Letter to the editor from another Women's Studies type

Letter to the editor of The State, Mon, Apr. 02, 2007

Regarding the latest punitive monitoring of women in South Carolina, proposed mandatory ultrasounds for girls and women preparing to legally terminate a pregnancy, it is important to remember the following: Women have already examined their own hearts, minds, souls and total life circumstances before they decide to terminate a pregnancy or not. The S.C. Legislature, however, is only concerned with the contents of women's uteruses.

The cynical harassment of girls and women in South Carolina seeking to negotiate their reproductive decisions is now matched with this lurid, voyeuristic requirement to leer at women's insides. It is an astonishing violation of citizens' bodily integrity befitting a Big Brother-style government.

Remember that this same Legislature failed to use the historic tobacco settlement funds for public health, has not adequately raised cigarette taxes to help fund poor children's health care, does not fully fund Head Start or day care for poor families, leaves impoverished many of our schools in the K-12 system and does not protect our physical environment. It does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets, provide enough state troopers to keep our highways safe or provide enough money to ensure that domestic violence survivors, their children, and even possible fetuses, are not turned away from a safe harbor because the shelters are already full to capacity.

It is important to remember, in addition, that we all will pay for this violation of our privacy rights and diminution of human dignity.


Professor, Department of Political Science
Associate Director, Women's Studies Program
University of South Carolina

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