Senator Compares Pregnant People to Sea Turtles in Anti-Abortion Statement

United States Senator Steve Daines (Republican from Montana) has made an absurd argument in favor allowing abortion rights to be dismantled across the country through a future Supreme Court decision, using environmental protections of sea turtles and eagles as his case.

Daines spoke on the Senate floor on TuesdayTo compare these environmental standards with abortion protections, arguing in favor of a bill to be considered Wednesday that would codify reproductive right that were recognized in the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade. This bill is in response to Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion, which suggested that the Court would soon overturn this precedent. It is not likely to pass.

The Montana Republican’s argument rested on the notion that wildlife had more protections than human embryos — disregarding the autonomy rights of individuals altogether.

“Why do we have laws in place that protect the eggs of a sea turtle, or the eggs of eagles?” Daines questioned rhetorically in his complaint. “Because when you destroy an egg, you’re killing a pre-born baby sea turtle or a pre-born baby eagle. Yet when it comes to a pre-born human baby — rather than a sea turtle — that baby would be stripped of all protections, in all 50 states, under the Democrats’ bill that we’ll be voting on.”

There are many serious problems, of course, with Daines’s reasoning. For starters, the destruction of another animal’s eggs or offspring in this instance is an action performed by a human being, and the laws he cites are about restricting humans from engaging in actions that could destroy entire species. Abortion is a decision made by a person who is pregnant and does not want to be, and it is one that respects their personal autonomy.

Daines is also hypocritical in his statement — while he uses the protection of certain animals to defend his stance against abortion rights, the senator has regularly promoted legislation that would threaten endangered animals’ lives.

Many people on social media also noted Daines’s problematic arguments against keeping the right to abortion across the entirety of the U.S. intact.

“Can someone explain to Sen. Daines that women don’t lay eggs?” tweeted Laura Dronen, communications director for North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party.

“Shocking no one, Sen. Steve Daines bio says he’s an avid hunter who kills birds,” noted Shannon WattsMoms Demand founder. “What do you want to bet he also eats eggs?”

Political commentator Lindy Li also tweeted about Daines’s comments, enjoining them to a number of other preposterous remarks anti-abortion conservatives have made in the past week or so.

“Montana Senator Daines compares women to sea turtles. [Ohio GOP Senate candidate] JD Vance says rape is ‘inconvenient.’ Alito thinks we’re host bodies that produce for the ‘domestic supply of infants.’ [Ohio Republican]Jean Schmidt believes that rape offers a great opportunity. The misogyny of the GOP isn’t a bug. It’s the whole shebang,” Li said.