You decide: Which anti-choicer takes the cake?

It’s time to play a little game I like to call “Which anti-choicer takes the cake?” It is not a fun game. But sometimes–like, for instance, when I can’t decide which horrible quote to blog about, it’s one we have to play.

1) In a Senate committee hearing last week, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky demanded to know if an energy department official was pro-choice and then cried “hypocrisy” because women get to have abortions while his toilet doesn’t work. [Video]

“The point is that most members of your administration probably would be frank and characterize themselves as being pro-choice for abortion. But you’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item that you’ve listed here, including light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can’t go around your house without being told what to buy. You restrict my purchases, you don’t care about my choices.”

Points for: Comparing the right to abortion to a consumer choice. The irony of calling out pro-choicers for hypocrisy when Paul is, in fact, anti-choice–at least when it comes to abortion. Whining.

2) Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio argued on the House floor that women have a responsibility to bear children because those babies might become president.

“Every one of us has the right to life, born and unborn, and it is the women who have the responsibility to make sure that that baby is born. Unfortunately our courts, over 33 years ago, decided to change that, and decided that women have the right to end that life. But Mr. Speaker, we don’t have that right. It is our responsibility to bear those children. I mean, you look at our president. Do you think when he was born his mom thought he was going to be the president of the United States? I seriously doubt it. He didn’t come from a dynasty of presidents. He’s just an ordinary person born from an ordinary mom. But he, you know, had the opportunity and the privilege to live in America and become the president.”

Points for: The child who grows up to be president angle…’cause that’s never been done before.

3) During a committee hearing on a bill that would criminalize abortion, Montana State Rep. Keith Regier Rangers compared pregnant women to cows. Literally. [Audio]

“Ranchers refer to cows as either preg-tested or open. A preg-tested cow is a cow that has been tested by a veterarian and confirmed to be pregnant. Open cows are not pregnant. Preg-tested cows bring a higher price than open cows…Why does it bring a higher price? Because the calf the cow is carrying has a value even though it isn’t completed. If unfinished buildings and unborn cows have a value in Montana, shouldn’t unborn children have a value?”

Points for: The awful word “preg-tested.” The fact that he wraps up with “Your support for HB 167 will show support of all pregnant women in Montana,” as if he didn’t even notice he’d just compared them all to pregnant animals to be bought and sold.

Cast your votes in the comments!

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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