A lot of people are upset about the law recently passed by the Virginia legislature that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound before giving women an abortion. The law also requires that the doctor ask the women if she wants to see the image and then enforces a waiting period before the abortion can be done.
For liberals, this is harassment, anti-women, and so on. To someone on NPR yesterday, it is "state-mandated rape." At issue is that since many abortions are performed so early, the required ultrasound would have to be vaginal, obviously a potentially uncomfortable and humiliating situation.
There are all sorts of situations we can imagine in which this seems cruel. A woman who was raped. A woman who is not healthy enough to carry a pregnancy to term. It could feel like psychological torture to jump through these hoops. Perhaps exceptions for such circumstances could be written into the law.
And yet, these kinds of painful situations do not describe the vast majority of women seeking abortions. The average woman seeking an abortion is simply choosing, without duress, not to have a child that she could have. For this majority of women who are not in catastrophic or crisis circumstances, the state should not look with indifference on their choice.
It is a good thing if abortion procedures force women to feel that what they are undertaking is serious and difficult. It should not be easy to get an abortion. Yet for all the talk about how abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare," liberals seem to oppose nearly everything that might cause pregnant women to choose to keep their child. In fact, this Virginia law ought to be perfect. It doesn't diminish safety, it keeps abortion legal, and perhaps makes it a little more rare. Liberals should love it!
But of course they don't because a lot of their rhetoric is not in good faith. It is meant to soften the edges around the astonishing moral evil that is at the center of a women's right to choose. How do you reason your way to a place where you're more outraged by an uncomfortable medical procedure that takes an image of a fetus than by the subsequent procedure that terminates that fetus?