The social media world has exploded this week with hashtags like
#AskBevinAboutMyVag and #AskDrKasich, with which Kentuckians and Ohioans field their reproductive health questions to their anti-choice governors.
Both Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) have made passing anti-choice legislation a key part of their respective agendas, with Kasich proving to be among the nation’s most effective in attacking reproductive rights.
Louisvillian Molly Shah last week created the hashtag #AskBevinAboutMyVag, after Bevin signed into law a Republican-backed bill forcing women to sit through a real-time counseling session 24 hours before an abortion procedure.
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— Molly Shah (@MollyOShah) February 11, 2016
Shah and co-authors Emily Van Bogaert and Jamie Yeager wrote a commentary in Insider Louisville condemning the anti-choice legislative agenda that inspired the social media campaign. They explained that while Bevin was signing the “informed consent” bill, another anti-choice bill passed through a Kentucky state senate subcommittee consisting of only men.
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?
The authors are referring to a bill that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound and describe the image to people seeking abortion care. If SB 152 were to pass, doctors who failed to follow the mandate would be forced to pay a $100,000 penalty for the first offense and $250,000 for subsequent offenses.
“Despite the fact that men feel welcome to regulate our vaginas, they squirm upon hearing us discuss them in public,” the commentary reads. The social media campaign caught on fast and garnered international attention.
Shah later urged women to tweet at Kasich, who has been in the national spotlight due to his 2016 Republican presidential campaign.
Kentucky’s social media campaign will step into the real world on February 23 at 1 p.m., when the ACLU of Kentucky and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky host a reproductive rights rally at the state capitol. Until then, Shah, Bogaert, and Yaeger used their commentary to remind women where to go if they have any questions about their vaginas:
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.