Posted by: Donna
Every time some anti-choice politician runs off at the mouth about rape the question “why can’t they just stop doing that?” arises. I guess the simplest answer is that anti-choicers think about rape a lot. And what they believe about rape, like many of the other things they believe – about female biology, pregnancy and fetal development, etc. – is a matter of moral and metaphysical certainty to them. They don’t all hold the exact same stupid beliefs but they share most of them and the belief that women’s bodies “shut down” pregnancy during rape is highly prevalent among anti-choicers.
Here’s Trent Franks sounding Akin-ish today:
“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.”
Let me begin by addressing the second part of that statement. I suppose in Franks’ fantasy world there are no situations where a woman is trapped in an abusive situation by threats or perhaps literally being held against her will. But those things do happen, all the time. So it is not inconceivable that a rape or incest victim would seek an abortion later in the pregnancy than typical. Edit to add: There is no requirement anywhere to report rapes in 48 hours that I’m aware of. Where did Franks get that from? As to the first part, WaPo says that Franks “sought to clarify” his remark and now claims he was only talking about late term pregnancies and wasn’t claiming that rape rarely results in pregnancy. I’m not buying it. They sound and read as two discrete statements, linked by “but when you make that exception”. Even under the most charitable reading of his statement, there was no reason for Franks to press the point of the rareness of rape pregnancy other than keeping that idea out there.
Sadly, he’s never going be the GOP Senate candidate and he represents a lily-white district where the median age is about 87, so he’s not going anywhere for awhile.
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