**Updated**

“If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs.” – Rep. Michael Burgess

Rep. Michael Burgess advocates for the rights of fetuses to masturbate.

Rep. Michael Burgess advocates for the rights of fetuses to masturbate.

THE RIGHT wing never lets an opportunity go by without exploiting it and the extremist Republicans have put Rep. Marsha Blackburn in charge of the campaign. She’s getting a lot of help from pals like Rep. Michael Burgess.

On the wings of the first-degree murder conviction of the barbaric Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the extremist Republicans, led by Blackburn, feel emboldened and are now running wild in the House of Representatives.

Even if the GOP can’t stop extremist Republicans from saying crazy things, see Rep. Trent Franks on rape and pregnancy, at least they’ve finally found a female face to put on their ravings against women’s right to self-determination.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is getting help making her case from a man who thinks he’s found the real reason to stop abortions even earlier, denying the human right of all women to self-determination. It gets down to answering the age old question that we’ve all been churning over.

If a fetus can feel pleasure, why can’t it feel pain, too? After all, if a fetus can masturbate, doesn’t that make it more important than the woman carrying it?

“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” said Burgess, a former OB/GYN. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”

Here’s what the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynoecology stated in 2012 [h/t RealityCheck] on Burgess’ point about fetal pain:

The medical profession produced a rigorous scientific review of the available evidence on fetal pain in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 20051. The review concluded that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. No new studies since the publication of the JAMA paper have changed this dominant view of the medical profession. Supporters of HR 3803 only present studies which support the claim of fetal pain prior to the third trimester. When weighed together with other available information, including the JAMA study, the supporters’ conclusion does not stand.

In 2010, the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated the following:

The fetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks because the connections in the fetal brain are not fully formed; Evidence examined by the Working Party showed that the fetus, while in the chemical environment of the womb, is in a state of induced sleep and is unconscious; and, because the 24 week-old fetus has no awareness nor can it feel pain, the use of analgesia is of no benefit.

Think Progress has a complete rundown on what this bill contains.

Let me state that if you believe Griswold matters more than anything, which I do, then nothing else does, because until the fetus can live outside the woman’s womb successfully, the focal point is a woman’s right to privacy and little else, because the fetus sustains itself through the woman. Abortion is a serious issue with extremist Republicans utilizing religion to enact a political solution where it doesn’t belong. I respect people who are against abortion as long as they’re for preventing it in real ways, which don’t include invading a woman’s personal, private and legal decision process. However, for some reason we keep arguing this, with way too many in the national and local media letting extremists get away with this utter nonsense, represented today by Rep. Michael Burgess.

Nothing is stopping extremist Republicans across the country, most notably in Rick Perry’s Texas, from circumventing Griswold, as well as Roe v. Wade, and making the lives and personal health care decisions of women, as well as doctors and hospitals, a nightmare that can endanger lives.

Millennials need to understand that these are the kinds of people who can tip the balance on women’s privacy in the years to come, as they are in state after state. If millennials don’t pay attention and decide privacy matters, it hardly matters what other generations have done before them. This applies to abortion rights, but also to what’s being talked about on the NSA, PRISM program and Obama’s dragnet snooping.

Yet after the high-profile murder trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia this spring, many Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country seem eager to reopen the emotional fight over a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. Their efforts will move to the forefront on Tuesday when House Republicans plan to bring to the floor a measure that would prohibit the procedure after 22 weeks of pregnancy “” the most restrictive abortion bill to come to a vote in either chamber in a decade.

[...] “These laws are flying through,” said Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports access to abortions. “The attention has really been at the state level around abortion issues. Now what you also see at the federal level is very disturbing, and it shows that abortion opponents are very emboldened.”

G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits to Appease Vocal Base

The extremists in the House passed the bill this afternoon, which included so-called Democrats [update].

Democrats voting for the bill were Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Nick Rahall (W.Va.). Republicans voting against it were Reps. Paul Broun (Ga.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Jon Runyan (N.J.) and Rob Woodall (Ga.).

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/306355-house-passes-controversial-late-term-abortion-ban#ixzz2WcEAlGp7
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