Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) attracted ridicule this week after he compared women and fetuses to sea turtles, eagles and their eggs as he argued against a bill proposed by Democrats that would guarantee the right to abortion under federal law.
According to Daines’ analogy, which was delivered on the Senate floor complete with a visual aid, the legislation would give fetuses fewer protections than turtle and eagle eggs.
“If you were to take or destroy the eggs of a sea turtle, now I said the eggs. Not the hatchlings, that’s also a [unintelligible], the criminal penalties are severe. Up to $100,000 fine and a year in prison. Now why?” Daines said. “Why do we have laws in place that protect the eggs of a sea turtle or the eggs of eagles? Because when you destroy an egg, you’re killing a preborn baby sea turtle or a preborn baby eagle.”
The laws he’s referring to protect sea turtle and bald eagle nests from humans because the species are endangered. There are no laws preventing female wildlife from doing as they please with their own eggs.
Democrats introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act in an effort to safeguard abortion access for millions of women, following the leak of a draft majority opinion that showed the Supreme Court was poised to overturn the landmark 1973 abortion rights case, Roe v. Wade, and roll back women’s rights by five decades.
Daines’ argument was torn apart on social media: