Republican Congressman Opposes Abortion Partly Because Male Fetuses Play With Their Genitals


Well, okay then.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) US Congress

On Monday night, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) contended that HR 1797—a bill the House is debating on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions 20 weeks post fertilization—didn’t go far enough. Burgess, an Ob/Gyn by trade and all-around tea partier, argued passionately in favor of banning abortions at an earlier stage in pregnancy. Here’s a snippet of what he said, via RH Reality Check:

There’s no question in my mind…that a baby at 20 weeks after conception can feel pain…I thought the date was far too late…Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. They feel pleasure. Why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?

(“Well, this is a subject that I do know something about,” Burgess also asserted.)

Top medical experts in the US and UK dispute the Republicans’ claim of fetal pain prior to the third trimester—the talking point at the heart of the proposed ban. But the part that caught the internet’s attention was Burgess’ odd “masturbating fetuses” logic. I’ve reached out to Rep. Burgess’ office regarding his statements but I have not yet received a response.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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