The questioning took place during a House Judiciary Committee hearing focusing on how abortion rights are at risk. The hearing came after Politico reported a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that enshrined the right of women to seek an abortion.
Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana asked Dr Yashica Robinson, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Huntsville, Alabama, whether she supports the right of a woman who is seconds away from birthing a healthy child to terminate a pregnancy.
“I think that the question you are asking does not realistically reflect abortion care,” she said.
“In that scenario, would you support the right to abort that child,” she said, to which Dr Robinson said she would not entertain theoreticals.
“It’s not a theoretical, Ma’am. You’re a medical doctor,” Mr Johnson said. He proceeded by asking if a child is halfway out of the birth canal, would she support the right to terminate the pregnancy.
“I can't even fathom that,” she said.
“I’m not asking if you can fathom it,” he said. “If it occurred would you support that abortion or not. That’s unrestricted abortion, right?”
Dr Robinson again said she couldn’t fathom doing that. “Just like you probably can't imagine what you would do if your daughter was raped,” she said.
Senate Democrats failed to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act last week after it passed the House last year. Republicans have said that the law goes beyond codifying the protections within Roe v Wade but would lead to, as Mr Johnson claimed, “unrestricted abortion.”