A Non-Exhaustive List of the Weirdest Shit Politicians Have Said About Women's Bodies

A Non-Exhaustive List of the Weirdest Shit Politicians Have Said About Women's Bodies

They really just let anyone work in government, huh?

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Photo: Nathan Howard, Whitney Curtis, Allison Joyce (Getty Images)

A little no-name Utah politician is currently turning heads for his strange understanding of female biology. On Saturday, Salt Lake County Councilman Dave Alvord replied to a tweet from Vice President Kamala Harris about protecting reproductive rights and said that a fetus is not “a part of the body of a woman.”

“The umbilical chord [SIC] and placenta do not directly connect to the woman,” he tweeted. “The baby floats inside the woman. It is not about the woman’s body, it’s to kill then remove the baby’s body. It is done in greater proportion to black babies.” What does he think the umbilical cord connects to...an external power strip?

Alvord’s comments, while incredibly dumb, are not rare. People (mostly male politicians) being performatively obtuse about the uterus and its surrounding parts is an easy way to get anti-abortion donors and quickly cut an ad that shows just how much you’ll “fight for those babies.” And since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it’s only gotten worse.

Here is an incomplete list of the weirdest things politicians have said about reproductive biology, sex, and abortion, including whether ectopic pregnancies can be reimplanted and what “legitimate” rape can and cannot do to the body.

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Dave Alvord, Salt Lake County Councilman

Dave Alvord, Salt Lake County Councilman

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Screenshot: YouTube/Dave Alvord Salt Lake County Council (Fair Use)

Let’s kick it off with Alvord, the aforementioned Salt Lake County Council member, who has carried on for days with his anti-abortion placenta rhetoric. Yesterday, he wanted to clarify some things with a thread. It’s best read in full, including the part where he maybe implies the placenta has a gender.

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Todd Akin

Todd Akin

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Photo: Whitney Curtis (Getty Images)

Ah, Todd Akin is a classic of the genre. In 2012, while trying to unseat Claire McCaskill, he opened his big mouth to talk about rape and how it’s connected to pregnancy: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has a way to shut that whole thing down.”

Ah, yes, the category of “legitimate rape” is something that totally exists.

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Former Ohio state Rep. John Becker

Former Ohio state Rep. John Becker

The Becker Report - July 2022

This guy right here really tried to force doctors to re-implant ectopic pregnancies. Ohio state Rep. John Becker (R) said he had heard a lot about the possible procedure that is physically impossible. “I heard about it over the years,” Becker said in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2019. “I never questioned it or gave it a lot of thought.”

In a follow-up story by Business Insider, Becker said his proposal would have allowed insurance providers to cover the physically impossible re-implantation process “if they choose to do so.” K.

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Illinois Gubernatorial Candidate Darren Bailey

Illinois Gubernatorial Candidate Darren Bailey

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Photo: Jim Vondruska (Getty Images)

This month, it was reported that GOP Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey had compared abortion to the Holocaust. In a 2017 Facebook Live, Bailey compared fetuses and embryos to millions of Jewish people annihilated by the Nazis. “I believe that abortion is one of the greatest atrocities of our day, and I believe it’s one of the greatest atrocities probably forever. The attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion since its legalization,” he said.

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Virginia GOP congressional candidate Yesli Vega

Virginia GOP congressional candidate Yesli Vega

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Photo: Nathan Howard (Getty Images)

Yesli Vega is currently running against Rep. Abigail Spanberger in Virginia. She also has some weird things to say about pregnancy and rape. In two recordings released by Axios, Vega heavily implied that rape makes it harder to get pregnant, because it’s not sex that’s happening “organically”:

QUESTION: “I’ve actually heard that it’s harder for a woman to get pregnant if she’s been raped. Have you heard that?”

VEGA: “Well, maybe because there’s so much going on in the body. I don’t know. I haven’t, you know, seen any studies. But if I’m processing what you’re saying, it wouldn’t surprise me. Because it’s not something that’s happening organically. You’re forcing it. The individual, the male, is doing it as quickly — it’s not like, you know — and so I can see why there is truth to that. It’s unfortunate.”

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North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy

North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy

SELMA, NC - APRIL 09: Rep. Greg Murphy speaks before a rally for former U.S. President Donald Trump at The Farm at 95 on April 9, 2022 in Selma, North Carolina. The rally comes about five weeks before North Carolinas primary elections where Trump has thrown his support behind candidates in some key Republican races. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
Photo: Allison Joyce (Getty Images)

North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy (R) made his feelings about control known in the days after Roe v. Wade was overturned. In a tweet replying to a number of people (including @POTUS), Murphy wrote, “No one forces anyone to have sex.”

Again, maybe we need to revisit the definition of “rape” in the Republican caucus.

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Montana state Rep. Brad Tschida

Montana state Rep. Brad Tschida

File-This March 2019 file photo shows State Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, speaking on the floor of the state House in Helena, Mont. The fight between moderate and conservative factions within the Montana Republican Party seeking to control the GOP's legislative agenda led to the defeat of incumbents and experienced lawmakers in this week's primary elections. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP, File)
Photo: Thom Bridge/Independent Record (AP)

Montana GOP State Rep. Brad Tschida (R) just flat out called the uterus a “womb” in a creepy statement in July about a month after the Supreme Court decision. “The womb is the only organ in a woman’s body that serves no specific purpose to her life or well-being,” Tschida said in an email to lawmakers, obtained by KTVH. “It is truly a sanctuary.”

And he stands by it. “I’m not going to apologize for saying that,” Tschida told KXLH. “I think that’s exactly what it’s there for. It welcomes in a new life and that’s what it’s there to do, to nurture and sustain that life.”

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West Virginia state Sen. Robert Karnes

West Virginia state Sen. Robert Karnes

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Photo: Rick Bowmer (AP)

West Virginia State Senator Robert Karnes (R) has tried to apologize? explain? why he’s anti-abortion in the oddest way: because child rape victims “romanticize” a relationship with the adult abuser. “The dynamic in these relationships, quite often, is that the child has a very romanticized view of what’s happening. They think this is their boyfriend. Would you agree with that?”

If you can stomach it, here’s a video:

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Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas

Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas

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I don’t even know to introduce this ridiculous claim from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) about fetuses masturbating in the womb:

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. They feel pleasure. Why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?

Absolutely not, sir.

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