When will they learn? Yet another Republican lawmaker has come forward to profess his belief that rape rarely results in pregnancy. “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” said Arizona Rep. Trent Franks during a committee hearing on Wednesday. Franks introduced a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks and was reacting to an amendment offered by Democrats that would carve out an exception for rape and incest victims. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, responded to Franks by saying there was no scientific basis for his claim.
The Washington Post:
“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,” 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 for 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.”
At least one Republican was distancing himself from Franks, with Massachusetts special Senate election candidate Gabriel Gomez repeatedly calling Franks a “moron.”
Franks is one of the leading social conservatives in Congress.