Vaginal ultrasounds compared to rape

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Vaginal ultrasounds compared to rape
Fri, 04-27-2012 - 2:39pm

Did you hear about the Doonsbury cartoon that compared the vaginal ultrasound woman have to undergo before having an abortion to rape? Most newspapers decided not to run it but you can read about it here:

What do you think? Do you think comparing these types of ultrasounds to rape is going too far? Or do you agree that they are similar in nature?


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Fri, 04-27-2012 - 3:42pm
In general, I think, not really. But to be forced to have an invasive procedure for no medical reason does seem to be a violation.

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Registered: 06-03-2007
Re: Vaginal ultrasounds compared to rape
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 3:09pm

I suppose I would not, myself call it rape, but I would absolutely call it assault to perform an unwanted vaginal procedure. And regardless of which term I prefer myself I think it's a lousy idea to require it. 


I tussled with this a few months ago when I had an older minor who had engaged in consensual statutory rape (read it slowly - I mean that she voluntarily had intercourse with someone who was 1 month too old for it to be legal) and her guardian was trying to insist we do a full rape kit.  I consider that this would be assaulting the minor, do to a full spec exam and swabbing.  She has the right to decline that.  I think that's probably more invasive than the transvaginal ultrasound would be, larger diameter and more passes in and out. 


Back on topic, I do, however, think that it is medically important to be sure the gestation is inside the uterus.  A transvaginal should not be necessary for this - transabdominal should be fine - but if you think you are terminating a normal intrauterine pregnancy and send a woman home with unknown ectopic, that is a very bad thing.