The awkward exchange began with a tweet from Ms Harris on Saturday that declared the Biden administration’s support for abortion rights and decried the GOP efforts to roll those rights back as an attempt to take away women’s bodily autonomy.
“Let us be clear: We trust the judgment of the women of America to make decisions based on what is in their best interest. We trust the women of America to make those decisions about their own bodies. The government should not be making that decision for them,” she tweeted.
Dave Alvord, a current GOP member of the city council and former mayor of South Jordan City, Utah, responded in his own tweet, writing that “The baby is not part of the body of a woman. The umbilical chord and placenta do not directly connect to the woman. The baby floats inside the woman. It is not about the woman’s body, it’s to kill then remove the baby’s body. It is done in greater proportion to black babies.”
The baby is not part of the body of a woman. The umbilical chord and placenta do not directly connect to the woman. The baby floats inside the woman. It is not about the woman’s body, it’s to kill then remove the baby’s body. It is done in greater proportion to black babies.
— Dave Alvord (@DaveAlvord) August 6, 2022
His response set off a firestorm of Twitter comments mocking Mr Alvord’s apparent lack of understanding of human physiology.
“Let me educate you. That placenta IS ATTACHED TO THE WOMAN’S BODY. Her body is what sustains the pregnancy. It doesn’t just float around in the uterus. It relies 100% on the woman’s body. The woman’s body. Her body. It belongs to her. Respect her,” one commenter wrote.
Mr Alvord responded to that comment by asking “If a leech attaches to your body is it now part of your body” and declaring that babies were “closer to a parasite” than part of a woman’s body. It’s unclear why classifying them as such would help Mr Alvord’s case that abortions should be illegal.
Battling on in further tweets, Mr Alvord attempted to refute his critics’ arguments by posting a link to the Wikipedia page for “placenta”.
It was here where Mr Alvord’s argument became particularly contradictory, as the article he linked stated plainly that “the placenta is connected to the fetus by the umbilical cord”, while describing the placenta itself as “a temporary organ found in eutherian female mammals while they are pregnant”. That directly debunks his own claim that “the umbilical chord and placenta do not directly connect to the woman”, given that the placenta itself is an organ, albeit temporarily, of the woman’s body. Furthermore, the article goes on to state that the placenta is “implanted in the wall of the uterus”, refuting Mr Alvord’s claim that it is floating around.
Republicans across the country have reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe vs Wade with zeal and have acted quickly to pass new bans on abortion in many states.
The newly-implemented laws have in some cases not left exceptions open for procedures that would save the life of the mother, raising warnings from doctors and other experts that the end result will be women dying from conditions that arise during pregnancy.