Kathy Stein highlights the exceptionally sadistic nature of Kentucky’s ultrasound bill

Kentucky’s state Senate once again took up their perennial ultrasound bill, which forces a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound while her doctor is legally required to describe what it looks like to her. The reasoning, one might assume, is because they think women have such tiny brains that they don’t understand simple matters of human biology. Or, perhaps these politicians enjoy shaming non-virgins and sacrificing their privacy to the Gods of the anti-choice political lobby. Or, they believe if the process is made as difficult as humanly possible for women (along with the assholes allowed to berate the women as the walk in), they will forgo their constitutionally protected legal right and carry their pregnancy to term against their wishes.

Nevertheless, SB 5 — along with SB 4, the 24-hour in-person waiting period which makes women in rural parts of Kentucky lose two days of work to pay for the roughly $600 procedure — passed easily through its Senate committee yesterday, and through the full Senate this morning.

But this year’s journey through the Senate was a little different, as several states traveled a rocky road towards passing their own ultrasound bills last year. One of those states was Virginia, whose bill mandated that women seeking an abortion early in her term receive a transvaginal ultrasound, which includes a 10-inch wand being inserted into her vagina… whether she wants it or not.

After a huge backlash, the mandatory transvaginal provision was dropped in Virginia, and the bill ultimately passed. It also had an exemption for women who were impregnated by their rapist.

But Kentucky? No, the Senate bill does not prohibit mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, and it does not exempt rape victims.

So what does that mean? Yes, if a woman is raped and impregnated and wants to have an abortion in the first trimester (up to 14 weeks), this bill would have the government mandate that she have a 10-inch wand inserted in her vagina against her will, while she is forced to listen to her doctor describe what her rapist’s baby looks like.

But as Republicans will tell you, that’s only because they care so much about those women, and just want them to be fully informed.

But Sen. Kathy Stein — leader of the “Don’t Rape Women Twice” Senate caucus, along with Louisville’s Perry Clark, Denise Harper-Angel and young pup Morgan McGarvey — wasn’t about to let this bill pass without the other senators knowing exactly what they were voting for.

We can’t share the video on here — as KET’s web videos are made of technology from the late-90′s — but go here to see the video of Stein questioning bill sponsor Sen. Paul Hornback, from 10:22 to 22:40.

In her questioning, she gets Hornback to fully admit that there is no rape exemption in his bill, and that most abortions will require a doctor to use a transvaginal ultrasound, as 90 percent of abortions are in the first 14 weeks.

Hornback later attempted to backtrack, saying that not every abortion required the Kentucky Wand of Small Government Liberty, but 10 percent certainly ain’t much. Hornback also mentioned how the 24-hour waiting period is no big deal, because that is also required for men who want a vasectomy.

Stein was delighted to hear Hornback mentioned this, and added a follow up question:

“But are they forced to have a rectal exam?” asked Stein. “Which certainly goes along with male anatomy to determine whether or not the male genatalia, whether there are any issues there.”

Hornback gulped and answered in the negative.

“Well obviously that’s very invasive,” Stein countered. “And women have another area to invade, and that’s what I believe this bill does. I know it will pass, but I wanted to alert the committee and folks that things have changed since we first started this.”

But what hasn’t changed? Conservative men of both parties in Kentucky’s state Senate having no respect for the intelligence, privacy and rights of women.

Now onto the House Health and Welfare Committee, where the companion bill is placed and where Rep. Tom Burch will hopefully “shut that whole thing down,” as he has in past years.


  1. Monica
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    The cost of the Transvaginal Ultrasound: who pays for this part of the requirement?

    Looks like a double hit there. Besides having that mandatory ultrasound, adding the cost onto that of an abortion would make it prohibitive for some.

    (And don’t you think the sponsors haven’t though of that.)

  2. Melissa
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    So now, a woman seeking an abortion has to pay for the abortion itself, the doctors visit beforehand, the unnecessary and painful TVU – and if she doesn’t live in Louisville or Lexington, the cost of either driving to the city twice or a hotel AND missing two days of work besides.

    The fight against abortion has NEVER affected wealthy women – in the 50s, when a rich girl got “in trouble”, she could have a little European Vacation and the trouble would miraculously be gone when she got back. This, and the other restrictions, is another way to keep poor and middle class women from being able to exercise the rights that rich girls have always been able to access.

  3. CoolerKing
    Posted February 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I read a related post on Bluegrass Politics, and was appalled by this:


    “Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine, R-Southgate, said the bill shows respect to women by trying to provide them with all the medical facts involved in an abortion.”

