Republican Senator Michael Burgess believes that male fetuses masturbate by the age of 15 weeks. Since they feel, as Burgess puts it, “pleasure” at that age, then it likely means that they can also feel “pain,” and thus they should not be aborted.
Burgess told the House Rules Committee during debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: “Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”
If fetuses are capable of feeling pleasure and pain, the argument goes, at 15 weeks, then the Supreme Court’s ruling that abortions can legally be performed at the 23-24 week mark should be overturned.
Who knows how much further pleasure a male fetus can experience by that ripe old age?
It was inevitable that Senator Burgess’s remarks would be joked about, though the topic of abortion and when and if women should have the right to terminate their pregnancies is an extremely serious matter.
Senator Michael Burgess, from Lewisville, Texas, is an OB/GYN. If anyone should know about whether or not fetuses masturbate, he should know, right?
Usually, arguments against abortion, other than medical ones, have something to do with one’s religious point of view, though — not whether or not a male fetus is capable of masturbating while still in the womb.
What, or who, would the fetus even be fantasizing about, having never seen the opposite — or, same sex, before?
The Supreme Court has upheld Roe V. Wade so far. Will the opinions of enough judges likely change, based on the crucial bit of knowledge that male fetuses masturbate — assuming that they do?
Yes, assuming that the male fetuses do masturbate — I went there — should the lives of male fetuses be saved? Not on the grounds of all life being holy, or that God is the one who should decide when it comes to matters of life and death; but, on the grounds that male fetuses have the capability to masturbate?
There are some Doubting Thomases, and at least one Doubting Thomasina, Cleveland Dr. Lisa Perriera of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, who believes that Senator Burgess has his information wrong.
She claims that the motive a male fetus has in sometimes putting his hands between his legs is not to masturbate, but that it’s “practicing using their muscles.”
Perriera further states that: “three studies have been done in human fetuses to examine the development of connections between nerves, and we don’t think those connections start to form until somewhere between 23 and 30 weeks gestation.”
Hmmm…she’s a doctor, too. Who is right on this issue?
For that matter, why should the ability to masturbate be used as a determining factor as to whether a fetus lives or dies?
Republican Senator Michael Burgess believes that fetuses masturbate. Do you? You can watch the video of Senator Burgess testifying below.
Written by: Douglas Cobb