With so many conservative male lawmakers railing against reproductives rights these days, standing out from the pack is, indeed, a difficult proposition. One Missouri lawmaker managed to rise above: in an effort to make a point about abortion, he slaughtered poultry on camera.
State Rep. Mike Moon, a Republican, beheaded a chicken and pulled out its heart in a grisly video posted to Facebook. Moon told the Washington Post he was trying to illustrate the demanding nature of his dual jobs along with his commitment to the legislative process and a newly proposed abortion ban.
Moon's violent display was allegedly a response to fledgling Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' decision to convene the second special legislative session of the summer, during which lawmakers will address a slew of abortion-related measures that failed to advance during the regular season. Greitens had previously suggested such special sessions were necessary because legislators had "failed to do their jobs" during the regular session.
Chopping the head from a wildly flapping chicken, Moon explained to his video audience that he wasn't going to shirk his political duties, despite the fact there was plenty to do on his farm. No, he'd be hightailing it back to the capitol — because he had "unborn" lives to save.
"God gave us man dominion over life," Moon told the camera. "He allows us to raise animals properly and care for them and then process them for food so we can sustain life. And that’s what I’m doing here with this chicken. ... So we've been called back to this special session for the primary purpose of supporting life, protecting the unborn specifically."
During the special session, lawmakers will consider a St. Louis City ordinance that bars landlords and employers for discriminating against women for their reproductive health care decisions, whether that means the decision to become pregnant, have an abortion or use contraception. They will also revisit licensing requirements for abortion providers. As Moon explained to the Post, he doesn't believe the legislation goes far enough.
"I think we need to get to the heart of the matter here," he continued, plucking the bird's heart from its body as he asked for viewers' support of his anti-abortion measure. House Bill 14, which Moon filed Monday, would free Missouri from its obligation to adhere to the abortion regulations established in Roe v. Wade and instead "require due process of law before the life of any human, born or unborn, is ended prior to natural death."
According to the Kansas City Star, Moon later returned to Facebook to chastise viewers who were "freaking out about the chicken video" but are unbothered by killing a "baby" through abortion.
Disbelieving critics, however, speculated to the Post that the farmer-slash-legislator was using the bloody stunt to intimidate women who might be seeking to terminate pregnancy. Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, sees such "theatrics" as typical of Moon, a man who recently pushed for the state capitol building to add a graphic abortion display to its museum. As Dreith told the Post, "He routinely compares abortion to the Holocaust and slavery and this is another example of him grandstanding in a disturbing and dangerous way."
Highlighting the importance of preserving life by taking one is also, arguably, an example of Moon's hypocrisy.