Real Time host Bill Maher skewered Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri (R) on Tuesday for his apparent misunderstanding of the female reproductive system.
"For every 21st century scientific advance that allows a woman not to have a baby, there must be an equal but opposite Vito Barbieri," Maher wrote on the show's blog.
Barbieri attracted attention to himself late last month following reports of his question to physician Julie Madsen during a House State Affairs Committee meeting comparing telemedicine abortion care to colonoscopys.
"Can this same procedure be done in a pregnancy — swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is with the child?" Barbieri asked.
"It cannot be done in pregnancy," Madsen told him. "Simply because, when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina."
Madsen's response prompted laughter within the chamber, while Barbieri replied, "That certainly makes sense, doctor."
According to Maher, Barbieri later said the question was rhetorical; Maher joked that the lawmakerwas being "Socratically ignorant." Maher then blasted him for "asking a pretend stupid question" out of support for a bill that would ban telemedicine abortion procedures.
"That requires pretending that reproductive anatomy is more complicated than cold fusion, so if a doctor tries to do it by Skype, the patient will die," he wrote. "And maybe the doctor too. Who knows."