'SNL' Helps Take Down Invasive Ultrasound Requirement

After a multimedia outcry that included a bit on “Saturday Night Live,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell withdrew support from a bill that would require women getting an abortion to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound beforehand. And yes, that’s every bit as unpleasant and invasive as it sounds.

Unfortunately, the issue that tanked the proposal — that requiring the procedure would amount to state sanctioned rape — will not prevent lawmakers from ordering abdominal (external) ultrasounds for women seeking abortions if the legislators decide it’s appropriate.

Some chalk up the surge in the bill’s unpopularity to the number of times the word “transvaginal” appeared in a number of pop culture outlets recently, saying that mentions on “The Daily Show,” “The View” and NBC’s Saturday night sketch show contributed to the swell of popular outrage. –ARK


According to Critical Mention, a media monitoring service, there have been 186 mentions of a variant on the word “transvaginal” this year so far — with 132 of them in the last seven days. (There were 95 mentions in all of 2011, and we’re barely two months into 2012.) Amy Poehler returned to “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update to use “transvaginal” as a punch line and snarl, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Last night, Jon Stewart turned “transvaginal ultrasound” into a song for a “Punanny State” segment. On “The View,” Joy Behar called the law “so frickin’ intrusive to a woman’s body” and compared it to the Taliban.

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