Oklahoma passes state-mandated object-rape law

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 · 35 Comments »

It’s official: the State of Oklahoma now requires a woman to be raped with a vaginal probe if she wants an abortion. The doctors committing the rape also have the right to withhold information from the pregnant woman about the fetus, such as the presence of defects.

The governor of Oklahoma vetoed these bills last week, but today the Oklahoma legislature voted to override the veto.

This is a first, isn’t it? I think it is. I believe this is the first time a state has passed a law mandating rape as punishment for being pregnant. Here in the U.S., I mean — this kind of thing is par for the course in rural Pakistan.

Great. Arizona is now a police state and Oklahoma is now a rape state. I’m waiting for Texas to top them both by passing a law that any brown person caught walking around without papers has to submit to a vaginal or anal probe.

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35 Responses to “Oklahoma passes state-mandated object-rape law”

  1. Unree says:

    I was curious about the vaginal ultrasound part of the bill because some news reports have said that the ultrasound can be either abdominal or vaginal. After some digging on the Oklahoma website, I found the language of this new law:

    “[T]he physician who is to perform or induce the abortion, or the certified technician working in conjunction with the physician, shall:
    1. Perform an obstetric ultrasound on the pregnant woman, using either a vaginal transducer or an abdominal transducer, whichever would display the embryo or fetus more clearly….”

    Because the vaginal probe produces clearer images in early pregnancy, it will probably be required by the statute.

    Ratbastards didn’t want explicitly to require the vaginal technology because it embarrassed them and sounded too rapey so they fell back on ‘whatever it takes to see the widdle baybee as clearly as possible!’ Such nice guys. But of course women should NOT be told what that clear imagery shows, as Oklahoma also thinks doctors should be allowed to withhold information about fetal defects.

    Vile.

  2. Violet Socks says:

    Unfortunately, most coverage is reporting this as merely an “ultrasound” requirement. Which is ridiculous enough, but that’s not what this bill is about. This bill is about mandating that a woman undergo a vaginal ultrasound, which involves inserting a very large probe into her vagina. Rape.

    There is no reason for it, except to punish and terrify women.

    Frankly it appalls me that people covering this are so lazy or unconcerned or sexist or misogynist that they’re not pointing out that this is a goddamn rape bill.

  3. Jack Crow says:

    Arizona asks for “papers please.”

    Oklahoma returns to the days of the Inquisition, for women. Encoding fucking rape in the law, goddamnit.

    Barack Obama orders fiat executions.

    Israel maintains the apartheid state du jour.

    But Iran is the problem CNN wants you to worry.

  4. Gayle says:

    Holy shit.

    What can we do about this?

  5. Sandra S. says:

    Can we just rescue the women, burn OK to the ground, and salt the earth already?

  6. Adrienne in CA says:

    Oooook-la-homa where the probe comes sweepin’ ’round your vag

    And the fetal shape may show mistakes

    But the doc can keep those in the bag.

    Oooook-la-homa, ev’ry night my honey pot and I
    Sit alone and talk, but dare not f-ck cuz the penalty’s too great to try.

    We know we belong to the doods
    And we’ve gotta give birth or be prudes!

    And when we say–Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay!

    We’re only sayin’
    GET THAT DAMN THING OUTTA ME, Oklahoma!
    O.K.
    Please. Stop.
    That. Hurts.
    Help, Fire!
    Ok-la-hoooo-MA!

  7. Violet Socks says:

    I was wondering how you were going to rhyme “vag.”

  8. Adrienne in CA says:

    Well, first I googled “slang for vagina” to see if there was a better option, then wished I hadn’t seen the list.

    *****A

  9. Unree says:

    The New York Times omits the point.

  10. Jack Crow says:

    As heinous as object rape is (and I don’t want to detract from that), we should also note that this law also obligates a woman to possess papers, in order to exercise her rights to privacy.

    I see correlations with Arizona’s new “papers please” racist anti-immigrant law. White, corporate, patriarchal attempts to dominate the bodies of those who threaten their order of power, simply by existing.

  11. Alison says:

    I’m sorry but this makes me pissed at Democrats. Yes, Democrats! Do you know how many dem women I’ve spoken with about the need for FOCA and they just get all sleepy eyed and then start ranting about the Republicans? Yes, the Republicans are the terrorists here but the Democrats are holding their hand.

