Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Photo: Gage Skidmore)​

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) delivered an argument against the right to abortion by strongly suggesting same-sex couples only form families by adopting children from lesbian women who have been raped, and said he "worries" if LGBTQ organizations become "pro-abortion" that "fewer same-sex couples" would be able to form families.

The embattled Florida Republican, reportedly under investigation for sex trafficking of a minor, also appeared to not understand the meaning of the word "bisexual," wrongly suggesting bisexual women do not enter into or maintain monogamous same-sex relationships or marriages.

On Thursday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Privacy and Civil Rights in Post-Roe America," Gaetz argued against the Human Rights Campaign's Legal Director who was testifying in support of the right to abortion. (That same attorney in that hearing also debunked an anti-abortion activist's claim it's "not an abortion" when a ten-year-old gets an abortion after being raped.)

Gaetz tried to conflate the right to abortion with the right to adoption while ignoring a tremendous number of children – over 400,000 in foster care and 117,000 waiting to be adopted.

"We have tens of thousands of same-sex couples that are raising families and raising children, as a consequence of adoption – tens of thousands, we know that as a consequence of census data," Gaetz told the HRC attorney Sarah Warbelow. "So is there any data you're able to reference that it would be more likely for a lesbian woman to have an unwanted pregnancy as a consequence of rape than the formation of a family through a same-sex couple adopting?"

When Gaetz did not get the answer he wanted he pressed on, reframing his question.

"You would concede that it's certainly more, that it's more likely in America you have same-sex couples adopting than you do lesbians having unwanted pregnancies as a consequence of sexual assault? Right?"

"Well," Warbelow replied, politely attempting to educate Gaetz, "there may be, also be a misunderstanding about how same-sex couples form families. I also think it's important to note that many bisexual women are in fact in relationships with other women."

Proving her point, Gaetz responded: "If a woman is with men and women they're bisexual, right?"

"That is not true, sir. An individual who is [attracted] to people of both sexes, both men – male and female, is someone who is bisexual. They can be in long-term monogamous relationships."

"I don't ask this to be dismissive but so are you saying lesbian women are also capable of being into men?" Gaetz asked.

"That is not what I said. I said bisexual," Warbelow replied.

"Yeah, but my question is about lesbians – same-sex couples, right? Because I care about this issue deeply with the support of the Human Rights Campaign I sponsored the legislation to get rid of the statutory prohibition on gay adoption in Florida. I felt that that was very bigoted, and I believe families are defined by love more than blood," Gaetz offered.

"I worry that if the LGBTQ community and if the advocacy organizations for same-sex couples somehow reorient to be a pro-abortion enterprise," the Florida Republican claimed, "that could actually result in fewer same-sex couples having access to the family formation that gives them fulfilled lives. Are you concerned about that?"

"What I would be concerned about is forcing women to carry a pregnancy simply to satisfy another couple's desire to have a child," Warbelow replied. "There are many methods of family formation. Many same-sex couples use fertility treatments, assisted reproductive technologies in addition to adoption. And in fact, LGBTQ people are more likely to adopt children who are most in need."

Gaetz noted that "same-sex couples are three times more likely," to adopt children than opposite-sex couples.

"And that's why it's astonishing to me that people that would that would purport to advocate for gay Americans would say what we need is abortion on demand, because it's these very people who are engaging in these adoptions and maybe it's really not about the benefit of gay couples. Maybe it's about the money," he added, apparently attempting to discredit HRC.

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