Health

Reporter Megan Carpentier Gets Transvaginal Ultrasound for Abortion Rights

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An intrepid reporter underwent an unnecessary medical procedure this week to help frame the public debate about abortion and state-mandated vaginal penetration.

Megan Carpentier, executive editor of the left-wing news site Raw Story and pictured at left, decided to demystify one of the central pillars of the GOP’s War on Women by volunteering to have a “completely unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound” and reporting on the entire experience, according to Yahoo! News.

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Here's the account in Ms. Carpentier's own words:

“You're not lying flat on your back to facilitate access to the upper reaches of your vagina; and you're being penetrated with a longer, rigid object than is used in a regular pelvic exam. In my case, as the technician explained after, my uterus is "high," or tilted toward my abdomen, so she had to tilt the wand accordingly—and because it was so uncomfortable, she halted the exam before fully exploring my Fallopian tubes or ovaries. If I had been pregnant (which I knew I was not), the exam might have lasted longer as she looked to rule out an ectopic pregnancy and locate the minuscule gestational sac.

It was not, however, like being raped, despite all the furor-generating headlines and "Doonesbury" cartoons that were printed. It was uncomfortable to the point of being painful, emotionally triggering (and undoubtedly is moreso for victims of rape or incest or any woman in the midst of an already-emotional experience) and something that no government should force its citizens to undergo to make a political point. But it wasn't like being raped—and using language like that not only minimizes rape for its survivors but makes them and other women more frightened of the procedure, which has significant and important medical uses.”

Back in January, the Republican state legislature of Virginia tried to pass a bill requiring women to undergo the invasive ultrasound procedure as a medically irrelevant prerequisite for obtaining a perfectly legal abortion. The bill was tabled indefinitely after the national backlash threatened to claim the political careers of many prominent Virginia conservatives.

You can see a video of Ms. Carpentier’s experience below: