Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is now backing off on the law that would have required some women seeking abortions to have invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. He is asking the state legislature to amend the bill to clarify that it will apply to transabdominal ultrasounds only. Good.

Protip: If women's response to your measure that is supposedly meant to help them is "Holy shit, that sounds like rape," the correct reply is not: "No, this is for your own good!"

I'm in favor of informed consent and believe that women considering abortion have the right to factual information about the children they are carrying (not "it's just a blob of tissue, don't worry your pretty little head about it" lies), but making a woman submit to unwanted vaginal penetration goes way beyond "information". Women don't cease to be human beings with dignity because they're having abortions, and treating them like they do is about the best way I can think of to reinforce the idea that anyone who opposes abortion is a woman's enemy.

I just want to cry when I think about all the time and energy that goes into legislation like this instead of asking women, "What do you need? How can we help you so that abortion doesn't seem like your only choice?" How much better would the world be if that were what pro-lifers were known for?