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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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