Missouri legislator: I know something about women’s health issues because ‘my father is a veterinarian’

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R) presiding over House debate.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R) presiding over House debate.

The Missouri House passed a bill that would allow medical practitioners to deny covering certain reproductive procedures based on religion objections.

The bill’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Tim Jones (R) argued on the Missouri House floor that this bill will make sure all of the medical staff will be committed to every procedure. He is concerned that some members on the surgical team may hold back on their assistance in the operating room because of their deeply-held religious beliefs.

Then Jones, a former Attorney, cited own his experience with the medical field:

I’ve been in operating rooms. My father is a veterinarian. I grew up in operating rooms…they are crowded places…and you want those people all in.

Jones says his statement was taken out of context and Missouri state Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R) rushed to his aide.

“He was not comparing women to a veterinarian operation,” she said. “He has been in hospitals around Missouri watching operations. To say he was comparing women to a veterinarian operation is disingenuine.”

Republicans maintain that the bill gives medical workers more rights and freedoms.  But Rep. Stacy Newman, a Democrat, sees it differently.

“This is legalizing malpractice, that is wrong,” said Newman.  ”If we are not getting accurate medical information in our time of crisis, this is a war on women.”

The bill passed the house 113-41. It is unclear if the state Senate will take up the bill or if Governor Jay Nixon (D) will sign it if it reaches his desk.

You can hear the full audio of Tim Jones’ statement on the House floor here.