06 March 2012

Legal Lone Star Rape

Three weeks ago, the State of Texas made rape legal.

Actually, the Lone Star State went even further than that.  It made rape mandatory in certain situations.

Now, some people would accuse me of exaggerating, being alarmist or making an incendiary statement.  (Folks in the academic world like to use that last phrase when someone says something they don't agree with, or that simply has some passion to it.)  However, with strong support from Governor Rick Perry, some women in Texas must submit to what many of them--and I--would see as rape.

Under the new law, a woman who wants an abortion in that state must endure having an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina.  Never mind that the woman who wants the abortion may have become pregnant as a result of a rape or incest.  She has to submit to that invasion of her private self all over again if she doesn't want to bear a forced progeny.

Then she has to listen to the audio thumping of the foetal heartbeat and watch the foetus on an ultrasound screen.  After that, she has to listen as a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the foetus as they're shown on the monitor.  She has to sign a document, which will be placed in her medical files,  saying that she understands all of this.  

After all of that, she has to wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion.

If it isn't bad enough that Texas now has such legislation, Alabama, Kentucky,Mississippi and Rhode Island are also considering similar legislation.  
Now, you might be wondering why I or any other  trans person should care about this, as we won't get preganant.

Well, for one thing, I am a woman and am therefore concerned with any state violation of our selves.  If someone disrespects women enough to impose such regulations, I should be as concerned as any other woman.  Plus, if they actually think that women can be treated in such a way, I can only imagine how they'd see trans women. 

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how,under Swedish law, if you want to undergo gender reassignment surgery, you have to be sterilized first.  (That is only one of the draconian requirements Sweden has for people who are "changing" sexes.) If such policies can exist in a country like Sweden, it's not a stretch to imagine something like it, or worse, in Texas or any of the states that are considering Texas-style state-sanctioned rape.

Moreover, I wouldn't have a difficult time imagining those states, or others, making it more difficult for even post-op transsexuals to get the care we need without submitting to invasive procedures.  In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised if, in the near future, those who want the surgery are subjected to even more invasions of their privacy and personhood than they now face.

Although I may have become more "liberal" about some issues, I still don't trust any government with my body or mind.  If anything, that distrust has intensified, now that I understand--at least better than I did before--how much more governments can invade our persons.

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