MO state Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R) took a month to figure out if he wanted carpet or wood in his home. And apparently, that’s just like making a decision about whether to have an abortion. Also, when buying a car, one should not be impulsive, because Gatschenberger often needs time to think things over. “Even when I buy a new vehicle — this is my experience, again — I don't go right in there and say I want to buy that vehicle, and then, you know, you leave with it. I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices,” he said at a hearing this Tuesday testifying on his own bill about why a mandated 72-hour waiting period in order to obtain a safe and legal abortion is necessary.
Watch the video clip on it here:
This is not the first time Missouri lawmakers have discussed the 72-hour waiting period (the bill triples the current 24-hour wait). But now they’ve added a new, more egregious provision, wrapped into a broader bill. Missouri’s House has offered HB 1613 “Ultrasound Informed Consent Act.” Not only does the bill require a medically unnecessary ultrasound, this law would force women in heartbreaking situations to cover their eyes and ears or be forced to view and listen to the information that is designed to change a woman’s mind.
An ultrasound is a medical procedure that your doctor should prescribe—not a politician. As made utterly clear through Rep. Gatschenberger’s testimony, medical advice should be given by a medical doctor and not an elected official. But most importantly, women are not children who need to have medical procedures explained by lawmakers. Especially when they try to compare restrictions on women’s health to car or carpeting purchases.
But the worst part of this bill is the explaining. The bill states a doctor must tell their patient if she gets an abortion she will be at higher risk for breast cancer. This is untrue. Completely made up scare tactics. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have all refuted the reliability of such claims.
Regardless of the science, this is what legislators in Missouri think women need to be told and to understand.
The bill summary reads (emphasis is mine): “The information must be provided individually in a private room and the woman must be provided with an adequate opportunity to ask questions and receive answers she can understand. If the woman is unable to read the written materials provided to her, the material must be read to her and, if necessary, must be explained in a way understandable to her. If the woman is unable to understand the sonogram, it must be explained to her.” The condescension drips from the page.
I think the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put it best, “We can’t help but notice that most of the Legislature’s anti-abortion crusaders are men.”
Men who find the decision about buying a new car to be daunting, but can easily legislate away your reproductive rights.
That explains a lot.