Politicians keep stumbling on rape idiocies

Politicians keep stumbling on rape idiocies

It is almost painful to watch supposedly bright politicians stumble into the bog of misinformed, misogynistic statements about rape and pregnancy.

It is an issue that comes up whenever the government looks at abortion legislation. Many conservative politicians would ban all abortions, while many others would allow abortions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

In the 2012 elections, Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican Senate candidate, famously kicked himself in the shins when he stated in a debate that “legitimate” rapes don’t result in pregnancy, that the female body somehow shuts that possibility down. He was roundly denounced for that, but it didn’t deter Indiana State Treasurer and Senate nominee Richard Mourdock from saying pregnancy resulting from rape may be “something God intended.”

This week, in a debate before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Trent Franks said that statistically, rape rarely results in pregnancy. His bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except when the mother’s life was threatened, was under discussion, and he was arguing against an amendment to create an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

Actually, a study by the Medical University of South Carolina found about five percent of rapes result in pregnancy, a significant number. Many rape victims did not know they were pregnant until the second trimester, when it would be too late under Franks’ bill.

This is a volatile enough topic without this kind of misinformation. Politicians should know better than to speak so carelessly.

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