Papa Was A Forensic Vaginal Inspector

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I'm not sure how many Hit and Run readers have seen this already—it's ranked #4 on the newspaper's website—but Jack Hitt has a scary, "why-didn't-I-know-about-this" report on El Salvador in The New York Times. The Central American country has no legal abortion, under any circumstances, and a brass-knuckled legal system that investigates abortions that slip under the wire. The USA's abortion debate sort of sputters out when pro-lifers ponder whether to punish women for their behavior. Not so in El Salvador.

In the event that the woman's illegal abortion went badly and the doctors have to perform a hysterectomy, then the uterus is sent to the Forensic Institute, where the government's doctors analyze it and retain custody of her uterus as evidence against her.

Hitt doesn't make any points about the USA's own pro-life warriors. That's what Hit and Run's for.

NEXT: "What You're Reading Is Wild Speculation"

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  1. I would imagine that for pro-lifers, the line between respect of individual liberty and prevention of murder would come with mandatory regular uterine inspections. Using a removed uterus as evidence doesn’t cross that line.

  2. At least this is better than the people who want to “sen[d the uterous] to the Forensic Institute, where the government’s doctors analyze it and retain custody of her uterus as evidence against her” regardless of whether a hysterectomy was performed or not.

  3. As I read the article I kept imagining the more rabid US anti-choicers taking copious notes. It’s the logical extension of the South Dakota position.

  4. what sort of qualifications does one need to become a forensic vaginal inspector? I have a B.Sc. in biology and I’ve got a fair amount of experience in nudie bars.

  5. Those Faribundo Marti guys suddenly don’t seem so bad .. and they’re COMMIES!

  6. Perhaps all American women should be required to pee in a cup once a month from the time we hit puberty to the time we reach menopause. That way, the state would know immediately when a woman is pregnant. The government can then put her under house arrest for nine months, you know, just in case.

  7. Erika, I like the way you think.

  8. For a look at what could happen if US banners won control of Congress (or a stronger majority than currently held) and pushed to ban abortion, read pages 300 (after the *****) to 311 (up to the ******) of Hope by Aaron Zelman & L. Neil Smith. The section also includes the best libertarian response to both “pro-life” & “pro-choice” camps of the non-debate that I’ve heard argued.

  9. Yeah, just like we had vaginal inspectors when abortion was illegal in the US before 1973.

  10. crimethink:

    Oh, right, which is why women were so eager to advertise their abortions to authorities prior to 1973. No vaginal inspectors! It’s inconceivable that we’ll have vaginal inspectors in the post-nanny-state world. So, um, how are those $10,001 dollar deposits to your bank account working out for you in your attempt to deal drugs anonymously?

  11. The most notable part of that story, I think, was that they do not operate on women with eptopic pregnancies until after the fetus has died or the tube has ruptured. Presumably the same is true for pregnant women with cancer, or eclampsia–they have to wait, as the fetus’ life comes first. I don’t think that could happen in the U.S., but if it does, expect a number of educated women to sterilize (the article stated that the most common form of birth control in El Salvador is sterilization). I know I would. At 40, I don’t intend more children, but I am unwilling to risk my life in case I’m raped or our birth control fails.

  12. The most notable part of that story, I think, was that they do not operate on women with eptopic pregnancies until after the fetus has died or the tube has ruptured. Presumably the same is true for pregnant women with cancer, or eclampsia–they have to wait, as the fetus’ life comes first. I don’t think that could happen in the U.S., but if it does, expect a number of educated women to sterilize (the article stated that the most common form of birth control in El Salvador is sterilization). I know I would. At 40, I don’t intend more children, but I am unwilling to risk my life in case I’m raped or our birth control fails.

  13. Up against the wall and spread em, Ma’am. This is the FBI*.

    *Female Body Inspector.

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