Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell caved on his support for the S.B. 484 ultrasound bill and even used the language of the lefties like "invasive" and "consent" (see my debunking of the ultrasound-is-rape-charge here) to defend his reversal:
Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.This statement just opens him up to so many attacks, from all sides. First, is he admitting that he hadn't already looked at the current proposal that he had previously stated support for?? Good job, gov'na!
Second, his words dangerously echo the liberal idea that ANY law pertaining to abortion isn't the "proper role for the state" and puts the state between a woman and her abortionist. This is a slippery slope - leading to the question of what IS the proper role of the state in terms of mandating informed consent on abortion. Obviously pro-choicers would say there is none and McDonnell's words must hearten them; they will be sure to throw them back in his face should the subject come up again. It will be difficult for him to defend Virginia's informed consent 2001 statute that he helped pass as a delegate (and which he cited in his decision) in light of his new view of the "proper" role of the state.
Third, he acts as if abortion is just "another medical procedure" - like pro-aborts who compare it to removing tonsils, a mole or a tumor. Abortion is not just "another medical procedure," it stops a beating heart and ends a life, there are unique and compelling interests that the state - and all people of good conscience - have regarding it.
Where Do We Go From Here
The most frustrating thing is that, once again, hysterically unsupportable lies won the day and pro-lifers like me who fought to spread the truth were betrayed, just like with Komen. THIS. MUST. END. NOW. The question is, how do we regroup, learn, and counter the next culture war ambush?
Apparently hysteria like MILLIONS OF POOR MINORITY WOMEN WILL DIE OF BREAST CANCER IN THE STREETS!!!!11! and REPUBLICANS WANT TO BAN BIRTH CONTROL!!!!11!! and VIRGINIA WANTS TO RAPE WOMEN!!!11! has been affective for radical lefties. So do we need to be more reactive and hysterical, thinking of the most extreme, ridiculous sound bytes and scream them from the top of our lungs like the left does? This is difficult for many on the right to do but I do admit to occasionally enjoy the indulgence of fighting fire with fire.
Perhaps along with a little bomb throwing, we need to work on our coordination and anticipation skills. In hindsight, this kerfuffle was entirely predictable and pro-lifers should have been prepared for it. Even if we were caught flatfooted, we should have begun hitting back hard last week and providing cover for the VA GOP immediately. All the pro-life groups and activists should have coordinated and begun a PR strategy to address the media and a campaign to write to VA state reps to encourage their support and defense of the bill as soon as it happened. Instead - maybe because we thought the rape charges were too ridiculous to be taken seriously - we let it languish, which allowed the lie to fester and spread. It became a part of the national conversation and local politicians got scared.
Bottom line: we need to get better at this - ALL of us on the right side of the political spectrum do - especially if we want a chance at defeating Obama.
Incompetence and Confusion Abound
(Added 2/23/12) Reading this Washington Post article, "McDonnell, Virginia Republicans back off mandatory invasive ultrasounds," it is shocking how none of the major players knew what was going on or what the bill would entail - from the pro-abortion lobby, to the GOP representatives who sponsored it, to the Governor who said he'd sign it. Check out the key words I've bolded:
Confusion over the legislation and ultrasounds — and considerable national media attention — preceded the unraveling of the bill. The original measure stated, simply, that a woman needed an ultrasound before an abortion. Many lawmakers did not understand that at the young fetal age abortions usually occur, the invasive vaginal ultrasound would be needed to establish gestational age, as required by the bill.Unbelievable! I can't believe the incompetence and confusion from the representatives who sponsored the bill and the governor who had been outspoken in his support of it. Shame on them for not researching the issue so they would be prepared for the lying attacks and could counter them, shame on me for assuming they had already done basic research before getting behind an issue! I suppose I can take some comfort in the fact that the pro-abortion lobby didn't know either and only discovered the trans-vaginal angle about a month ago. It just sucks when the people who are supposed to represent our side do such a horrible job and make us all look bad by association.
Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester), who introduced the measure, said she did not realize that the ultrasound would not be external, and she said she still was not certain that would be required under the legislation. But she said she would move to strike her bill because of that uncertainty.
“I had no concept about this other issue,’’ she said. “It didn’t come up in the committee, it didn’t come up in the subcommittee. I’m still not sure if it’s right or not right.”
McDonnell’s announcement came a day after legislators and governor’s staff members, including Chief of Staff Martin Kent and Secretary of Health Bill Hazel, huddled in his office Tuesday night to hash out a compromise after learning that some ultrasounds could be more invasive than first thought.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said that after years of lobbying legislators on similar bills, she didn’t know the ultrasound would be a vaginal one until a colleague at the National Women’s Law Center informed her the first week of the session.
This delegate sums up my feelings on this episode of betrayal, and kudos to him for chastising his fellow turncoat Republicans:
“Instead of confronting the misinformation that’s going on here, some Republicans want to back away from this,’’ said Marshall (R-Prince William). “Instead of confronting the public with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, we — the descendants of those who fought the British empire — are sounding the call for retreat.”
UPDATE 3/7/12: McDonnell signs a modified ultrasound bill.
If Ultrasounds are Rape, Abortionists Have Been Raping Women for Years!
No, Planned Parenthood, Birth Control is NOT "Basic Health Care"
Debunking the Myth that 99% of Women Are Using Birth Control
Controlling the Birth Control Debate
Susan G. Komen for the