Campaign 2010

Jun 12, 2013

Do Republicans in Congress Side With Extremists Who Say Rapes Don’t Really Result in Pregnancy?

Republicans in Congress are poised to open a new front in their War on Women after an all-male committee of House Republicans voted today to send a nationwide 20-week abortion ban to the full House. The measure includes no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s health – because, as the bill’s sponsor said just today in a hearing: “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

With numerous scientific studies disproving today’s ridiculous claim from Republican Congressman Trent Franks, will other Republican Congressmen continue to stand with extremists? If history is any indication, the answer is yes. 

Republicans in Congress have already made it clear to the women of this country that they aren't on their side when they tried to redefine rape, so now the key question is whether they will side with the lunatics who believe that women don’t really get pregnant when they’re raped. Americans are tired of fighting the same ideological battles over a woman’s right to choose – they want Congress to focus on creating jobs, but Republicans in Congress insist on putting ideology before problem-solving.

BACKGROUND

Franks: Incidence of Rape Resulting in Pregnancy Very Low. In a House Judiciary Committee meeting today, Congressman Trent Franks said, “Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject — because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” [Washington Post, 6/12/13]

Report: Rape-Related Pregnancies Occur Frequently. “Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency,” concluded the authors of a 1990s study that found one out of every 20 rapes results in pregnancy, for a total of more than 32,000 rape-pregnancies each year in the United States… “It’s just bogus,” Nancy Snyderman, a medical doctor who serves as NBC News’s medical editor, said Monday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” [Politico, 8/20/12]

Redefining Rape. In 2011, Republicans introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. Under the language proposed by the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, rape becomes “forcible rape.” The Washington Post reported that the bill’s critics believed “the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th CongressWashington Post2/1/11]


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