Some Republican men have struggled to follow the advice of many in their party to just stop riffing on rape. The latest Todd Akin is Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, who defended his proposal to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy — with no rape or incest exception — by saying the following at an actual committee meeting of the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday: "The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." And even if a woman could get pregnant by a rapist, she would have plenty of time after the rape to get an abortion before his ban kicked in, Franks said. As The Washington Post's Aaron Blake reports, Franks explained before the House Judiciary Committee: "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 of such an amendment."
Franks follows several Republican men who have indicated Akin — the Missouri Senate candidate who said during the 2012 election that in a "legitimate rape" a woman's body "shuts that whole thing down" — wasn't totally wrong. Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock suggested a rape pregnancy was a gift from god. Wisconsin state senator Roger Rivard said his daddy used to tell him, "Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning." And Georgia Rep. and OB-GYN Phil Gingrey said Akin was "partly right," because when he's counseling couples with fertility troubles, he tells them, "And don't be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate." And the 2014 election cycle might feature more mini-Akins, no matter what Karl Rove says.
California Rep. Zoe Lofgren responded to Franks by saying, "There's no scientific basis for that."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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