GOP senator: Men need maternity care because ‘women don’t get pregnant without sperm’

GOP senator: Men need maternity care because ‘women don’t get pregnant without sperm’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said on Wednesday that maternity leave can't be cut from the Senate GOP's bill to repeal ObamaCare because men are involved in the process, too.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol, Cassidy warned against healthcare plans that don't include benefits like maternity leave and prenatal care.

"You end up with policies that don't cover maternity. And as best I can tell, women don't get pregnant without sperm."

The comment drew laughs from assembled reporters.

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"You know, I'm a doctor, and I know that might be med school," Cassidy said. "So, do you want a coverage that doesn't include maternity that obviously would be principally appealing to young men, when it doesn't include maternity?"

Cassidy's comment was a rebuke of a common GOP criticism of the Affordable Care Act that men were forced to pay for health services that they might not need. During a March hearing on ObamaCare, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) brought up prenatal care as one of these services.

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus said in March.

"I’m just — is that not correct?" Shimkus asked. "And should they?"

ObamaCare requires all health plans to cover certain benefits, such as prescription drugs, pregnancy care and childbirth.