Houston, We Have a Moron

The Texas state legislature is, predictably, chock full of ignorant wingnuts spouting all manner of nonsense. This is the home of Warren Chisum, who a few yeas ago sent out a memo to his colleagues urging them to visit the site fixedearth.com, which promotes geocentrism. It appears that Jodie Laubenberg wants his title as the dumbest legislator in the state.

You may remember Laubenberg as the ignorant dolt who claimed recently that women who are raped don’t need access to abortion because they administer rape kits at the hospital that cleans them all out and prevents pregnancy. But as ThinkProgress points out, this is hardly her only boneheaded statement.

She accused Texas’ budget board of using “government math” when it pointed out that cutting family planning funds would lead to more unplanned births.

In 2011, when the Texas legislature approved deep cuts to family planning programs, the state’s Legislative Budget Board warned lawmakers that decision would have some financial consequences. The government estimated that funding affordable contraception would save Texas $80 million in its next two-year budget because fewer babies would be born to low-income women enrolled in Medicaid (a health outcome that the Health Department regularly measures). “We’re going to save on the non-babies that are being born? We’re going to prevent baby births?” Laubenberg responded. “This has got to be government math.”

She argued that low-income pregnant women shouldn’t get government-sponsored prenatal care because their fetuses aren’t born yet.

Laubenberg has been arguing in favor of her proposed abortion restrictions under the logic that life begins at conception. “If you believe that (a fetus) is a human being, then that human being also has rights, and we must protect that baby’s rights,” Laubenberg said earlier this month. But she doesn’t necessarily take that stance when it comes to poorer women’s fetuses. In 2007, she proposed requiring pregnant women to wait three months before becoming eligible to receive prenatal and perinatal benefits under the Children’s Health Insurance Program. When Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia pointed out that change would kick more than 95,000 low-income women — and their unborn children — out of the government program, Laubenberg responded, “They’re not born yet.” When Anchia suggested her amendment wasn’t pro-life, Laubenberg yelled at him — but later withdrew her amendment.

Houston, we have a moron.

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