reproductive rights

These Statements From Alabama’s Abortion Vote Are Infuriating

Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, after four hours of heated debate, a group of 25 male Republican state senators voted to outlaw nearly all abortions in the state (with no exceptions for rape or incest). The legislation — the most extreme abortion ban in the country — is now in the hands of Alabama governor Kay Ivey, who has yet to indicate whether she will sign it into law (though the AP notes that the bill’s sponsor, Representative Terri Collins, has said she believes Ivey will support the ban), and is considered a direct, intentional threat to Roe v. Wade.

The debate demonstrated the degree to which reproductive rights are under attack in this country — and there was perhaps no better example than the man who sponsored the bill in the senate, Republican Clyde Chambliss, who made many confusing and ignorant comments in the course of the debate. Here are some of the most horrifying things he said.

Chambliss couldn’t accurately describe how a woman knows if she is pregnant.

Per the Daily Beast, Chambliss’s ignorance was on full display in his opening statement, when he admitted to not being “trained medically” and thereby uncertain of how women can tell if they are pregnant — which one might think is important information to have when pushing a six-week ban.

“I’m not trained medically so I don’t know the proper medical terminology and timelines. But from what I’ve read, what I’ve been told, there’s some period of time before you can know a woman is pregnant.”

The senator also kept making references to women being able to end pregnancies before they know they are pregnant.

Chambliss continually said that a woman could end her pregnancy if she did not know she was pregnant, which many have taken to be a reference to the morning-after pill, according to reporter Abbey Crain.

Chambliss suggested that women should be more educated on what to do if they are assaulted.

He said, per KGUN-9, “What I hope is, if we pass this bill, that all young ladies would be educated by their parents, their guardians that should a situation like this occur, you need to go get help — you need to do it immediately.” By “help,” he meant mental and physical treatment — but not abortion if a pregnancy occurs as a result of the attack.

He struggled when asked whether eggs are considered to be human life.

On the topic of whether a woman’s eggs would be subjected to the abortion law, Chambliss said:

“I’m at the limits of my medical knowledge, but until those chromosomes you were talking about combine — from male and female— that’s my understanding.” 

The senator declared he’s not “smart enough” to get pregnant himself.

Democratic senator Linda Coleman-Madison slammed Chambliss’s repeated comments about pregnancy, saying (per the Daily Beast), “You men don’t know what you don’t know because you’ve never been pregnant. You can’t get pregnant, you’ve never been pregnant, you don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant, you don’t know what a woman goes through when she’s pregnant.” He then replied:

“Senator, I don’t know if I’m smart enough to be pregnant, so I appreciate the wisdom of our heavenly father.”

The Most Infuriating Statements From Alabama’s Abortion Vote