Lawmaker says he ‘never thought about’ why women would want abortions
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Ohio Representative Jim Buchy, a strong opponent of abortion and one of the co-sponsors of the state’s so-called “heartbeat bill,” was asked why he thought a woman might want an abortion. This was his answer:
[Pause] “Well, there’s probably a lot of re — I d- I d- I’m not a woman. [Laughs] So I’m thinking now if I’m a woman why would I want to get…some of it has to do with economics. A lot of it has to do with economics. I don’t know — I’ve never — it’s it’s a question I’ve never even thought about.”
Huh. You’ve been fighting against abortion for most of your career, haven’t you? And you’re sponsoring a bill that wouldn’t allow women to get abortions after the fetus has a detectable heartbeat (which is at about 6 weeks, which is before many women even know they’re pregnant, which is also, p.s., not a coincidence), and would not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but you’ve never even thought about why a woman might want one? We’re not sure what’s more offensive: that you’re trying to create a law that would take away a woman’s right to make decisions about her body and you haven’t even thought it all the way through, or that you respect women so little that you’ve never cared enough to wonder why this issue might be important for them.
You know what? It’s both. We’re more offended by both those things.
And, if you watch the video, the way he says, “So I’m thinking now if I’m a woman why would I want to get…” is extraordinarily condescending. He makes it sound like considering the woman’s point of view is a ridiculous suggestion. Like he was asked to consider what his razor really wants before he uses it to shave.
Now, you might figure that for a bill this extreme, the people behind it would know that they’re talking about, right? You might assume that they would have well-thought-out reasons as to why this was important for women and for the state of Ohio. But you’d be wrong. If women have learned anything over the past few years, it’s that the men who are trying to control our bodies know little to nothing about them.
Remember a year ago when a representative from Idaho, who was trying to prevent women from getting prescribed, via video conference, a pill that would induce abortions, asked if doctors could examine a woman’s uterus by having her swallow a camera? Devoted anti-abortion advocate, that guy. And he still thought babies grew in Mommy’s tummy. These are the guys who want to give us medical advice.
It makes no sense. They don’t know what they’re talking about. And they shouldn’t be in charge of one of our most intimate health care decisions.
What we see in Representative Buchy’s interview response is that not only do some of these men not know much about women but, even worse, they don’t care. If you don’t think about what a decision you make means to someone else, then it’s because you believe that that person’s opinion is irrelevant.
Buchy further proved his complete lack of sensitivity on this issue during the debate over the bill in the state House, when he said, “What we have here is really the need to give people the incentive to be more responsible so we reduce unwanted pregnancies and by the way, the vast majority of abortions are performed on women who were not raped.” Do you really think that most abortions happen because people were being “irresponsible”? Do you really think there are women out there who schedule abortions like they’re taking their cars in for maintenance?
Well, those women don’t exist. The idea that women use abortions as birth control is a myth. By trying to “encourage responsibility,” you’re punishing women and treating them like they aren’t smart enough or capable enough to be in charge of their own bodies. In fact, you so take for granted your right to make these decisions for them that you haven’t even stopped to ask them why they want abortions in the first place. You’re an ignorant asshole, and we want you to keep your laws off our bodies.