Rape and Pregnancy: Right-Wing Politicians Just. Don’t. Get. It.

After last year’s embarrassments, how is it possible that right-wing politicians still say such profoundly ignorant things about rape? We sure don’t know. But Congressman Trent Franks, R-Ariz., did it again today. He was explaining why his proposed legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy shouldn’t have exceptions for rape and incest. From the Washington Post:

“The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” Franks said.

Franks continued: “But when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation. And that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

Democrats on the committee, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), responded by pointing to similar comments made by then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) in his 2012 Senate campaign. Akin suggested that the female body can prevent pregnancy from occurring after a “legitimate rape” — a claim that is not backed up by scientific research and for which Akin apologized.

“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low,” Lofgren said. “There’s no scientific basis for that. And the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

As the Post’s Sarah Kliff noted at the time of Akin’s comments, a 2003 study from St. Lawrence University actually found that pregnancy results from rape significantly more often it does in other cases.

A 2011 study from San Francisco State University found that, in Colombia, “female youth who have experienced sexual violence report significantly higher levels of unintended pregnancy and unmet need for contraception and lower levels of current modern contraceptive use compared to those who have not experienced sexual violence.”

We wonder why right-wing politicians in Texas haven’t been caught promoting the rape/pregnancy nonsense (yet). Of course, we do have politicians who seem to think fetuses should be armed and that the state should declare “war on birth control.”

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2 Comments

  1. Charles
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    After this most recent election where blacks, hispanics, and women collectively re-elected President Obama and kept the U.S. Senate Democrat for the third straight time, extreme right wing conservatives are feeling desperate. As they did with school teachers here in Tennessee and union members in Wisconsin, they are angry at women and want to punish them for their rebellion and insolence against “God’s Own Party.”

    They view the United States as a country established of the WASPS, by the WASPs, and for WASPs. After all, no signer of the Declaration of Independence was named Gomez or Mbuto. With the future projected demographics, this country is almost certain to turn “mostly colored” by about 2050—not that long from now—and most people who are alive today will have mulatto grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    If you are a member of a right wing extremist conservative organization, this is one of the most frightening prospects that could befall America, except this time around it is not a hypothetical “could befall America.” It is definitely happening right now, and if things take take the natural course they are taking right now, this definitely will happen. There is no doubt about it, and the U.S. Census Bureau has the hard data to back it up.

    Why the war on abortion? Get the white birth rate up? Why the war on birth control? Get the white birth rate up. Why the war on illegal aliens from Mesoamerica? Keep the white majority population. Why the war on women working? Get the white ones home and pregnant to get the white birth rate up.

    So far, as with most things, they have not been very smart about it. If they were smart they would be pushing legislation to make abortion and birth control less available to white women while simultaneously encouraging and promoting abortion and contraception in black, Hispanic, and other colored populations in the United States.

    What about me personally? Well, I am a WASP. However, over the next 20 years, I intend to be on every public media venue possible, throughout the United States, doing everything in my power to ensure that every white person in American has a negro or Hispanic grandchild or great grandchild. I hope millions of you other Americans will join me. They greatest gift you and I could give every right wing extremist bigot in Texas is a grandchild with big old thick lips, dark skin, and kinky hair—and we will do you one better—we will throw in the Aunt Jemima bandana for free.

    Anyone with me?

  2. Rhonda
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    These right wing monsters have not a clue what it is to be raped, or what it would be like to be forced to carry that pregnancy to term. We should all start calling these monsters Forced Birther’s for that is what they are trying to do. They don’t give a crap about babies once they are born, as shown by their policies to cut funding to feed these babies, but they sure as hell think it’s their right to be the vagina patrol to every woman in this country. When will the republican party rid itself of these right wing assholes who think they have the right to override what a woman and her doctor think is best for her? The only answer is to vote them out of office and put a stop to their religious insanity.

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