A physician dodged Republican Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson’s question of whether partial birth abortion should be legalized during a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Johnson asked Dr. Yashica Robinson, a board member of the Physicians for Reproductive Health, at what point in the pregnancy should abortion be restricted.
“As a medical doctor, I understand that every pregnancy is unique and different,” she said. “I also understand that patients need to have access to care. Pregnant people as the pregnancy progresses and that may be for various reasons.”
“Do you support the right of a woman who is just seconds away from birthing a healthy child to have an abortion?” Johnson interjected.
“I think that the question that you’re asking does not realistically reflect abortion care —” Robinson began. Johnson cut her off repeating the question. (RELATED: Cotton Slams Becerra For Trying To ‘Ignore Partial Birth Abortion Ban: ‘He Doesn’t Get To Pick And Choose’)
“I won’t entertain theoreticals,” she said.
“It’s not a theoretical ma’am,” Johnson said. “You’re a medical doctor.”
“I am a medical doctor and that has never happened,” she said.
The representative hit back saying though it had never happened in her personal practice, partial-birth abortions do occur across the U.S. He proceeded to ask if abortion should be allowed when the child is halfway delivered out of the birth canal. She told Johnson she “can’t fathom that ever happening.”
“I’m not asking if you can fathom it, if it occurred, would you support that abortion or not? That’s unrestricted abortion, right?”
“I can’t answer that question, I can’t even imagine that. Just like I’m sure you can’t imagine what you would do if your daughter was raped. If it hasn’t happened, it may be difficult —”
“Okay, you’re not going to answer this question, but how about this one, how does one qualify as fully human?” he asked. “What makes a human being?”
“What makes a human being is them being born, number one. That’s why we have birthdays,” she replied.
Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and New Jersey allow late-term abortions — abortions performed past 22-24 weeks — without any state thresholds, according to the World Population Review. Several other states allow late-term abortion in cases threatening the mother’s life.
Congressional Democrats attempted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act that intended to eliminate restrictions on partial birth abortion. The legislation failed to pass after all 50 Senate Republicans, along with Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, voted in opposition of the bill.