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.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate