Editor’s Note: Last week, Louisvillian Molly Shah tweeted the hashtag #AskBevinAboutMyVag after Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law a bill requiring women to meet with a doctor 24 hours prior to an abortion. The hashtag exploded on Twitter and garnered international media attention. In this column, Shah and her two co-authors outline the motivation behind the irreverent social media campaign.
By Molly Shah, Emily Van Bogaert and Jamie Yeager
To honor the month of love, 11 men on a Kentucky state Senate committee recently voted to mandate that women submit to transvaginal ultrasounds without their consent.
First, let’s look at the fact that SB 152 landed in the (all-male) Senate Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee, which is charged with handling “matters relating to veterans, including veterans’ rights, benefits and education; veterans’ nursing homes; military affairs and civil defense; national guard; retention of military bases; safety of citizens and security of public buildings and property; military memorials and cemeteries” — and, of course, every woman’s private parts.
We appreciate that Kentucky’s lawmakers consider our birth cannons to be American heroes, but why didn’t the bill start out in the Health and Welfare Committee? Was it because that committee actually includes female senators?
Meanwhile, Gov. Matt Bevin was dabbing his ink on yet another law regulating women’s bodies. Stiffer than existing so-called “informed consent” legislation, the new law requires women to obtain a medically unnecessary consultation before an abortion, simply to discourage them from exercising their constitutional rights. Discourage and shame: Lawmakers advise the thousands of Kentucky women with limited access to transportation or premium Internet to walk to a public library to videochat with their doctor. Bevin didn’t just sign the bill; he held a special ceremony to commemorate the occasion.
That’s where we saw these guys:
Understandably, we had questions. So we asked:
As other women awakened to this historic opportunity, #AskBevinAboutMyVag was born. Despite the fact that men feel welcome to regulate our vaginas, they squirm upon hearing us discuss them in public. But now, we have the floor:
Thanks for the opportunity, OB/GOV.
We soon found that asking our burning questions was as contagious as the STDs Planned Parenthood prevents. So, between kissing boo-boos, running companies, neutralizing anti-abortion terrorists, attending births, litigating cases, running for office, and making sandwiches, the women of Kentucky are asking Bevin for the comprehensive and thorough medical consultation the Commonwealth of Kentucky has promised.
But don’t feel left out, men. State Rep. Mary Lou Marzian has proposed a law to have the government probe your man-business, to help you make the correct choices about erectile dysfunction.
Most likely, Marzian’s tongue-in-cheek bill won’t get any action, so men’s reproductive choices are safe from the governor’s grip. In his elected debut, Bevin has given himself many balls to juggle, from slashing funding to universities to dismantling the nation’s flagship state health exchange. As Kynect has helped many women obtain much-needed gynecological care, we gals sure are lucky that Bevin will be replacing it with stirrups in the governor’s office.
In response to all of this, women of Kentucky have come together. So, here’s to you governor, for uniting the bourbon-drinking, horse-riding, ass-kicking Belles of the Bluegrass! We await with bated breath answers to our queries.
So, Ladies of the Commonwealth (and friends): It’s your right to choose to join in when a large group will gather at the Reproductive Rights Rally at the State Capitol on Feb. 23. Bring some posters with questions about your lady bits. The doctor will see us now.
Oh, and don’t forget — you can always call (502) 564-2611 to schedule an appointment at Dr. Bevin’s clinic, or (502) 564-8100 to consult your triage nurses in the Kentucky Legislature.
About the Authors:
Jamie Yeager’s vagina has birthed two daughters without pain medication, stays healthy with a regular asana practice, and does all her tweeting for her.
Emily Van Bogaert’s vagina has given life to two fierce freedom fighters, loves to dance, and thinks that “Q.U.E.E.N.” by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu is a timeless classic.
Molly Shah’s vagina started menstruating at 11, gave birth to a daughter with one push at 32, and ran out of Fs to give when Bevin was elected.