The Eighteenth Post in the “Oh My Achin’ Head” Series: Idaho Lawmaker Asks Doctor If a Swallowed Camera Could be Used for a Gynelogical Exam (VIDEO)

Vito Barbieri

Vito Barbieri

By Elaine Magliaro

Here’s a story about an idiot politician from Idaho who is confused about female anatomy. Let me just say that Republican state representative Vito Barbieri sure ain’t an expert on “lady parts.”  Barbieri made news on Monday when he posed a truly dumb question to a doctor who was testifying before the House State Affairs Committee.

Tara Culp-Pressler (ThinkProgress) reported that the Idaho legislature “is currently considering a bill that would ban telemedicine abortion — emerging technology that allows a doctor to remotely prescribe the abortion pill over a video chat.” Pressler added, “Telemedicine has the potential to expand access to reproductive health care among rural women who live far away from the nearest abortion clinic.”


Idaho, like many of the 16 states that have recently passed telemedicine abortion bans, does not currently have any clinics that offer the remote service. Telemedicine abortion was pioneered by Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa, but similar programs have been prevented from getting off the ground in other places because states have moved to proactively ban the practice.

According to the Associated Press, Barbieri asked Dr. Julie Madsen “whether a woman could have a remote gynecological exam by swallowing a tiny camera.” Dr Madsen told the lawmaker that it would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

Kara Brown of Jezebel:

On one hand, I would be willing to bet that most men are wildly uninformed about female anatomy. Why should Vito here be any different? He doesn’t have a vagina so why does it matter that he knows anything about it? Oh yeah, because these exact idiot men get to make medical decisions on behalf of women.

Male Politician Thinks Vagina Is Connected To Stomach | msnbc



Idaho Lawmaker Wonders If Women Could Have A Gyno Exam By Swallowing A Tiny Camera (ThinkProgress)

Idaho lawmaker asks if woman can swallow camera for gynecological exam before medical abortion (AP/StarTribune)

Male Politician Thinks that Your Vagina and Stomach are Connected (Jezebel)

GOP lawmaker flunks Anatomy 101 (MSNBC)

This entry was posted in Anatomy, Biology, Conservatives, Countries, Government, Health Care, Humor, Medical Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Physicians, Politics, Reproductive Rights, Science, States, Technology, United States and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Eighteenth Post in the “Oh My Achin’ Head” Series: Idaho Lawmaker Asks Doctor If a Swallowed Camera Could be Used for a Gynelogical Exam (VIDEO)

  1. Inga (Annie) says:

    Colon, vagina, colon, vagina, oh what’s the difference?

  2. Attribution: Paul Gaba and a tip o’ the hat to his brother, Brainwrap.

  3. rafflaw says:

    It boggles the mind that this guy actually believes this nonsense!

  4. blouise says:

    ” So I was asking a rhetorical question that was designed to make her say that they weren’t the same thing, and she did so. It was the response I wanted.” – Barbieri

    This guy has got to be related to nick.

  5. Elaine M. says:


    Too funny! Maybe they are brothers from another mother.

  6. blouise17 says:

    Vito Barbieri represents Idaho State District 2 which borders Oregon/Washington on the west and Montana on the east and … wait for it … is the location of the University of Idaho.

    Go Vandals

  7. bigfatmike says:

    Well, I guess that puts to rest the old saw about their being no stupid questions.

  8. Elaine M. says:


    Did you watch the video? You could hear people laughing in the background after Barbieri asked his dumb question.

    • bigfatmike says:

      @Elaine M.

      I was surprised the women in the audience were as restrained and considerate as they were. Where is Jonathan ‘tell it like it is’ Gruber when we need him to put things in perspective.

  9. pete says:

    Ya know what’s really funny? His wife’s name is Joy. Oh Joy.

  10. Jessica Valenti’s article on this story for The Guardian is titled “Women’s bodies can’t perform magic. Someone please tell Republicans.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Idaho Lawmaker’s Head-Scratching Question Wins Him Female Anatomy Lesson

    A male Idaho lawmaker speaking in favor of an anti-abortion bill got a brief – and guffaw-inducing – primer on lady parts after asking if doctors could perform gynecological exams remotely by having women patients swallow small cameras.

    The Republican-controlled state legislature’s House State Affairs Committee was hearing testimony from Dr. Julie Madsen in opposition to a bill that bans doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication via telemedicine – for example, through seeing their patients via Skype or FaceTime in this largely rural state.

    Republican Vito Barbieri, retired attorney and married father of three, asked Madsen if a doctor could remotely assess the state of a woman’s pregnancy by having her swallow a small camera, according to The Associated Press, which covered the three-hour committee hearing on Monday.

    After a moment of evidently stunned silence, Madsen replied no – “simply because when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina.”

    Hoots of “Ha! Ha! Ha!” from the audience followed. Barbieri said simply, “Fascinating. That certainly makes sense, doctor.” And then he pivoted to another question.

    Only that question, too, prompted a lesson – this one in Idaho geography.

    Barbieri asked Madsen about Idaho doctors remotely treating Idaho patients “thousands of miles away.”

    The physician replied: “Rep. Barbieri, just a point of clarification: We wouldn’t be talking about thousands of miles away because Idaho rules on telemedicine specify that you’re an Idaho-licensed physician.” (And the state is just 305 miles at its widest point, according to

  12. amunre says:

    I didn’t think it was at all surprising…..Just listen to any Republican member of congress….my god they are by and large a stupid bunch….I mean if I didn’t know better I would think that louie gormert and way to many of his fellow Republican KnowNothings were just spoffing us. Sadly tho I think not….God save the Republic.

  13. I guess soon we may see him on WATTERS WORLD along with other college graduates. It say a lot concerning ……. Enough said !!

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