  12. anna says:

    And if anyone wants to say “Well if you want an abortion you’ll need to let doctors touch you anyway” let me point out that consenting to one medical procedure that requires vaginal access does not equal consenting to another, and also that RU-486 causes abortion of early pregnancies through pills you simply swallow without any vaginal procedure.

    Hopefully these laws will be declared unconstitutional. Anyone know of any challenges pending?

  13. anna says:

    In other news:

    The “Girls Protection Act” would make it a federal crime to transport a minor outside the United States for the purpose of female genital mutilation.

    Call your reps and senators and ask them to support it.

  14. gxm17 says:

    I’m with Alison @ 10. When is that asshat in the White House going to sign FOCA like he promised? The Democrats need to step up and support women’s reproductive rights instead of using them as a billy club to beat us into line. We wouldn’t be in this position if the party that claims to support our rights would stand up and fight for us.

  15. m Andrea says:

    I missed the bolded bit the first time I read it:

    Nebraska enacted laws barring the procedure at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the assertion fetuses can feel pain at that point and requiring women be screened before having abortions for mental health issues and other risk factors indicating if they might have problems afterward.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/27/oklahoma-abortion-law-following-senate-override-governors-veto/#discussion-form

  16. Violet Socks says:

    To reinforce what anna said in #12:

    1. Abortion itself does not always require vaginal access.
    2. Abortions that do involve vaginal access are frequently performed under full anesthesia.
    3. There is no reason — none — that getting an abortion should require that a woman undergo the completely unrelated procedure mandated by Oklahoma, which involves a doctor or technician inserting a large probe into the fully awake woman’s vagina while she is forced to watch a screen and listen to a narrative of what the probe shows. It’s medical object rape.

  17. Patti says:

    This is sick. This law must be overturned!

    Violet,

    2. Abortions that do involve vaginal access are frequently performed under full anesthesia.

    I’ve never heard of this before, at least not in first trimester abortions. It would not seem necessary and general anesthesia is always riskier than a local.

  18. Violet Socks says:

    Patti, I assure you it’s true.

  19. anna says:

    It’s not always strictly necessary for full anesthesia to be used for a first trimester abortion, but often women request it because they don’t want to feel any pain at all, they just want to wake up and have it over and done with. In particular, women who have been raped (and that’s why they’re getting an abortion) often don’t want to be touched.

  20. quixote says:

    We’re living in The Handmaid’s Tale.

    But people aren’t horrified. I don’t know what appalls me most. That we’re there, or that people don’t see it.

    I guess it’s the difference between being outside, looking in, and living it. Then we still knew which way was up. Now it’s just the way things are.

    (o_O)

  21. Big Fat Feminist says:

    and other risk factors indicating if they might have problems afterward.

    But not with raising a child. Only with having an abortion. After you’re forced to have the kid, fuck you. You’re on your own, you slut. Shouldn’t have gotten yourself knocked up, you know?

  22. Kiuku says:

    This is clearly a male sexual, misogynist -fantasy- that they are legislating, of punishing women. It’s not for information. They can withhold information. It’s for rape.

    I can’t tell you how many times I went to the doctors as a young woman and they woudl try to force this vaginal procedure on me, even when there was no good medical reason to do it. They would suspect appendicitus for instance and then they’d be like “well let’s do the vaginal thing just in case”. I’d tell them I was a virgin and they’d get visibly disappointed (They cant force the procedure on a virgin)

    So it is clear what the legilators want, and how men really like to perform this procedure. then on top of that you have the doctor describing hte fetus to the woman, in non-medically relavent terms (he can withhold information about defects etc)

    I mean it’s rape. It’s supposed to guilt trip a woman into changing her mind, or at the very least causing psychological distress to her.

    I liked the Onion article which made fun of these types of laws “Making a woman paint a nursery”

  23. Patti says:

    Thanks, anna, #19, that makes sense.

  24. Sameol says:

    Kiuku, that reminds me of being a kid and not knowing you’re allowed to refuse anything and getting two vaginal exams when I made it clear that I did not want them. Awful awful awful. I was a virgin and they wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept berating me to relax andthen made a point of telling me they noted on my chart that I was “very fearful.” None of them were medically necesary, and the second one I was sick of waiting around the ER and had gotten up and put my clothes on intending to leave when they came back and wouldn’t let me go. It just didn’t occur to me that they couldn’t tell me what to do, even when they wouldn’t allow me to go to the bathroom first. So weird that we’re taught to accept things like that.

