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Turning in her grave

My mother-in-law, a cradle Catholic who attended church every day of her adult life, would likely be as appalled as I am when reading about the legislators, in Virginia and now in Idaho, who would require ultrasounds for women considering abortion. Here's the description, from the S-R's Betsy Russell's story today, of what that might mean for some women:

In the very early stages of pregnancy, before eight weeks gestation, a regular abdominal ultrasound doesn’t provide a clear picture of the fetus, requiring instead a transvaginal ultrasound that includes penetration of the patient with an ultrasound wand. In Virginia, a female lawmaker called the original proposal “state-mandated rape,” according to the Associated Press.

My mother-in-law, who died in 2002 at age 94, told several stories over and over again in her later years. One she told with much anger. When she was in her late 30s or early 40s, she went in for what she thought was a routine, minor woman's procedure and came out of surgery without her uterus. The doctor had performed a hysterectomy without her permission.She never forgot it.

It's called "pelvic politics," people. It's an effort by men to control women's bodies. It was unacceptable in my mother-in-law's day, when men really did rule the roost -- and the operating room. And it should be unacceptable in 2012 when women are in charge many places.

Why aren't more women marching in the streets over this one? I'd like to think my mother-in-law would have been marching.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.