While Republican politicians have always been studiously and unrepentantly hostile to the sciences, it still befuddles the mind to realize just how ignorant they can be of basic human physiology — and how much power they wield to control reproductive functions they don’t have the slightest understanding of.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a religious extremist with regressively misogynistic views that would be quite popular among the Taliban, sparked outrage online this week when he and 20 of his fellow Republican zealots started a campaign to get the Food and Drug Administration to classify an abortion pill as “dangerous” and an “imminent hazard to the public health.”
In his tweet, Cruz claimed that “pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness,” making it clear that he has no idea of the risks that pregnancy can pose to America’s women — and that he couldn’t care less about their well-being.
Pregnancy is not a life-threatening illness, and the abortion pill does not cure or prevent any disease. Make no mistake, Mifeprex is a dangerous pill. That’s why 20 of my Republican colleagues and I are urging @US_FDA to classify it as such.https://t.co/zDZoCKKg9S
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 2, 2020
If he actually cared about these issues, he would know that maternal mortality rates in the United States are the worst in the developed West; we rank 55th in the world, right behind Russia and ahead of Ukraine. Much of this is due to the inhumane, exploitative, and unfathomably byzantine for-profit healthcare system that Cruz and his cronies fight tooth and nail to protect.
Unsurprisingly, he’s also very wrong about the dangers of Mifeprex, which is very safe to use — but apparently the approval of the scientists at the Food and Drug Administration isn’t good enough for Cruz.
There is nobody less qualified to tell women what choices they should make about their own health than Ted Cruz, and the women of Twitter quickly put him in his place:
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) September 3, 2020
300000 women die from pregnancy every year. https://t.co/OTPMbxYXLz
— Soup is Good Feud (@BethLynch2020) September 3, 2020
I had to have an urgent c-section at 35 weeks into a very much wanted pregnancy (after infertility issues) because of severe pre-eclampsia. To have another child, I would be considered high-risk. But tell me again, @tedcruz, about how pregnancy isn't life-threatening. pic.twitter.com/X5Rd50J8d5
— Elisa Cardnell (@ElisaCardnell) September 3, 2020
Ted Cruz has never been pregnant and clearly knows nothing about maternal mortality rates in the US or in Texas. People die in childbirth at an unconscionable rate, especially women of color. Not from medication abortion. Sadly, knowledge is not a prerequisite for power. https://t.co/EjER9RGfXC
— ilyseh (@ilyseh) September 3, 2020
Medical toxicologist here. Mifepristone is a very safe medication that is used every day to treat many different life-threatening complications of pregnancy.
— Ryan Marino (@RyanMarino) September 3, 2020
I once did the math that I injected myself 1,064 times to manage life-threatening complications while pregnant with my two kids. The doctor told us my husband should decide in advance whether he would stay in room with me or go with the baby "if things go south" post-delivery. https://t.co/x3R3JELYN5
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) September 3, 2020
Ted Cruz again. Apparently he can't get out of his own way tonight. Pregnancy can be life threatening. Let women make the hardest decision of their lives with their doctor, not with congress. pic.twitter.com/ks6rBMfAv7
— Mychal Evenson (@MychalEvenson) September 3, 2020