On Friday evening, a Trump-appointed judge issued a ruling that could halt the use of the abortion drug mifepristone nationwide, and Republican lawmakers really, really don’t want to talk about it. One member of Congress who was clearly not very prepped for his media appearance flat out said, when asked on CNN about the ruling, “Women have a whole lot more other issues than just abortion...let’s talk about the other things that are happening in this world.” That’s some real 2012 Nikki Haley shit.
Appearing State of the Union, Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) initially engaged with Dana Bash’s questions, but then set himself up to get destroyed. Gonzales told Bash he believes in “states’ rights” when it comes to abortion and that “it’s important that states dictate their futures.”
Bash correctly noted that the lawsuit effects every state in the country and asked Gonzalez to square that circle with his stated views: “Isn’t a federal judge saying on a national level that a pill cannot be administered the opposite of states’ rights?”
The congressman responded with a bunch of word salad and claimed that “the states started this”—nice try, it was a lawsuit filed in federal, not state, court—and ended with faux concern for the risks to our republic, saying, “We have to uphold our institutions, it’s dangerous when we erode them.”
Bash then pointed out that, in addition to abortion, mifepristone is used to treat miscarriages. She asked Gonzales if those women are also on their own if this ruling is upheld. He replied with some Grade A gaslighting:
No, I think it’s important that we take care of women and it’s important that we have real discussions on women’s healthcare and get off the abortion conversation. Women have a whole lot more other issues than just abortion. Let’s have those real conversations and let’s talk about the other things that are happening in this world.
Then he did a screeching hard pivot to talk about the border. Here’s the clip of this train wreck:
I’d say women and people who can become pregnant in the U.S. do have a lot of concerns right now—they’re worried about how being forced to stay pregnant and give birth will affect their health, budget, education, career, and so much more.
Republicans aren’t going to be allowed to change the subject any more on the abortion access crisis they’ve created, so perhaps they need to come prepared with some better answers.