I am writing a paper about the intersections, if any, between increased regulation on access to birth control and violence against women.

And I need your help!

Please take five minutes to take a survey on your opinions about these two very complicated issues. Your answers will, of course, be anonymous and confidential.

Once you’re done come back and lets have a conversation about these issues, the connections you see and how the events of the last couple of days have made you feel. I also would appreciate any constructive criticism you have of the survey. While I’m not being graded on this instrument it’s always nice to know where I can improve in the future.

Thanks for you’re help!




Mraynes lives in downtown Denver with her husband and four children. She spends her time lobbying at the Colorado Legislature, managing all the things and preparing Gospel Doctrine lessons.

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19 Responses

  1. HokieKate says:

    Please excuse me it I come off as critical. I don’t mean to!

    Unfettered access to abortion- I don’t see a 72 hour wait as a fetter. My understanding is that an abortion is a serious medical procedure, and so having a consultation and then scheduling the procedure three days later seems reasonable. I’m guessing that most semi-elective surgeries aren’t performed within 72 hours of the first doctor’s visit.

    The question about ultrasounds seems somewhat biased. Maybe it would be better as two questions. 1) should ultrasounds be required. 2) should vaginal ultrasounds be required.

    I would also split the doctor/pharmacist exemption question. I think there is a huge difference in a doctor performing an abortion versus a pharmacist handing over a bag of pills.

    This is a fascinating topic and I look forward to seeing your findings. Is this meant to be a scholarly article? I didn’t see a typical IRB/Human Subjects Research statement.

    • alex w. says:

      The problem with the 72 hour wait time is that some (okay, many–doctors who do abortions aren’t very common) women would have to travel back and forth more between where they live and where they get the procedure done or find somewhere to stay and pay for the extra time away from home while they wait, and that would cost them money that they perhaps can’t spare (traveling once and paying for the abortion will be costly enough), so it makes getting an abortion even more difficult. And it often comes from the perspective that the government knows better than we do about whether we’re ready to have a family. Like a woman who has decided she needs an abortion just needs to wait a bit longer and the prospect of having a child you have already decided you cannot have will somehow become rosier. The point of the rule is to keep women from being able to follow through with their decision, but it’s painted in a light of helping people be more responsible.

      • HokieKate says:

        Okay, I didn’t think of the travel issue. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

      • Rune says:

        If it was an individual woman’s doctor that recommended or required the wait time, that would be one thing, but making it a blanket requirement in all cases independent of anything the woman or the doctor may need or decide on between them is really unnecessary and interfering. The entire point is to add hurdles and hardships into the process, regardless of whatever else the circumstances already are. It assumes something about all women who seek abortions, and treats them with infantilizing disrespect based on that assumption, and is therefore a very poor approach.

    • mraynes says:

      Katie, thank you so much for your input! This is not research meant for a scholarly article, just part of the requirements for a paper I’m writing for an individual course. I expect my results to be heavily skewed as I’ve advertised it on a feminist blog and among my mostly like-minded friends. If it was serious scholarly research I would definitely come up with a better design. 🙂

      I actually considered splitting up the two questions you pointed out exactly as you suggested but chose against it for the sake of brevity. Now I wish I had followed my gut. Oh well, it’s good to learn on low-risk projects. Thanks for your insights, they will be helpful in the next survey I write!

    • Miri says:

      That was the same thing I thought, HokieKate; I looked it up and an article pointed out the travel issue, which I hadn’t thought of.

      The other thing is that I didn’t know there often already is a 24-hr. waiting period (like in Utah, where a representative is trying to get it extended. His argument is that “the extension would give women the same amount of time ‘to make a major life decision’ as ‘any consumer has to consider cancelling a mortgage.’ Since there’s a difference between giving a certain amount of time and forcing a certain amount of time, and since there already is a waiting period of 24 hours, I decided that I didn’t agree with the 72-hour period).

      • amelia says:

        Here’s what I don’t get: do they really think that a woman finds out she’s pregnant and then within less than 24 hours or even 72 hours is at an abortion clinic? I suppose that happens in some situations, but my guess is that most women know they’re pregnant and have the chance to think about it for at least a few days or a week before they go in, so why make them wait another few days? As if somehow more time to think will change their mind. The research shows that waiting periods and sonograms *don’t* actually lead to women changing their minds. Most women still go ahead and get the abortion. And I would imagine that has a lot to do with the fact that most of them have probably thought about their options pretty thoroughly before even going to a clinic in the first place.

