Texas congressman wants women to carry brain-dead fetuses to term

Texas congressman wants women to carry brain-dead fetuses to term

May 24, 2013

Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert, who is a very “sympathetic and empathetic” human, just can’t see why a lady might not want to give birth to a brain-dead fetus. You know, the kind that would likely only live for a short while and likely be in excruciating pain the whole time. That kind.

On Friday, U.S. Congress held a hearing to discuss a H.R. 1797- a proposed ban on abortions after 20-weeks. Anti-choice activists assert that a ban on abortion after 20-weeks is necessary to prevent so-called “fetal pain,” despite the fact that it has been proven that fetuses cannot feel pain until late in the third trimester.

Christy Zink explained her difficult decision to terminate her pregnancy at a later date, after being informed that her fetus– which had no brain function after 21 weeks– would not likely survive outside the womb, and that if it did, it would probably never be able to leave the hospital.

Via Think Progress:

If this bill had been passed before my pregnancy, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain,” Zink explained. “If he had survived the pregnancy — which was not certain — he might never have left the hospital. My daughter’s life, too, would have been irrevocably hurt by an almost always-absent parent.”

Later term abortions are not, as an idiot might assume, usually the result of ladies just being too lazy or something to get one earlier on. Generally speaking, they happen because something is wrong with the fetus or because the pregnancy is a danger to the life of the mother. That’s why.

Gohmert’s response? Telling a story about how when his wife gave birth to his perfectly healthy daughter, another mother gave birth to a child without a spine, and with no detectable brain activity.

GOHMERT: Ms. Zink, having my great sympathy and empathy both. I still come back wondering, shouldn’t we wait, like that couple did, and see if the child can survive before we decide to rip him apart? So. These are ethical issues, they’re moral issues, they’re difficult issues, and the parents should certainly be consulted. But it just seems like, it’s a more educated decision if the child is in front of you to make those decisions.

Um, what? First of all, pretty sure the doctors can tell if the child is not going to be able to survive outside the womb. Second of all, in an instance like this, not only will the baby feel immeasurably more pain, but the mother has to go through the ordeal of labor only to watch her child die in front of her. That doesn’t seem very ethical or humane to me. To anyone.

While it is less than surprising that Gohmert would feel a kinship with a brain-dead entity, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that a bill like this would be an unmitigated disaster.

Watch Gohmert’s full testimony below:


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