The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Burgess flogs flawed anti-abortion argument

Yesterday, I brought you the stern words a female member of Congress sent me about her male counterparts on Capitol Hill and their obsession with dictating to women what they can and cannot do with their bodies or to maintain their health. “Their statements do not even reflect a high-school level understanding of biology,” she said. “Maybe biology should be a requirement to run for Congress.”

But what happens when the congressman waxing idiotic on abortion is a former OB-GYN? Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) put that pressing question to rest Monday night, the night before the House voted to prohibit the procedure after 20 weeks.

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. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think they could feel pain? Sometimes we have to give voice to the voiceless and this is one of those times.

So, what Burgess is saying is that the male fetus is not “master of his domain” at 15 weeks? All jokes aside, this man, who was a doctor, presumably with actual patients, totally buys the junk-science idea that a fetus can feel pain at that time of gestation. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005 said fetal pain sensations are not likely felt until about 28 weeks. Let’s not forget that we have illegal late-term abortion-mill runner and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell to thank for the resurgence of this kind of talk.

“You know this leaves me speechless,” said the female member of Congress after I alerted her to Burgess’s novel fetal-masturbation argument against abortion. “Here is a man who is a doctor and his ignorance is frightening. Can you imagine how the women who were his patients must feel when they hear his comments?”

Let’s look on the bright side. Burgess is no longer seeing patients. The downside is that he now gets to inflict his medical “judgment” on the rest of us.

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