When it comes to women’s health, Republican says we should think about what a veterinarian would do.
Why can’t TEA Party Republicans in the Montana Legislature talk about women without comparing us to animals?
In an executive action session of the House Human Services Committee yesterday, Rep. Bill Harris (R-TEA Winnett) compared abortion doctors to veterinarians. Harris said:
“Whether you call this an unborn fetus or an unborn what–anything else, it still rises to the level of needing a humane consideration.
And if I took an animal regardless of what it was, whether it was dying or whether it was just needin’ unwanted or wanted rid of, to a veterinarian to have it euthanized that veterinarian would go to every effort to do that in as painless and as humane a way as he could manage, so for obvious reasons, I’m a yes to this bill.”
Harris was arguing in favor of HB 479 by Rep. Al Olszewski (R-TEA Flathead). The bill is your basic junk science fetal surgery bill. It says physicians will lose their licenses unless they disregard the will of the patient in favor of pseudo-science.
This is one of the most offensive bills this session (and that’s really saying something). It treats women as incubators who should have no voice or opinion when it comes to procedures involving our own bodies .
Under the bill, the physician must also determine the gestational age of the fetus by performing “any medical examination and test” that the physician deems reasonable. The only way to do this is through mandatory vaginal probe ultrasounds – but presumable Rep. Olsewski was hoping no one would point this out, as forcing women to do this has been the subject of much national outrage.
Rep. Jenny Eck, Rep. Jessica Karjala, and Rep. Ellie Hill spoke out against the bill during the committee meeting and against the offensive comments of Rep Harris. Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Ellie Hill (D-Missoula) said,
“I think its shocking that party that ascribes itself with a philosophy of less government is giving us yet another bill of more government. This is not scientifically proven, not medically necessary, and that’s going to cost women in the state of Montana more money.”
“I’m sad to hear this bill, I’m sad to hear one of the Representatives on this committee make an analogy to veterinarians…I think that this bill is a shame.”
House Minority Whip Rep. Jenny Eck (D-Helena) said:
“I’m sorry if women’s bodies get in the way of the development of a fetus; but that’s the reality. And until there is a day when babies can be grown in an incubator without women’s bodies, you’re gonna have this problem where, yes, we are the vessels that carry fetuses. And you can’t get around that fact.
We have a will of our own. We have opinions of our own. And we have lives of our own. So as soon as we become treated as just an incubator it becomes very problematic.
And, I would say, very different from a situation where someone puts their dog down at the veterinarian’s office.
During the 2011 session, Rep. Keith Regier, now a member of GOP legislative leadership, compared women to cattle on the floor of the House of Representatives. Regier analogized that pre-tested cows are more valuable than open cows in his speech arguing in favor of forced births for rape victims. Then TEA Party Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns made headlines by “comparing Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to a studding English bulldog named “John-Boy,” and here’s the story.