Virginia Ultrasound Bill Back from Dead

Turns out I gave Virginia governor McDonnell too much credit after he rejected the VA ultrasound bill on the grounds the state should insert itself into medical decisions. He’s gone and flip-flopped as a slightly revised version of the bill passes through the VA Senate:

The 21 to 19 vote, mostly along party lines, came a week after Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) asked legislators to revise the bill following protests on Capitol Square and repeated mocking on national television. Lawmakers amended the original bill, which mandated that women undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, a procedure that requires a probe be inserted into the vagina.

The bill will head back to the Republican-led House of Delegates, which already voted for similar measures this year and is widely expected to do so again. McDonnell, who signed legislation last year that imposed new regulations on clinics that perform abortions, told reporters that he will review the legislation but supports the concept.

“I think women have the right to know all of the medical information before they make a very important choice,” McDonnell said.

This is nonsense. Women know fully well what an abortion is and what it means. And it’s not the state’s job to legislate what medical information is relevant to the patient. That is a physicians job and there is no legitimate medical reason to perform the maneuvers the state is legislating. The state is legislating unnecessary, and therefore unethical and unlawful medical procedures. This is also from the state that brought us Buck V. Bell, so I guess they’ll never learn.

It’s a very simple ethical issue. The state has no business dictating medical practice. Worse, dictating physicians perform an unnecessary and invasive procedure is the state legislating unethical medical conduct. No physician should comply with this law, as I believe that forcing doctors to practice unethical medicine is unconstitutional.

Via Laden at ftb

Rick Santorum: usually wrong, never in doubt

There is a joke expression about surgeons, “sometimes wrong, never in doubt.” Depending on how you feel about surgeons I’ve heard it begin “sometimes right” and “even when wrong.” Applied to Rick Santorum, I think it has to be “usually wrong” if not “always wrong” given the serious of ridiculous distortions, lies, and made up statistics in the last week.

Starting with his claim that 62% of people that go to college religious graduate without their faith. It seems plausible. College expands peoples experiences and exposes them to new ideas, and such experiences are not going to always mesh with fundamentalist writings of long dead priests. Well, while counterintuitive it actually turns out to be the opposite case. Those who do not attend college may be at higher risk of losing their religion.

“There is no statistical difference in the dropout rate among those who attended college and those that did not attend college,” said Thom Rainer, president of the Southern Baptists’ LifeWay Christian Resources research firm. “Going to college doesn’t make you a religious dropout.”

A 2007 LifeWay survey did find seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23.

The real causes: lack of “a robust faith,” strongly committed parents and an essential church connection, Rainer said.

“Higher education is not the villain,” said Catholic University sociologist William D’Antonio. Since 1986, D’Antonio’s surveys of American Catholics have asked about Mass attendance, the importance of religion in people’s lives and whether they have considered leaving Catholicism.

The percentage of Catholics who scored low on all three points hovers between 18 percent in 1993 and 14 percent in 2011. But the percentage of people who are highly committed fell from 27 percent to 19 percent.

“Blame mortality,” D’Antonio said, “The most highly committed Catholics are seniors, and they’re dying out.”

Do colleges indoctrinate the young to turn on their parents and reject religion? Salon argues they do a little bit, but the indoctrination that tends to be found on college campuses is on pretty universally accepted issues like rejecting racism and homophobia, both of which a majority of Americans now believe are repellent. But to politicians like Santorum, teaching tolerance is a major drawback to college attendance. The claim that colleges engage in indoctrination against religion is bogus, however, unless one is referring to religious beliefs in discrimination against other races and homosexuals.

If anything the opposite is the case as studies have shown higher rates of religious “drop out” among the less-educated. Politifact also challenges his statement that Obama wants everyone to go to college cause he’s a snob.

And how about all his other wacky claims? That prenatal screening causes abortion? Or that JFK believed religious people shouldn’t serve in government?
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