  2. Erin says:

    This survey was educational; I knew about the ultrasound requirement, but never connected the dots enough to realize that vaginal ultrasounds, as invasive and enough traumatic as they are, would likely be required. Thank you for doing this.

    • Alex says:

      I had to have one once for an issue unrelated to pregnancy. It was extremely unpleasant. I can’t IMAGINE the effect it would have on someone seeking an abortion as the result of a rape.

    • amelia says:

      It really is unconscionable that Virginia has essentially legally mandated raping women who want an abortion. That’s what this law boils down to. Ugh. Makes me so angry.

    • Mike H. says:

      While I think abortion is overused, I have to ask: What is a Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound supposed to accomplish in this situation? Just trying to “shock” them not to have an abortion? For some women, the pain is severe to do one of these, from what I read. If it’s not needed, it just become legal rape with a foreign object if required by Law.

      This sounds like one of those “end around” laws in the Civil Rights struggles, like Voter Literacy tests to counter new black voters.

    • Kristina says:

      Trans-vaginal ultrasounds are usually performed before an abortion to gauge the age of the embryo so I can’t say that I am opposed to the practice (even though I’ve had one of these ultrasounds and it was uncomfortable to say the least). I take issue with the spirit of creating such a law that is specifically designed to humiliate a woman who is already going through a traumatic life event.

  3. Miri says:

    I actually learned a lot from this survey, since I had to look up a few things to make sure I knew how I was voting. Thanks!

    How do you all feel about the parental notification requirements?

  4. Rita says:

    It was interesting to participate in this and although I consider myself a very liberal granny – i.e. I believe in agency – I still found some of the questions difficult to answer either simply yes or no to. In those cases I answered ‘other’. I realize for the sake of simplicity that it was difficult to broaden the the options.
    Best wishes with your assignment.

  5. Meg says:

    Very interesting topic–one I am very passionate about. I would love to read your paper when you finish it. Women’s Rights seem to have been coming up a lot lately and I’m becoming nervous about my status in this country. Especially since (to my understanding) some in Congress are fighting against the reauthorization of VAWA and the recent comments made by Fox New’s Liz Trotta ( I have read articles about the terrifying consequences making abortion illegal for all circumstances. This link is to an article by Tresa Edmunds: ( In my mind, abortion is simply not a black and white issue.

    Also, the issue with birth control is also very complicated, but I believe all women should have access to it regardless of where they work (or how much money they have). I supported Obama’s recent birth control ruling. Women should have access to birth control despite their employers wishes (although I’m glad Obama made it more about insurance companies then religious organizations in the end).

    However, I supported Obama even at the beginning of the ruling because I think it’s important to realized that the uses of birth control extend beyond contraception. Birth control treats a variety of conditions, too. My devote, single LDS sister takes birth control to treat her endometriosis, not to prevent pregnancy because, well, she doesn’t have sex. Likewise, before my marriage, I took birth control to regulate my very irregular, and sometimes very painful cycle. If I don’t regulate my cycle it will be very difficult for me to get pregnant if I decided to down the road. Now that I’m married, I use birth control to both prevent pregnancy and regulate my cycle. There are, of course, many other conditions treated by birth control (polycystic breast and ovarian syndrome, heavy flow and painful periods, severe acne, etc.). If birth control is denied or difficult to gain access to, many women will go without treatment for their conditions.

    It is very upsetting to me that many are speaking out against women’s rights.

    @Mraynes I’ll have my husband take you survey, too. I imagine you probably want more male voices.

    • Meg says:

      Oops, I realized I made it sound like Congress is fighting against comments by Liz Trotta (although that would be a good thing). I meant that Liz Trotta’s remarks were also on my mind.

  6. DefyGravity says:

    Really interesting survey. Thanks for sharing! The bit about being pro-abortion in cases or rape, incest, etc. Made me think. That sounds good in theory, but from a legal perspective, it may well be problematic. If the law only allows women access to abortion in cases of rape or incest, then the woman has to prove rape. How would that work? Do they have to catch the rapist and find him guilty? The child could be born by then. What about rapists who aren’t caught or found not guilty? Do women need to go through some kind of invasive exam to prove rape? What would the criteria be? So I will not support “rape only” laws because requiring a woman to prove rape just seems horrific to me. People have probably thought of this already, but it’s fairly new to me.

  7. Brem says:

    This was an excellent survey and I’m interested in the links that you will be able to draw from it. I absolutely believe that birth control should be part of any health plan. I answered in affirmative support for unfettered access to either BC or abortion with only one exception — I don’t believe doctors with objections to abortions should be forced to perform them.

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