A Missouri state lawmaker has filed a bill that would give men final say in whether a woman can get an abortion. Under House Bill 131, introduced by Republican Rep. Rick Brattin for the legislative session beginning in January, a woman would have to obtain written permission from a man who impregnated her before the procedure was permitted. Exceptions would be allowed for victims of incest or "legitimate rape".
Brattin told Mother Jones the legislation was inspired by his recent vasectomy, for which the state required his spouse's consent in order to get the procedure. "Here I was getting a normal procedure … and I needed to get a signed form," Brattin complained.
There is not actually any law on the books in Missouri that requires a spouse's consent before vasectomies.
Since Mother Jones noted Brattin's proposal this morning, the story has been circulating quickly, with all the scorn such shenanigans deserve. But before anyone goes getting too outraged, take heed: Brattin is basically just trolling. He introduced similar legislation last legislative session; it never received so much as a hearing.
Other bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Brattin would prohibit Missouri courts from using Sharia law, add firing squad to the state's death penalty options, require the equal teaching of evolution and intelligent design in public schools, increase fines on businesses who employ unathorized immigrant workers, and ban tobacco from state prisons. Ironically, he also co-sponsored a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to say "that each citizen has an inherent liberty that includes being able to make decisions regarding lawful health care related services or products."