John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute writes about the controversial Virginia bill requiring transvaginal ultrasound as a prerequisite to obtaining an abortion:
… The issue, however, is not even whether or not a transvaginal ultrasound is widely used or is medically necessary in order for a doctor to carry out an early-stage abortion. The point is that requiring doctors to carry out such invasive probes on a woman without her consent, thereby intruding upon the physician-patient relationship and reducing doctors to agents of the state, violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against searches by government agents. Frankly, no medical actor, doctor or otherwise, should be coerced by the state into probing a woman’s body. By mandating that doctors carry out such invasive probes on a woman without her consent, the bill’s sponsors trade one misdeed (abortion) for another (violating a woman’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from searches by government agents).
If the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution stands for one thing, it is the right to privacy and bodily integrity. As the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, “The overriding function of the Fourth Amendment is to protect personal privacy and dignity against unwarranted intrusion by the State.” In order to violate an individual’s right to bodily integrity, the state has to show probable cause—that is, the state must have some evidence that the person who is subject to government scrutiny is engaged in criminal activity. Unless the Supreme Court declares otherwise, the fact remains that in getting an abortion, an individual is not engaging in criminal activity but in lawful activity in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration in Roe v. Wade that abortion is a constitutional right.
Read more on NJToday.net.
Where are the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists? They should be in the forefront of fighting this bill. Indeed, in my opinion, their members should be flat-out refusing to perform procedures that their providers do not find medically necessary and to which a patient has not consented.
This bill and situation goes to the heart of doctor-patient trust and confidentiality and health care that is patient-focused. It’s time for medical professionals to fight the politics and fight for patient rights as forcefully as they fight for guild issues.
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