It’s okay to not know things, and there’s no better way to learn than asking questions — assuming, of course, that the questions are a sincere attempt to learn, and that the asker listens to the answer, instead of talking over a subject matter expert. Unfortunately, in this case we’re talking about Republican legislators asking bad-faith questions of two women who happen to be doctors who provide abortions — and it goes exactly as you’d expect.
From interrupting talking over the experts, to showing the extreme disrespect of failing to use an appropriate title, the only thing that might be more inappropriate than these men’s behavior in a Congressional hearing is the questions they’re asking — including a demand to have the word “woman” defined (why can’t Republicans get over that lately?) and insisting that a doctor discuss how she’d treat a patient in the most bizarre made-up scenario possible.
Here are two clips from a Congressional hearing on abortion. In the first, Chip Roy (R-TX) demands that a doctor tell him how many people have moved to the state in the last decade, then speaks the answer forcefully (and rudely) over her as she tries to respond. He won’t let the second doctor to whom he addresses a question speak, either, after failing to give her the title she has earned.
"I have never seen that in a health care setting, ever. We don't put baby parts in freezers" — Dr Yashica Robinson to Chip Roy pic.twitter.com/fOC0LrLkjD
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2022
In the second clip, as Dr. Roobinson tries to explain to him what happens to medical waste after an abortion, he keeps talking over her, insisting that she just “do[es]n’t want to talk about” storing “baby parts” in tupperware or freezers.
It’s only because his time expires that she’s able to partially answer without interruption, saying, “All those things that you’ve mentioned, I have never seen that in a health care setting, ever. We don’t put baby parts in freezers or pyrex dishes.”
Even then, he keeps insisting, “Where do those parts go?” forcing a moderator to remind him again that his time has expired.
Then there’s Dan Bishop (R-NC). He can’t seem to let a woman answer without interrupting, either. Upset that Dr. Yashica Robinson has identified her pronouns in her written testimony, he demands that both she and Dr. Aimee Arrambide explain to him the definition of the word “woman.”
someone please, for the love of all that's holy, explain to Rep. Dan Bishop what a woman is pic.twitter.com/c4ishaLd8w
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2022
He’s not happy with either answer, clearly, especially when Dr. Arrambide affirms that a man could absolutely show up at her office pregnant and seeking an abortion.
Finally, we have Mike Johnson (R-LA). He’s ready to get into the dirty details. He’s got a scenario in mind in which a person has carried a pregnancy all the way to term, gone through every risk and struggle that entails, begun labor, and with the baby already partially out of the birth canal, suddenly decides to request an abortion.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) at abortion access hearing: "How about if a child is halfway out of the birth canal? Is an abortion permissible then?"
Dr. Yashica Robinson: "I can't even fathom that … just like you probably can't imagine what you would do if your daughter was raped." pic.twitter.com/LtM92m9JKS
— The Recount (@therecount) May 18, 2022
He is not accepting Dr. Robinson’s repeated explanations that this wild fantasy isn’t something that ever comes up in a medical setting — only in anti-choice minds.
To end on a high note, though, here’s Ted Lieu (D-CA) to prove that it’s possible for a male legislator (granted, a Democrat) to view abortion with compassion and understanding, as something to be decided by the individual affected, rather than by state regulation of uterus usage.
Honestly, this is the most important question. https://t.co/4IBnvrmtxD
— Steph Bazzle (deplatform the death cult) (@imjustasteph) May 18, 2022
“That’s really the question here: whose decision is this?”
Unfortunately, the party that likes to claim it’s for freedom and small government doesn’t agree.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com