As Virginia’s legislative Republican moralists continue to look for ways to control women’s bodies, their Republican governor – who wants more than anything to be vice president – has slipped them a curve ball.

After foursquare promising to sign their garbage masquerading as legislation – requiring women considering an abortion to submit themselves and their privates for invasive exams requiring electronic probing – Bob McDonnell backed water. Seems the national outcry from people still in possession of common sense looked like it would threaten his chances for political advancement. With finger boldly placed in the political winds, he found those winds head-on instead of at his back. Nothing changes a political climbers mind quicker.

Now, he’s the one doing the “inserting” as he tries to put toothpaste back in the legislative tube. He redlined what had been passed and now small minds are trying to accomplish their twisted ends by writing a bill that comes as close as possible to the original purpose without going over some imaginary moralistic line.

The latest effort would require – yes, Virginia – require women to submit to an ultrasound. If gestational age could not be determined that way, they would be offered – yes, offered – the probe. But the offer could be declined

Produced by Virginia Republicans pledged to smaller government, less interference by that “smaller” government” and more personal freedoms, what they’re still trying to do violates all that and likely the personal protection of women who are thinking of an abortion. If enacted into law, their handiwork would require immediate growth of government to assure compliance, more interference by putting the state between women and their physicians and less personal freedom because she’ll have to contend with government’s necessary inspection of her uterus. Inside or out.

Should any of this become law, in my humble backwoods opinion, the right-wing will likely see the courts destroy this latest attempt to legislate morality. None of this crap is because most women or most thinking physicians want it. But because the State of Virginia Republican Party wants it. The purpose is to shame a woman considering an abortion from opting to do so.

From here in the Oregon wilderness, I’ve been doing a little web surfing. Not that I have a legal background, I assure you. But I have a curious mind and a deep personal love of independence. “Rendering unto Caesar” when necessary and unto others of my choosing when I want to.

Consider the following generally – and legally – accepted wording which describes assault and battery: Two separate offenses against the person that when used in one expression may be defined as unlawful and the unpermitted touching of another. Assault is an act that creates apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another. The main distinction between the two offenses is the existence or nonexistence of a touching or contact. While contact is an essential element of battery, there must be an absence of contact to include battery. Assault and battery are offenses in both criminal and tort law; therefore they can give rise to criminal or civil liability.

Well, now. You’ve read what I’ve read. Can’t speak for you but I’d wager, if a Virginia woman’s body were “touched” or “contacted” under this widely used definition of assault and battery – touched or threatened to touch over her objections – some hungry attorney might see reason to pursue the matter against the State of Virginia. At least, I’d hope so.

The fact is this country has many, many urgent issues which need our brightest minds and best efforts and which should be getting our utmost attention. I’ve thoroughly examined the list top to bottom and can’t find the probing of a woman’s uterus among them. Except the list from Virginia.

I believe – because I have to – that these and other phony efforts to determine a national morality will be quashed – either by significant public outrage or the courts. Or both. Unwarranted and self-serving attacks on any of us are damaging to all of us.

This time, they’re after reproductive systems – which usually means women. But only partly. As a man, my family planning and rights of bodily protection are on the chopping block as well. Who knows what the Hell they’ll come after next time?

Well, there you are. Two consecutive columns with the same subject matter. But I hope you’ll pardon me. It’s just the when I think of the root word for “Virginia” it all seems even more ridiculous.

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