As Republican-led states take on anti-abortion legislation, women frustrated with the laws are voicing their anger in a very public way: on their governors’ Facebook pages. Some comments are earnest, but many seize on the notion that the measures suggest men know what’s best for women’s health.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a mandatory ultrasound law this month that is proving unpopular even after some of its more extreme provisions were removed. McDonnell is probably getting a good sense of that unpopularity from his Facebook wall, where women are taking issue with his supposed expert knowledge of women’s health.
One woman wrote:
Dear Doctor Governor-I have an issue with my vagina. I’m having a terrible flow and cramping. This happens every month. I’m not sure if it is related to the lack of an ultrasound or the lack of a pill (I know one is mandated but my poor addled lady brain can’t wrap my head around this issue). I’m guessing that it may be the ultrasound since I heard the men folk on the teevee telling us that contraception and the like is one step from abortion. What do I do Dr. Gov? Should I come to your office for the exam?
Another took the same tack:
Dear Governor, I am taking paracetemol for a cold. I believe it has no contraceptive side-effects. Is this ok with you? I have that pesky sore throat, runny nose thing going on. But I’m sure you’d rather hear about my lady parts….
Another commenter asked:
Mr. McDonnell, are you going to address my monthly flow on the air? I asked you a question a last week because I didn’t get my period and I’m worried that I’m pregnant. As an unemployed student I can’t raise a baby (well, not that I have a choice with people like you in office). Please spend some time on CNN talking about female reproduction, of which you know so much! Thanks ;)
Other governors who have signed or are considering similar measures are also being bombarded on Facebook.
Many commenters embraced the theme: If you fancy yourself an expert on women’s health, I have some health-related questions for you.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett, whose state is also considering a mandatory ultrasound law, said of the bill, “I don’t know how you make anybody watch” an ultrasound, “you just have to close your eyes.” That prompted a wall post from a woman who wrote:
I know this has nothing to do with this, but being a woman and all, I can’t stop thinking about my lady parts. You suggested women close their eyes when getting a transvaginal ultrasound, or Wand of Light, as we lovingly call it in some places. Do you also close your eyes when getting a mandatory anal probe for unrelated legal medical procedures? What else do you close your eyes for? I’m curious, your advice is so fascinating!
“I just called your office, and they wouldn’t let me schedule a pap smear,” a posting on Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s Facebook Wall reads. “I’m confused, aren’t you taking care of all this now?”
In Kansas, two local activists protesting an anti-abortion law that would allow doctors to lie to women about fetal abnormalities without any legal liability, posted their objections on Brownback’s Facebook wall.
Gov. Rick Perry, who’s anti-Planned Parenthood crusade is costing Texas millions in federal funding for women’s reproductive care, has hundreds of comments on his page, a phenomenon first noticed by the Washington Post.
“I promise to vote for you during the next run,” one woman promised Perry, “if you’ll allow me to incorporate my uterus.”
I am so happy to hear that you are an expert on women’s health…’cause you know, who can afford doctors nowadays? Anyhoo, I got my period for years and years… with no problems, and then suddenly it stopped! Should I be worried? Does the fact that I’m in my 50’s have anything to do with this situation?
In Idaho, where the state Senate passed a mandatory ultrasound bill Monday, many have taken to Facebook, urging Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to veto the bill. So far, the messages have a more serious, earnest tone.
Please demonstate your moral courage and veto SB1387. You have repeatedly stood for small and less intrusive government. Surely this forced ultrasound procedure goes against your heartfelt principles.
Governor Otter: You have always been a proponent of less government in the lives of people. Please—do the right thing and veto SB 1387. It is an insult to the women of Idaho.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.