Yet again another male GOP leader outdoes his peers by expressing more contempt for women than could be imagined.
After one commenter was offended by the photo, Nieves asked whether he supported “partial-birth abortions,” referring to abortions done in the final trimester of pregnancy. The term “partial-birth” is actually a specific term used to describe the dilation and extraction abortion procedure used rarely during late-term abortions.
The commenter replied that late-term abortions “are almost entirely due to complications in the third trimester that would effect the life of the mother.” To this Nieves responded, “Really? Didn’t you say you have an advanced degree? Your statement about 'Life of the Mother’ is one of the most common yet kindergarten ways of proving that you don't even know what a partial birth abortion is!!”
The commenter then listed several medical conditions that may develop in the last trimester that could influence a mother’s decision to abort, including severe or uncontrollable diabetes, severe fetal deformities, serious renal disease, hypertension and heart failure.
This was Nieves’ response:
Nieves is not the first, nor is he likely to be the last Republican lawmaker to claim that women never need an abortion to save their lives. Last year Representative Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said there should be no excuse for abortion for the life of the mother because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a mother’s life would actually end. Walsh maintained the same argument in terms of the health of the mother.
Missouri is one of a handful of states that uses only a woman’s physical health or life as an exception to their ban on late term pregnancies. And an abortion bill passed in the state in 2011 outlined one of the strictest definitions of a woman’s physical health. “Missouri’s emergency exception is one of the narrowest in the country — it’s basically your kidneys are going to fail or you’re going to die,” said Pamela Sumners, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.
Unfortunately, Nieves’ views might likely be understood in his home state. Last year Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for Missouri Senate, stirred up trouble when he argued that women who legitimately get raped cannot get pregnant. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said. Akin is also one of many legislators who have said unimaginable things about rape-related pregnancies.
One commenter with whom Nieves was arguing eventually tired of the debate and put it to rest quite civilly with a comment every anti-abortion supporter should hear.
“I am perhaps too old and tired for this debate this evening,” he wrote. “You don’t seem to understand, or wish to understand what I said about education or providing birth control so abortion is no longer necessary. But then again, you couldn’t scream your disgust at me if you did."