March 20th, 2013

Recommended Reading #142: Responding to Discord, Pt. III

      “What We Are Missing in the Trans-vaginal Ultrasound Debate” by Tracy Weitz (Reproductive Rights, Health and Body, Public Policy) 3/1/13

I feel a lot of social conversation about abortion tends to be “more nuanced and not so easy to turn into sound bites” than what we have engaged in in the years since I’ve been an activist in the area. At the same time, I personally don’t think abortion should be a political issue at all (beyond being a part of health care in general and concomitant discussions of laws around overall health care provision, licensure to practice, etc.), so as I see it, ideally there would be no call for sound bites on the subject. I will say that while I wholly agree that “trans-vaginal ultrasounds are not medical rape,” I still feel very uncomfortable with legally mandated trans-vaginal ultrasounds when the legal mandate comes from people who are not qualified physicians and are not proposing the legal mandate with any interest toward improving health care. This does seem to me tantamount to a physical violation, and I respond to the idea viscerally as such. However, I appreciate this piece because 1) it discusses from a medical viewpoint the purpose of trans-vaginal ultrasounds and when they may seem helpful—I do find it relevant to recognize that they do not represent a unilaterally unnecessary or exploitative procedure; 2) the author points out other problematic supposed justifications for these (deplorable, as I see it) laws; 3) I agree with her that this kind of discussion seems less divisive and reactive than many on the issue and addresses considerations in a non-sound-bite-filled manner.


      “Birth Control & Obamacare: Religion Escalates Its War On Sex” by Dr. Marty Klein (Reproductive Rights, Public Policy, Religion) 2/2/13

While I read this as stated fairly harshly, I agree with much of it and the general sentiment. I especially find disturbing the degree of power some religious institutions seem to have in the political/governmental realm in this country. I too find it wholly inappropriate and indeed in some cases unconstitutional.


      “I Want A Ceasefire On The Mommy Wars” by Kate Fridkis (Non-Sex-Related, Sociology, Parenting, Gender, Media) 5/15/12

I appreciate the tone, approach, and offerings of this piece—recognizing that there is rarely a single “right” way to do things and that differing perspectives does not need to involve the word “war” seems of great value to me and an offering well-taken at this point in human evolution. In particular, what I may love most about this piece is summed up in its third- and fourth-to-final paragraphs.


Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

2 Responses “Recommended Reading #142: Responding to Discord, Pt. III”

  1. A fascinating collection of articles as always. Marty Klein is always so wise, and I loved this line in the “Mommy Wars” piece–“war is so often about money, isn’t it?” (Plus that kid on the cover cannot be three years old. Looks more like five to me, which is definitely extreme, and makes Time intentionally sensationist, although is that a surprise?) I also appreciated the additional complexities in “What We are Missing.” I still feel that an unwanted intrusion, whether an ultra-sound wand or a football player’s fingers, is a form of rape though!

  2. Emerald says:

    Yep, I agree with you on the rape perspective, Donna. I do see the relevance in recognizing that trans-vaginal ultrasounds are not in and of themselves a worthless procedure and may sometimes seem medically called-for, though. And actually, in a purely medical context, it occurs to me that even if someone doesn’t want the intrusion (like during a gynecologist exam, for example), I wouldn’t necessarily call it rape (though I definitely feel sensitivity can and should be used in that context—and I don’t at all argue with anyone who experiences it as rape. Only the person experiencing knows that). But in this case, again, when it’s legally mandated by non-medical professionals, it definitely appears that way to me.

    Thanks for commenting! It’s lovely to see you here. :) Xoxoxo

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