Lawmaker Who Wants to Govern Women's Bodies Doesn't Even Know How They Work

law and medicineAs if America didn't have a gazillion other things -- the economy, climate change, gun control, war -- to worry about, many of its lawmakers still seem hell bent on getting to the bottom of what they see as the biggest issue: women making own health care decisions! How dare we! Clearly, the government knows better than we do, right? Oh, except when a guy like Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri makes it uncomfortably clear that's not the case.

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After nearly three hours of testimony on HB154, a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication after a Skype or phone appointment, the Republican politican asked whether a woman could swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The eyebrow-raising question was raised when Julie Madsen, MD, who has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill and explained that colonoscopy patients can swallow a small device to give doctors a better look inside their colon. To that, Barbieri responded:

Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?

OMG. What?! No, dude, you're not going to get up close and personal with the uterus via the stomach. Does this guy even know what the uterus is? Sounds like these men, who did a cringe-worthy job of illustrating the female anatomy in a viral video back in December, know more than this politican!

Dr. Madsen put Barbieri in his place, noting how swallowed pills could never end up in the vagina. "Fascinating," he responded. "That makes sense." Wowww.

More from The Stir: Idaho Abortion Law Favors Fetuses Over Children

Later, the lawmaker explained himself by saying the question was rhetorical, meant to prove a point. Sure. Even if that somehow was the case, it's horrifying, because women's health and well-being is not a joke.

This is obviously far from the first time a lawmaker has come off like a total moron when it comes to women's bodies while attempting to legislate .... women's bodies. But that doesn't make it any less horrifying.

Barbieri's beyond ignorant question only serves to remind us of another question we should be so sick of asking by now: Why the hell are politicians like this allowed to have anything to do with medicine? Shouldn't we leave that up to actual women and their qualified health care providers?

And it's even more reason we need to stand up for our rights, get vocal when it comes to bills like this that would limit our access to health care, and be educated, empowered patients. Because unfortunately, we certainly cannot rely on our elected officials to have a freakin' clue what they're talking about!

How does it make you feel to think a politician who doesn't even understand women's anatomy might be trying to govern our health decisions?

 

Image via iStock.com/Rallef

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