Georgia Republican Representative Jody Hice stunned listeners when he said that he opposes the right to an abortion on the grounds that women give birth to humans and not a "turtle" or a "taco."
Hice made the bizarre comment during an exchange with Fatima Goss Graves, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Women's Law Center, who appeared taken aback by Hice's question about whether there's been "any instance of a woman giving birth to something that is not a human being?"
Hice then wondered whether any women out there have given birth to something "Like… a turtle? Or, as our first lady suggested, a breakfast taco,” a reference to a statement made by Dr. Jill Biden earlier this week where she compared diversity among Hispanic people to the diversity of Hispanic American food like breakfast tacos, which are quite popular in San Antonio, Texas where she was speaking.
You can hear what Hice said in the video below.
Goss Graves ignored Hice's mention of turtles and tacos, noting that "there are definitely instances where people have stillborn," a worthwhile point in conversations about reproductive rights because abortions are often the recommended treatment for patients who are carrying a dead fetus.
But Hice then turned his attention non-viable fetuses, noting that some people cannot live without regular insulin injections and asking whether "we should kill those people who cannot live without insulin."
Goss Graves was confused by Hice's train of thought, admitting that she "not really sure what it is a question of.” Then Hice became visibly annoyed when she asked whether he was asking about contraception or in vitro fertilization, and accused her of mischaracterizing his statements.
"No, no, you mischaracterize. I’m having a clear discussion about abortion and the fact that it is a person, it is a person that we’re dealing with. And that person after birth clearly is a person."
"And therefore, by extension, before birth is also a person. And the question comes down to when does a person have the right to life and when does a person have the right to health care?"
"And we can argue all day that it’s – that abortion is health care. It certainly is not health care to the baby."
"Health care protects life and abortion, by definition, destroys life. It is not health care. But if we’re talking about a person, which we are."
"We’re not talking about a taco. We're talking about a person. In the womb."
The exchange was the latest news to come out of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the Supreme Court's recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Hice's statements soon went viral and he was mocked almost immediately.
Hice isn't the only prominent Republican to make an absurd comparison on the matter of abortion – or to mention turtles, for that matter.
Last month, Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines was criticized after he compared human pregnancy to protections for sea turtle and eagle eggs during a speech in which he attempted to justify not protecting women's reproductive rights.