. Gee Whiz. I had insurance at the time, but I can bet that if I didn't have insurance, this wouldn't have happened quite like that.
        That being said, no state has the right to rape you at all, let alone twice with a plastic thingy for no medical reason. I feel for the doctors too.

        When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.-Mark Twain

        by Havoth on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:16:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  well they hope you pass on the abortion (7+ / 0-)

      The purpose of a law like this is to scare woman into not getting the abortion. Realistically what sane woman would go back for a followup and most doctors would not waste their time following up.
      Anyway a law like this would be ruled unconstitutional just more insanity from republicans.

    •  I've had one, wasn't that painful (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333, big annie

      but it definitely isn't something you should be compelled to go through just to satisfy someone's ideological needs.

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