Wednesday, February 22, 2012

in search of personhood: my new job as a vaginal probe technician

I’m getting into the vaginal probe business, yes I am.  Some of you non-Virginians may not know that the VA House of Delegates passed several disturbing bills last week. 

If made into law, one would require a doctor to administer a medically unnecessary vaginal sonogram on women seeking an abortion. 

The other, the Personhood Bill, would recognize every embryo as a person from the moment of conception. This “person” would have the rights of a citizen of these United States, even though said "person" would reside inside of a woman, wholly dependent upon her body for life. 

I’m telling you, I’m going to make a killing.  I guess the Republican legislators are job creators after all.   

How will I make my money? As a vaginal probe technician.  I thought of this while tossing and turning last night, worrying about this bill and worrying about my current employment status.  I had so many RIDICULOUS questions going through my head.  Then it hit me, if I performed transvaginal sonograms, I could get rich off the personhood bill!

Just ask yourself: 

? – If an embryo is a person, will pregnant women have to pay twice for services that are charged “per person” like entrance fees, bus tickets and cab fare?  How will we determine who carries an embryo and who doesn’t?  (We don’t want women sneaking "persons" into, say, the movies for free!).  That’s where I’ll come in.  Just order popcorn for two and a vaginal probe—with butter on both—and voila! we can determine the cost of admission right there at the concession stand.  Perhaps we can enact an “embryo rate” to help ease the burden?

 ? – Can an embryo own property? Accumulate debt?  Can we open a credit card or a checking account in the name of our embryo? Sounds like we’ll need a probe at the bank. No problem; I’m on it!

? - Who owns the shared body? The embryo or the mother?  Could we sue an embryo for possession of our body?  Or perhaps sue our embryo for damages incurred to the body during pregnancy such as varicose veins, stretch marks, hermorrhoids, diabetes and death?  OK, I admit we'll need a lawyer for this one.  But I'm sure he or she will ask for the big probe at some point.  I'll be there, ready to serve!

? – Should we name our embryos upon conception? Will we need a conception certificate? How will we determine the date of conception? Should we keep conjugal logs and public records of menstruation?  Perhaps retain the services of a traveling vaginal probe technician to drop in regularly for a heartbeat check?  I'm your "man!"

? - Will our embryos get social security cards at conception and death certificates in the event of miscarriage?  Will we have to add 9 months to our age? Who will do all this data collection (probing) and data entry?  Wow – the personhood bill is an even bigger job creator than I thought!

? – Will we need embryo passports?  What will we use for passport photos? Transvaginal sonogram images, of course  Will we be able to get those at CVS like we do our other passport photos? I’ve got it covered.  

? – Should we submit sonogram pictures with our tax returns for child credits and exemption calculations?  Everyone will require a probe—I’ll make millions!

? - What about sex with pregnant women? Wouldn’t it be wrong to engage in intercourse if you’re unsure of whether such a young “person” is in the bed with you? A quick probe before conjugal relations will put your mind at ease!

? - Need an embryo’s consent for an amniocentesis? Not a problem, just fire up the probe and ask for an embryonic thumbs up.

? – Worried that a woman of childbearing age might try to sneak an embryo-of-suspicion onto an airplane?  No big deal.  We can just ask girls and women aged 13-55 to put their underwear in the bin with their shoes so that a quick probe can help to allay these concerns without holding up security.  

Of course I'm being absurd, but this kind of absurd legislation begs for an absurd response.  I can't help myself!  Yet, the Personhood Bill has a good chance of becoming a Virginia law.  If so, my 11 year old daughter will enter her reproductive years during a time when a pregnant woman must share her body with another citizen of the United States.  

I talked to Olivia about these things.  She thought the sonogram bill sounded “mean.”  She thought the personhood bill sounded “stupid.”  I thought she sounded pretty smart.

So we took our smallhouse lives to the bigpicture in Richmond this past Monday and stood in silent protest outside the state capitol.  Here we are looking like the crazy radical feminists that we are. 

Can you see the glint of maniacal red in our eyes?

Organizers counted 1,100 people standing in protest with us.  I wonder, however, how many we would have numbered had we counted each and every "person." 

Why didn't we think to bring the probe? 


  1. Hilarious. Love your sense of humor. It allows me not to cry when I realize how much stupidity exists in my country. By the way, how will the Reps handle personhood and citizenship issues for those persons residing inside the wombs of illegal immigrants?

  2. This was so funny and put a nice humorous spin on something that is causing much frustration and stress for those of us who can "house" a citizen. Will we be responsible for personal property tax on our little "condo?" What about utilities (i.e., blood flow & clean amniotic fluid), who's paying those bills?? You could go on & on.....let's hope for the best, especially for those of us with young girls who are just entering into the reproductive stages of their life.

  3. Mean and stupid. Yup. Pretty much sums it up succinctly.

  4. I love your picture and your shirts.

  5. Also, I totally agree with mean and stupid. I always state it about the same way regarding most republican behavior: greedy and ignorant.
    I love that you are showing Olivia how to have a voice in our government. We did some "protesting" as a family last year. I also love how cute Olivia is!

  6. thanks to everyone for commenting. i wish i'd thought of the immigrant issue - instead of getting married to stay in the country, women would just need to get pregnant - unwed illegal immigrants made legal by unprotected premarital sex that creates fatherless children? that's enough to give even the most open minded conservative a heart attack! and the condo? i was laughing out loud. And Meredith and Franny, isn't it funny how the kids can cut to the heart of things? we give them such simple guidelines: share, respect others, don't use violence, but then we can't follow those rules ourselves. they have an eye for pointing that out!