The Time a Sonogram Machine Got a Front Row Seat at a Congressional Hearing.

By Stacie Murphy, Policy Director

On Wednesday, a bunch of House Republicans (all men, natch) got together to talk about banning abortions after the 6th week of pregnancy.

The House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice met to discuss HR 490, the “Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017.” In his opening statement, Chairman and notable racist Steve “Calves-Like-Cantaloupes” King (R-IA) said the bill would ensure that “if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected.”

A sonogram machine was the guest of honor. I’m not even kidding. It had a seat in the front row. I bet it didn’t even have to wait in line.

Once the hearing got going, they played a video of a sonogram, with narration provided by King. One problem, aside from the essential absurdity of this whole stupid stunt? The sonogram was of an 18-week fetus. Which makes total sense to me. Having personally had one, I know that 6-week sonograms don’t make for compelling theater. (See that little blob of pixels right there? Congratulations!) But it does make what he did seem a lot more like a, well, I know everybody seems all of a sudden allergic to the use of the word “lie,” but it’s hard to come up with another way of putting it. He lied. He’s a liar.

This bill would ban abortion before a lot of women even know they’re pregnant. And even the ones who do would have a hard time accessing the procedure under such restrictions. An example:

This bill is laughably, blatantly unconstitutional, and really, they know it. This hearing was a show meant to pander to their most extreme element. None of them believe it’s going to pass. I’ve got no doubt at all that King and company truly, deeply, ardently support this bill. If it could pass, they would do it in a heartbeat (ha—see what I did there?) and pat themselves on the back for saving the babies.

There’s a more cynical theory going around for why Republican leadership let the hearing happen, though. They passed an equally unconstitutional 20-week ban a few weeks back. Playing up this ridiculous 6-week ban makes that one look far more “reasonable” in comparison.

But we see you. We see what you’re doing, and we aren’t fooled.

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