    How very respectful! Hey, let’s allow PETA to write a bill requiring that before eating any meat, Kentuckians will be forced to view a video of animals being slaughtered. Y’know, just so they have all the facts. It would show respect to the people of Kentucky!

    Ms Stine, do you see how stupid that sounds?

  4. Julie Bucknam
    Posted February 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    This is shameful! Kentucky women, let’s stay awake and get these assholes voted out of office. We are not living in the dark ages. Women deserve better treatment than this. You can be assured that if men were the chosen gender for child birth, there would be abortion clinics in every Wal Mart. Having an ultrasound is one thing. Having a government wand stuck up your cootch against your will is sick, sick, sick! Shame on you public servants for supporting the wealthy GOP and their backers rather than the citizens of Kentucky. We’ll remember when we go to the polls.

  5. H
    Posted February 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see what the big deal is with the ultrasound. Seriously. Any woman who is pregnant, no matter how that child is conceived, has this ultrasound. To say its invasive or anything of the like shows ignorance to begin with.
    Plenty of women when going in for an abortion are rationalizing it from the beginning, saying that its “just a blob of tissue” mainly because they don’t know any better.
    I think the ultrasound SHOULD be mandatory before having an abortion, who knows how many unborn children this could save. And slate me the argument of a woman carrying he rapist child. That happens so infrequently that I don’t think it’s fair at all that its part of a civilized discussion. Doesn’t matter how the child is conceived, they still deserve a chance at life.

  6. Dr. Smelly
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    H, you’re an ignorant hick. The difference between your run of the mill ultrasound that all pregnant women get and a transvaginal ultrasound is a 10 inch wand being inserted in the vagina. Standard ultrasounds are external only.

  7. Ae LaWe
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink


    I’m going to take a wild guess and assume you’re a guy, because no women I’ve met
    a) believes an abortion is no big deal because it’s a “blob of tissue”,
    b) would blindly lunge into a medical procedure (from “not knowing any better”), or
    c) believes that despite the huge number of women raped every year just in the States, pregnancy by rape is “infrequent”. 3 204 in 2004-2005, and that’s not counting the ones under 12 who got pregnant. Under 12. Think about that. Would you actually force a traumatized sixth-grader to choose between giving birth to her rapist’s fetus or going through the 10-Inch Government Wand exam as a doctor describes her rapist’s fetus to her? Because I’m pretty sure that crosses the line from “moral objection” to “psychopathic fanaticism”.

    As a guy, I would find it wildly unethical for me to require a mercilessly cruel treatment be imposed on people in a horrific situation that I personally run no risk of ever going through.

    Source: http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

  8. A.F. Lochner
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Sententious, sanctimonious preaching never quite seems to go away. I’ll point out two things before my character and these remarks are vigorously derided by the nasty brutish & short.

    1) An argument falls into special pleading when accusing one side (men) of not respecting the intelligence of women when the same line of argumentation includes the tenet ‘men can’t and don’t understand,’ which quite simply is an affront to the intelligence of men. Neither side is wholly right, but the above is a few steps too far.

    2) The complaint about TVUs is their invasive nature. By definition abortions are invasive in this case. This isn’t a justification, it’s just an inconsistency. The bill aims at catching the minority who may be uninformed, or more led by what Lifton would call “middle knowledge.” It’s a sweeping measure, and that’s where it can be criticized; it is fallacious to make the case against it which this virulent post does.

    In sum total, this post may as well have been typed with Caps Lock. The message isn’t wholly wrong, especially at the beginning, but it trailed away into half-baked, tired slurs by its close.

    Feel free to validate my concerns with this approach by attacking my person, or alternatively, let a calm voice be heard in the impassioned crowd

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6 Trackbacks

  1. By A great day for women in Kentucky – FatLip on February 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    [...] ago, SB 4 (24-hour in person “informed consent” before an abortion) and SB 5 (the sadistic transvaginal ultrasound bill with no exemption for rape) failed by a straight party line 7-8 vote in the House Health and Welfare Committee, stopping the [...]

  2. [...] Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over…. [...]

  3. [...] Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over…. [...]

  4. [...] Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over…. [...]

  5. By I wear my skirts short and my shirts low on March 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    [...] Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over…. [...]

  6. [...] Rape culture is when politicians don’t understand how requiring a transvaginal ultrasound of a rape victim seeking an abortion is like raping her all over…. [...]