No One Knew Who Trent Franks Was Until He Mentioned Rape and Abortion

There's one surefire way to get your name out there — be a Republican and say few pregnancies result from rape.

National Journal

OK, maybe that headline is an exaggeration. Trent Franks is a Republican member of Congress from Arizona who has made headlines before on abortion issues. In 2012, he authored a bill that would effectively ban abortions in Washington, D.C. But, as a representative, he's relatively unknown.

Here's all he had to say to help change that, at least for a day: "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." This happened during a Judiciary Committee meeting on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. To which Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., replied: "The idea that the Republican men on this committee think they can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous."

Well, other people around the world think this is outrageous as well, and news media are ready to fill them in. At The Washington Post, the Fix quickly posted a story titled "Who is Trent Franks?" and led with the line: "Few people outside of Congress or Arizona's 8th District are likely to know much about Rep. Trent Franks (R). But the congressman is under a national spotlight.... "

Google news tells us that at least 84 online news organization have picked up the story, including USA Today, CBS, ABC, Slate, New York magazine, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and so on. If you read news, you now know about Franks. Our sister site The Atlantic Wire has declared him "the new Todd Akin." New York, on the other hand, disagrees: "No, Trent Franks Is Not Todd Akin."

What an entrance into the spotlight.