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Representative England thinks that women are farm animals and that the government
should make medical decisions for them as if they were cattle.

The Georgia legislature is currently debating a bill that would ban abortions after twenty weeks. The written legislation, however, applies not only to viable fetuses but also to but also ones that are already dead. This means that women would have to carry around their dead babies until their bodies chose to expel them naturally, putting their health at an incredibly high risk – both physically and mentally.

Why does Representative England think this is acceptable? Well, apparently because it could save a few chickens.  "Life gives us many experiences...I've had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it," ThinkProgress quoted him as saying. He then went on to share some words from a young man who owned fighting chickens, saying “He said, 'Mr. Terry, I want to tell you something. You tell those folks down there when they quit killing babies, they can have every chicken I've got'," England quoted.”

Here’s the thing. I’m a farmer, too. I’m also female. I own chickens (not for fighting). On my farm, we do everything that we can from a medical perspective to make things comfortable and safe for the animals. This includes making use of advances in medical technology to prevent “heartbreaking experiences” when we can, and to make them as smooth and painless as possible when we can’t. We also use technology for humane death when the situation dictates. In my own experience, I have never met an ethical farmer who would deliberately let a creature suffer while spitting in the face of medical technology. It’s barbaric, whether we’re referring to a human or an animal.  And so is cockfighting.

To summarize, what we have here is an unethical farmer who is using shoddy metaphors to allow the government to dictate medical decisions in a manner that rejects medical technology and good health care decisions - and someone who is using their position in government to actually inflict physical and mental harm – it should be noted that the longer a dead fetus is carried, the riskier the pregnancy can be for the mother. Further, the bill explicitly provisions that mental trauma (or a woman who is suicidal) doesn’t count as a reason.

This means that legislators can no longer patronizingly try to pretend that they’re doing this in the best interest of women. There’s simply no way that you can say it’s in the best interest of a suicidal woman to carry her dead baby to term, because, like, pigs do it. And there’s no reason, as a government official, that you should. You aren’t a doctor. You aren’t even an ethical farmer.

What you are is an embarrassment to America.

Originally posted to Sanderlina on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 07:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Kos Georgia, and Abortion.

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