Women’s health decisions made by men

Daniel Perret-Goluboff

Do you know why I’m pro-choice? Because I’m not a woman. Let me get my viewpoint out on the table from the outset here: If you are male, you do not have the right to be pro-life.

Given that men will never experience the respective blessings and miseries of a pregnancy, it follows that it isn’t our place to tell women how and why they can or cannot deal with these issues.

Admittedly, I respect the fact that we as Americans live in a democratic society and accordingly have the power to shape our laws and governing culture in the manner that the majority sees fit.

I do find it ridiculous, however, that the subset of issues stemming from abortion and contraception is still one that seems to constantly be decided at the hands of men.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is poised to sign into law — pending a vote to take place this week — a bill that would require female residents of Old Dominion to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion. If this bill is adopted, Virginia will become the eighth state in our nation to pass this prerequisite into law.

At first inquiry, it might seem as though requiring women to complete an ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy is a harmless addendum to the state abortion legislature, but this is simply not the case.

Requiring these women to undergo this procedure is nothing more than a scare tactic — and a rather transparent one at that — at the hands of the pro-life movement in our country. Think about it logically: Nothing stands to be gained by women who have already decided to abort by completing the ultrasound.

It serves only as a hurdle of embarrassment and tedious hoop-jumping for those who have already made up their minds. The rationalization from the pro-life movements in the states who have already passed this bill is that they hoped these measures would merely sway women considering abortion to reconsider all of their options.

It doesn’t take a great deal of analytic thought to see through this façade. Whether the woman in question had not yet made her decision to terminate her pregnancy or not, it is not the place of any individual or government to force unwanted medical procedures upon that person.

What’s more, the Virginia bill would most likely require that the ultrasounds these women would be forced to undergo would be vaginal rather than abdominal. Delegate Charniele L. Herring, a Democrat from Virginia, referred to this part of the bill as essentially “state-sponsored rape.”

I do not want to question our nation’s legislative system more than necessary, but even those on our campus who do hold pro-life views must see the flaw in having the final review of this bill being completed by a male governor.

As if the situation wasn’t already problematic enough, Governor McDonnell is considered a prime candidate for a Vice Presidential nomination on the republican ticket.

What’s worse than a man making a decision for the countless women who share a state with him? A man making that decision based on how the public will react to his decision, and not on what is truly right or best for his constituents.