A Republican lawmaker in Missouri who is sponsoring a bill that would mandate women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound and wait three days for the procedure defended his measure Tuesday, suggesting a woman getting an abortion should treat it with the same deliberation as shopping for cars or carpeting.
State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R) explained to his colleagues on the Missouri House’s Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities committee that when he goes to buy a new vehicle, he doesn’t just make a snap decision.
“I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices,” he said, according to video recorded by Progress Missouri. “There’s lots of things that I do putting into a decision. Whether that’s a car, whether that’s a house, whether that’s any major decision that I put in my life. Even carpeting.”
“I was faced with a decision that I didn’t have very much information that I knew about,” he added. “So I wanted to be as informed as possible, and that’s what this bill is. Giving them as much information as possible.”
State Rep. Stacey Newman (D) called Gatschenberger out on the car comparison in a testy exchange.
“Are you equating that with a medical decision?” she asked Gatschenberger.
“No–” Gatschenberger said.
“That was your analogy, and that was extremely offense to every single woman in this hearing, representative,” Newman said. “Your comments were extremely offensive to every single woman sitting in here, whether they’re pregnant or whether they’re not. I want to point that out, because that kind of attitude is demeaning to women, regardless of what they decide to do.”
“That was not the intention. I apologize for that,” Gatschenberger responded.
But Gatschenberger was pressing Newman to reconsider the bill seconds later.
“I’m just saying this is a life-ending decision,” he said. “You should think about it.”
h/t Mother Jones
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.