A Missouri Republican state rep during a House hearing this week likened getting an abortion to buying a car or putting carpeting in your house, suggesting it should take time and require you to get a lot of information.
The remark came during a discussion of a bill the rep, Republican Chuck Gatschenberger, is sponsoring, which would require women to wait 72 hours, instead of the existing 24-hour waiting period to get an abortion. It would also require women to have an ultrasound before terminating the pregnancy.
Gatschenberger assured a Democratic Rep., Stacey Newman, who called his remarks “offensive to every woman in this room,” that he wasn’t comparing reproductive decisions to buying a car, but then doubled down and continued the comparison.
When asked why he felt the bill was necessary—and why he didn’t trust women to make these decisions for themselves—Gatschenberger began a lengthy tale of time-consuming purchases.
"Well, yesterday, I went over to the car lot over here. I was just going to get a key made for a vehicle. And I was looking around because I'm considering maybe buying a new vehicle. Even when I buy a new vehicle—this is my experience, again—I don't go right in there and say I want to buy that vehicle, and then, you know, you leave with it. I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices. There's lots of things that I do, putting into a decision, whether that's a car, whether that's a house, whether that's any major decision that I put in my life. Even carpeting. You know, I was just considering getting some carpeting or wood in my house. And that process probably took, you know, a month, because of just seeing all the aspects of it,” he said in the video first flagged by Mother Jones.
Newman demanded clarity on Gatschenberger’s remarks, asking “do you believe that buying a car is in any way related to any type of pregnancy decision?”
Gatschenberger testily replies that “I did not say that. I'm saying my decision to accomplish something is, I get the input in it. And that's what this bill does, is give more information for people.”