New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal reliably delivers demonstrations of snugly (and smugly) cocooned leftism. His latest appeared on his "Loyal Opposition" blog Tuesday, “Government-Mandated Medical Procedures," on a Virginia bill that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound the mother could then look at before making her decision. Rosenthal thinks he has a "gotcha" against the right.
One common right-wing argument against President Obama’s policy requiring insurance coverage for birth control is that institutions should not be forced to pay for what they consider morally objectionable. It’s not about contraceptives, they say, it’s about government coercion.
In that case, these same right-wing groups should, theoretically, express even more outrage about a policy that goes beyond coerced payment – a policy that actually compels physicians to provide, and women to undergo, an unwanted and unnecessary medical procedure.
And yet, so far, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Republican candidates for president, and the Republican leadership in Congress have kept mum regarding a Virginia bill that does just that.
Both houses have passed a bill that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. Whoever performed the ultrasound would then have to offer the patient a chance to look at the resulting image.
As if to prove how snugly nestled he is in his liberal cocoon (a trait noted by Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller), Rosenthal bolstered an argument by leftist Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick, by linking to a post by left-wing Mediaite writer Tommy Christopher, while dismissing the counter-argument as “deranged”:
As Dahlia Lithwick noted last week, since most abortions take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, most women will be forced to submit to trans-vaginal ultrasounds, a coerced penetration that in other circumstances would constitute rape under Virginia state law. (Some of the arguments against the rape comparison are so deranged that I don’t want to repeat them. You can read about them here.)
The “rape” comparison is pretty deranged itself. And Hot Air’s Tina Korbe points out that the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood conducts ultrasounds before they perform abortions. So why the outrage over ultrasounds?
People who support these bills argue that they help woman understand what they’re about to do – as though women arrive at the decision to have an abortion lightly. This line of thought is degrading and contemptuous; the implication is that women cannot think for themselves. But then, I suppose that’s not so different from the anti-abortion, anti-birth control movements as a whole.