  25. teresainpa says:

    BFF, that’s right, people do not talk about how hard it is to raise a child. We have to change that. But you are labeled an inhuman monster if you do not say that motherhood was all roses and chocolates.
    I am 53, my kids are grown and I am very willing to talk about how early motherhood negatively effected my life.

  26. teresainpa says:

    so women, what should we do? We can find something to do on line at least that paints this law in the ugly light in which it belongs.
    Why do they with hold information about defects? That alone should be against the law.

  27. Kiuku says:

    Teres:

    “Why do they with hold information about defects? That alone should be against the law.”

    that just shows that the medical procedure is being performed by the state, for the state, yet, I’m sure the woman pays for it.

    States and government should not have medical access to citizens. It should be illegal, but when it comes to women, and bebbies, somehow all reason goes out the window.

    Sameol,

    That is clearly illegal what they did to you. That sounds so sick, that they would make note of that in their report and tell you. It sounds less like a medically necessary procedure and more like an abuse of power to the psychological pleasure of the abuser who happens to have a medical degree. It seems they try to force procedures on young women more often. And medical doctors can be intimidating even to adults. If you’re in the hospital it can really seem like you are at their mercy. Adults have the right to refuse procedures. Children need adult intervention. If you are a virgin this procedure cannot be forced, and often does not yield superior data to regular ultrasound. It’s amazing that men see the need to protect virgniity and chastity but obviously not in regard to the psychological effect of the procedure on a woman.

    You should sue them.

  28. Kali says:

    It’s amazing that men see the need to protect virgniity and chastity but obviously not in regard to the psychological effect of the procedure on a woman.

    Wow. I didn’t realize until I read this sentence that the exemption for virgins was to protect *virginity*, not women. I kept wondering why they would have an exemption for virgins. Now I get it. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

  29. Kiuku says:

    I hate how you have to lay out your sexual history if you want exemption from a procedure it’s like “No I’m protecting my hymen for my futrue husband” instead of just “no thanks”, or “I don’t want you sticking a probe up my vagina because of the way you might think about it, because of the way my body is sexually commodified in the media, because I just don’t want you to.” The question fo a woman’s sexual status is always there. Then you’re a prude and immature. If one man has sexual access to you, then your body is no longer yours to determine, in many different ways to men, including medical procedures.

  30. Kiuku says:

    I don’t understand what information this is supposed to provide if the “Dr.” (Rapist) can withhold information about defects of the fetus. So other than telling the woman there is a fetus in her, what is the purpose. What does she need to be informed of with this procedure that they couldn’t do..without any procedure except the actual abortion? Can’t the Dr just do the same thing by waving a magic wand “you’ve got a fetus in you, I see the hand, oh looks like there is a preformed baby in you with a head looks kind of like a human being”

    I mean, seriously men?

    I’m sure all the legislators envisioned a white male doctor doing the probing and narrative to the woman too.

  31. Kiuku says:

    If I’m getting an abortion I just the baby out of me. I don’t want to hear its heart beat, because, obviously if I want it out of me, I don’t want to hear its heart beat, or hear a description of it. I can google it if I want a description of it. I know what it is if I’m getting an abortion. I just want it out. It has no rights inside my body. I do not have to hear its heart beat. I’m a woman. It’s my body. Men, get over it.

    There will always be abortion because women don’t always agree to pregnancy and birth, even if she wanted to get pregnant but changed her mind throughout. It’s a continuum because it’s her body.

    I apologize for the three posts. It’s infuriating.

  32. slythwolf says:

    I believe this is the first time a state has passed a law mandating rape as punishment for being pregnant.

    No no–as punishment for not wanting to be pregnant.

  33. blondie says:

    Without regard to the wording of this ridiculous act, how can any medical doctor ethically withhold information as important as potential birth defects from his patient?

  34. lambert strether says:

    MO: The Full Protection of Batterers Act.

  35. Adrienne in CA says:

    So is anyone compiling a list of these state-by-state outrages so people can begin to register the enormity of the assault? OK, UT, NB, MO, NY…stories I’ve read in just the last couple weeks. NOW is busy fighting to make the Global Gag Rule prohibition permanent and other groups are similarly fragmented, while here in our own country, it’s death by a thousand cuts!

    FOCA now!
    ERA now!
    SOMETHING here, now??

    *****A