Forced birth, ectopic transplants, and misogyny: Crank science in Ohio

This is a follow-up to Adoption and Abortion: “Heartbeat” bills are an adoption pipeline. Forced birthers undermine and exploit adoptees and our rights published last week. 

OMG!. Ohio Rep. John  Becker is even dumber than I thought. In fact, he has just grabbed the dumber-than-a-doorknob title held for the last few years by former Rep.Jim Buchy who couldn’t figure out why someone would want an abortion.

Becker is the Republican who introduced HB 182 in the Ohio House a couple of weeks ago, The bill excludes private insurance coverage for abortion,  It includes two other whackadoodle provisions:

  • mandates an experimental medical procedure to remove the embryo in an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube or elsewhere and implant it in the uterus to order avoid abortion.
  • “prohibits the use of drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” whatever that means.

Outside of the absurd anti-business attempt to ban private insurance coverage, the response has ranged from horrified to hoot by everyone except the Republican House Caucus who embraces every GOP crackpot who wanders in off High Street.

But it gets better,  Much better.

Rep John” I’m-not-a doctor” Becker

Friday’s Rewire: The Century-Old ‘Science Fiction’ Behind Ohio Rep’s Bill Covering Nonexistent Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment, (kudos to the headline writer for keeping a straight face.) reports that  Dr. Daniel Grossman, an OB-GYN and director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco, took up the task of explaining ectopic pregnancy and its treatment to Rep. Becker, whose sole source of reproductive knowledge apparently comes from congress with Mrs. Becker. We are unconvinced, in fact,  that Mrs. Becker herself.isn’t smirking up her sleeve when The Mister is in the other room.

We won’t bore you with Dr. Grossman’s exegesis, which was basically that there ain’t no such animal. You can read the explanation in the article. Rep. Becker, averred, of course, and sent Dr. Grossman PDFs of the two articles he based his bill on.

The first is a 1917 case report by C.J. Wallace published in the journal Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics.Wallace begins the two-and-a-half page report with an intro about why he attempted the procedure, writing, “Why have we all these many years been so willing to deprive these little children of the right to live just because they were started wrong?” Wallace then describes a time he purportedly transplanted an ectopic pregnancy from a woman’s left fallopian tube to her uterus, and claims that the pregnancy “went on normally to full term.”


The second article that Becker sent to Grossman was a letter “To the Editors” by Dr. Landrum B. Shettles that appeared in a 1990 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It describes a case in 1980 at the Gifford Memorial Hospital in Randolph, Vermont, in which Shettles says he witnessed a surgeon reimplant an ectopic pregnancy into a woman’s uterus.

Note that Shettles, an IVF pioneer, has his own history of what could be considered crank science regarding sex selection via sexual positions, intercourse timing, and female orgasm. Oh, and a pesky lawsuit involving test tube babies that got him booted from Columbia Presbyterian. Then, there’s his later work in cloning in Las Vegas.

Becker upon learning that replant technology doesn’t’ exist, backtracked and said that the provision is “wishful thinking for future treatment.” so that insurance would pay for it.


Becker says in so many words, that reality will neither stop him from pursuing his bill, or simply just pulling it. Pulling, of course, would be a public confession that he has no idea what he is talking about.

Becker, in fact, doubled down on stupid. When asked what kind of “drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation,” he meant, he went full Jim Buchy:

Well there’s a reason I didn’t specifically list them, because I don’t know what they are.”

Earlier Becker responded to his lack of medical knowledge with “I’m not a doctor.”

On second thought Not-a-Doctor Becker says he is considering an amendment that would only ban drugs and devices prescribed for their intended purpose:  preventing fertilization.  Becker claims he has been told that not all IUDs prevent implantation, so if they don’t block it, they are OK. This, of course, was news to the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and the millions of women who use IUDs specifically for that purpose.

Does anyone but me wonder why Rep. Becker doesn’t wonder why anyone would stick an IUD up their nether parts if not to prevent implantation and pregnancy?


Rep. Becker is not the inquisitive sort, obviously. I can’t imagine him rummaging through dusty shelves at the Batavia Public Library for a secret Frankenstein ectopic cure (hidden no doubt by baby-hating feminists and their liberal shills) or thumbing through IUD catalogs.

Well, I told you it gets better.

Rep. Becker claims he got his PDFs from an Ohio Right to Life lobbyist.

The Office of the Legislative Inspector General list four lobbyists for ORTL, so it’s hard to say who passed on the literature. One of the lobbyists is ORTL president himself. Mike Gonidakis, but he’s a pretty busy bee with lobby jobs for a dozen other companies including American Power and Light and Petland, so he’s probably slogged off a lot of work to the rest. Still, I enjoy the idea of Mike pouring over arcane articles about 100-year-old weird science and softcore eugenics to force women to replicate. And after all that work, only two articles.

Dr. Jenn Conti, an OB/GYN with Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto. weighed in on that one.,saying about medical practice what we all like to think about lawmaking, “We never make medical decisions based on one person’s opinion or based on one case report, or certainly not based on medicine from 1917.” Fortunately, Dr. Conti doesn’t live in Ohio where we do.

Rep Becker is considered the most conservative member of the Ohio House, The Columbus Dispatch calls him a  “top tier [most] archconservative” In 2018 he received The Republican Liberty Caucus of Ohio “Sponsor of Liberty” award for sponsoring more liberty-minded legislation than any other House Member. Liberty unless you’re a woman that is. Ironically, while it opposes state-funding of abortion, the Caucus has no policy on abortion itself saying that “honest that and ethical differences of opinion on that status, the rights of the woman, and the proper role of government.”

Becker has been featured several times on the Tumbler page Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day.: From a recent update:

[Becker}  has also voted to defund all Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio, and has written newspaper editorial to argue that since schools are “gun free zones”, that there should also be “condom free zones”. On LGBT rights… he is also an abysmal human being, comparing gay marriage to beastiality and polygamy, calling for the impeachment of judges who rule in favor of the widowed spouses of gays to honor the benefits they would be given by departed spouses on death certificates, and has called for Massachusetts to be kicked out of the United States for having been the first state to legalize gay marriage (incidentally, he also once stated that Alaska should be expelled from the union over oil drilling rights)

Obviously, these are topics for another day.

A least he’s managed (maybe) to keep his fingers off of adoption, but I’m sure he can come up with something. One must maintain laughing stock status.

In the meantime I suggest that he have a little talk with Mrs. Becker about how things work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *