Wait, a Republican legislator talked to a single lobbyist — instead of doctors or scientists — when writing legislation about a complex and emotionally fraught subject?
That can’t be.
According to the AP, Ohio state Rep. John Becker worked with a conservative anti-choice lobbyist while writing a bill that would allow insurance companies to cover the reimplantation of ectopic pregnancies — nonviable pregnancies in which a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus.
There is no procedure for reimplanting such a pregnancy, of course, but that didn’t stop Becker from imagining there could be.
The bill prohibits insurers from covering abortion services, but provides an exception for a procedure “intended to reimplant” an ectopic pregnancy in a woman's uterus.
Becker told the newspaper he never researched whether re-implanting an ectopic pregnancy into a woman's uterus was a viable medical procedure before including it in the bill. Sheets declined comment.
“I heard about it over the years,” Becker said. “I never questioned it or gave it a lot of thought.
And there you have the modern Republican Party’s credo: “I never gave it a lot of thought.”
Becker worked with Barry Sheets from the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio, which is apparently extremely concerned about the welfare of fertilized eggs that have never in the history of human civilization had a prayer of surviving. Don’t try to talk sense into either of these guys. And there’s really no point in trying to save the fertilized eggs, either. You’d be better off developing a procedure wherein a surgeon builds a tiny cage around the zygotes so Republicans can stop worrying about them.
Another bill that would allow for the punishment of doctors who don’t try to reimplant ectopic pregnancies was recently introduced in the Ohio Legislature. Under that bill, doctors would face potential murder charges for not doing the impossible thing. And — guess what! — that provision was based 100 percent on pseudoscience, too!
Meanwhile, the resources that Becker and Sheets were relying on to write their bill were, shall we say, a skosh outdated.
The emails show Sheets encouraged Becker to push back after a Maryland geneticist questioned the scientific journal articles he was using to defend the provision. One was from 1980 and one was from 1917.
Of course, this kind of nonsense is not just laughable, it’s potentially damaging as well.
Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said it is cruel to spread misinformation that might make women facing ectopic pregnancies believe there is a viable procedure available to them.
Well, misinformation is the raison d’être of the modern Republican Party — so good luck, Kellie. You have your work cut out for you.
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