What do abortion rights and a dead chicken have in common? Ask Representative Mike Moon (R) of Missouri, who broadcast a live video on Facebook showing him killing and gutting a chicken with his bare hands to discuss his crusade to eliminate women’s reproductive rights.
Throughout the disturbing video, Moon contemplates the anti-legislation passed during a special session called by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R). Lawmakers repealed a St. Louis law outlawing workplace discrimination against women who have abortions and put new abortion restrictions in place. “God gave man dominion over animals,” Moon asserts in the video. “He allows us to raise them properly, care for them, and then process them for food so we can sustain life. And that’s what I’m doing here with this chicken.”
Moon discusses the session and his anti-abortion sentiments in his video while decapitating the chicken with his hands, chopping it up and, eventually, pulling out its heart as he simultaneously attempts to make a pun: “I think we need to get to the heart of the matter here.”
The video was also how Moon announced the “Missouri Right to Life Act”—legislation he introduced defining human life as beginning at conception. That he could find no better way to introduce so-called “pro-life” legislation than ending the life of another creature in a disturbingly voyeuristic manner is rich in irony.
Moon made no further mention as to how his actions pertain to abortion rights, thought he did tweet that those “freaking out about the chicken video” must not “know what an abortion is.” Moon’s video highlights the tragic conundrum of many anti-abortionist lawmakers who claim to care about “life” but neglect the actual human rights of so many. Moon claiming to “raise and care for” animals up until he deems it proper to kill them mimics the sentiments of lawmakers who fight to eliminate abortion access under the guise of upholding “the sanctity of life” but refuse to allow innocent civilians to seek refuge in the U.S. or grant LGBTQ individuals basic human rights. His actions also fall in line with the behavior of anti-abortion extremists, who have gone so far as to incite violence against and the killing of abortion providers, clinics and patients across the country.
To answer Moon’s question: Yes, we do know what an abortion is. We know it is a safe and legal procedure. We know it can be life-saving and life-changing. And we know that it is far less disturbing than an elected official gutting an animal in a live broadcast to make a case for controlling women’s bodies.