There’s a reason I cringe when politicians — usually Republicans — profess their ignorance about science. Like when Scott Walker can’t answer a basic question about accepting evolution or Bobby Jindal thinks teaching Creationism in public schools should be allowed.
Some people don’t seem to think these questions are relevant unless the politicians directly affect policy in these areas — but that’s foolish. Their responses speak more broadly to how they make their decisions: Do they defer to experts in the field or listen to an ignorant base?
Idaho State Rep. Vito Barbieri (below) is someone who’s no expert in science and he has decision-making power… which makes him especially dangerous.
Here’s him showing off his ignorance, during a hearing on a bill that “would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine”:
Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.
“Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Barbieri asked.
Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.
“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.
In Barbieri’s mind, there’s a direct line from your mouth to your vagina.
So I guess he thinks blowjobs can make women pregnant…?
Here’s the scarier part:
The committee approved the bill 13-4 on a party-line vote, where it now goes to the House floor for a full vote. Barbieri, who sits on the board of a crisis pregnancy center in northern Idaho, voted in favor of the legislation.
This is why our politicians should either have a decent background in science or defer to experts who truly understand these issues. The majority of science experts accept climate change and evolution and vaccines… and they know a hell of a lot about women’s health.
But conservative politicians ignore them regularly.
For what it’s worth, Barbieri now says his question was rhetorical.
Sure it was.