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Mo. lawmaker compares getting abortion to buying carpeting

Missouri State Rep. Chuck Gastchenberger says a 72-hour abortion waiting period is necessary to give women more time to learn about their options.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   April 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- For one Missouri lawmaker, an abortion waiting period is necessary for the same reason he takes a few days to decide to buy a car or pick out the carpeting for his house.

Republican State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger was answering questions on a bill working its way through the Missouri House that would require a woman to wait 72 hours to have an abortion before the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities when he was asked whether he would "trust your sisters to make their decisions for themselves."

"Well, yesterday, I went over to the car lot over here," he replied. "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," he said. "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."

After he made the comments, his colleague, Rep. Stacy Newman, called "offensive to every woman in this room" that he would compare a woman's decisions about her pregnancy to "somehow similar to purchasing a key for an automobile."

"If you were listening to my explanation, it had nothing to do [with] that," Gastschenberger said. "In making a decision -- not making a life-changing decision -- but making a decision to buy a car, I put research in there to find out what to do."

"So you're assuming that women who are under care for their pregnancy, need additional information that they're not already receiving?" Newman replied.

"I'm just saying they have the opportunity, it increases the opportunity. If you want to know what this bill does, increases the opportunity," he said.

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