Like the "enhanced screening room" and the inbox of Chris Brown's publicist, nothing good happens on the floor of the Georgia legislature lately, and a speech last week by Representative Terry England brought that fact into focus with a jaw-droppingly insensitive series of comments wherein he reasoned that because farmers sometimes have to deliver stillborn baby cows and pigs and stuff, women should therefore be required to carry stillborn fetuses to term.
The debate was over a bill that would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks on the grounds that at that point, according to no scientists, fetuses can feel pain. The ban would also apply to women who lost their pregnancies, barring them from seeking medical intervention in removing the dead fetal tissue, because apparently dead fetuses that are older than 20 weeks old can also feel pain.
That bit of head-scratchery aside, Rep. Terry England is very in favor of this measure, this bill that would force women to carry a nonviable pregnancy until their bodies decided to expel them. Eagle-eyed videographer Bryan Long caught England's speech in support of his position, during which he shared in a hushed, reverent tone, a tale of how hard it is for farmers to have to deliver dead baby pigs, but that the animals do it, because that's how God and the Accelerated Genetics intended. Further, he told a touching story of one young man who loved cockfighting and agreed to give all his fighting cocks away if only the Georgia legislation would make it illegal for pregnant women to decide what to do with their bodies. Oh, good sirs, won't you think of the chickens?!
Pardon my French but qu'est-ce que fuck? Georgia women are like cows and pigs and chickens? Stillbirth is hard but it should be enforced by the state? And chicken rights are more important than women's rights? I'd hope against hope that Representative Terry England is drunk off his ass and is right now realizing in retrospect that this inscrutable, horrifying speech is his rock bottom. But given the tone of the discussion of women's bodies over the last months, that hope's as dead as a dead baby chicken. Or pig. Or cow.
Georgia Republican Compares Women to Cows, Pigs & Chickens [ThinkProgress]