An Ohio state lawmaker took to the legislature’s floor to give testimony against the state’s fetal heartbeat bill. Teresa Fedor shared her personal tragedy of having been raped in the military, getting pregnant from it, and having an abortion. Her testimony was heartfelt, emotional, and difficult. Despite that, according to Mother Jones, some guy in the audience was laughing.
Mother Jones has a video of Fedor’s testimony, and her exact words were:
I see people laughing and I don’t appreciate that. On the other side. And it happens to be a man who is laughing. I don’t know if it’s about what I’m saying, but this is serious business right now and I’m speaking for all the women in the state of Ohio who didn’t get the opportunity to be in front of that committee and make this statement.
So this is not hearsay, this actually did happen. Fedor talked about how she doesn’t want government in her business, and how the committee and the lawmakers who support this bill don’t respect the fact that there’s another side to these issues, which is the side of the rape victim. She said that what they were doing was “fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional,” and urged them not to pass it.
The bill bans all abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, and could ban abortions as early as six weeks, according to The Huffington Post. Opponents of the bill warned that such a stipulation could make it so a woman can’t seek an abortion at all, because it bans abortions before many women even know they’re pregnant.
The Health Committee also refused to allow amendments that would create exceptions in the cases of rape and incest. That’s where a huge part of the problem comes from: Women who go through horrible traumas–then realize their rapists got them pregnant too late to do anything–would be forced to carry that baby to term and endure months of ongoing psychological trauma.
Whoever it was that was laughing, regardless of what he was laughing about, should be ashamed of himself. Laughing while someone is sharing a deep, personal trauma is the height of disrespect. It doesn’t matter why. This man, whoever he was, doesn’t respect Fedor or the trauma she went through and likely doesn’t care. He has his own beliefs, his own preconceptions and his own agenda, and that’s all that matters. It’s a sad, sick reflection of the selfish, misogynistic culture we live in.
Watch the video below:
H/T: Mother Jones | Featured image via screen capture