Apparently, some male lawmakers find the fact that women's reproductive rights in the US are increasingly under fire absolutely hilarious! Two Missouri state senators joked about where women should get abortions in the state during a recent session, with one even saying that they should go to the zoo.
The exchange occurred between state Senators Bob Onder and Wayne Wallingford on April 5. It started because Onder doesn't agree with a tax hike for the St. Louis Zoo because of an ordinance that prohibits "employers and landlords from discriminating against women who have had an abortion, use contraceptives, or are pregnant," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As Onder took to the floor, he said: "The St. Louis Zoo gets inspected once a year." To that, Wallingford joked: "Maybe we should send the people that want an abortion to the St. Louis Zoo, because we know it'll be safer."
Onder didn't stop there. Instead, he mentioned how zoos require a five-day waiting period before euthanizing animals, whereas women in Missouri "only" need to wait three days after seeing a doctor to get an abortion. "Let's think about this. Babies, it's three days, so although there are members of this body who don't agree with that three days, babies are three days," Onder said. He continued with, "So, zoo animals, it couldn't be more than 24 hours, right?" After pausing, Onder said, "Five days, Senator."
Even though only a single Missouri facility remains where women can have abortions, Onder wants to make the process even more difficult. The senator has previously drafted an amendment to rename the St. Louis Zoo as "The Midwest Abortion Sanctuary City Zoological Park."
Senator Onder posted a statement to Twitter on April 6 about his comments on the zoo. In it, he says, "My discussion on the Senate floor was completely intended to shine a light on the disservice that St. Louis City did to the people of our region by banning their freedom of speech and religion in making St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city." You can read the full statement ahead.
The internet wasn't into Onder's attempt to clarify what he meant.
Really?? Comments like that are unacceptable, everywhere. Do you talk to your wife and kids like that?? Bad.— Renton Citizen (@rentonwa1) April 7, 2017
Just in case you missed it, this is the 21st Century. Not the 19th as you seem to think. No matter what century women aren't animals.— Margaret Majorack (@MargaretMajorac) April 7, 2017
It's worth noting that Onder's words are just another tone-deaf comment from a state lawmaker on women's reproductive rights of late.