Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) turned an abortion debate in the House of Representatives bizarrely personal on Wednesday, seeking to undercut her Republican colleagues by calling them “sex-starved males.”
“Mr. Speaker, it is tiring to hear from so many sex-starved males on this floor talk about a woman’s right to choose,” lamented Torres, drawing audible protests from other members.
Republican Rep. Rob Woodall of Georgia immediately pressed her on the inflammatory language. “I would just like to ask my friend if she’d like to change her last statement,” he said.
“Mr. Speaker, if it pleases my colleague on the other side, I will withdraw my statement about sex-starved males on the floor,” Torres replied. Roll Call noted the congresswoman’s remark “clearly broke House Rules” against “personally impugn[ing] their colleagues on the floor.”
"Mr. Speaker, it is tiring to hear from so many sex-starved males on this floor talk about a woman's right to choose."
— Rep. @NormaJTorres pic.twitter.com/xKRo1BlxHK
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) June 12, 2019
The conflict arose amid debate over a spending package. Republicans, according to Roll Call, “oppose language in the bill authored by House Democrats that would block the Trump administration from enforcing a rule that protects health care providers that refuse to participate in services, such as abortion, that go against their beliefs.”
First elected in 2015, Torres represents California’s 35th District.