Several GOP politicians and lawmakers have made the news for comments about rape that stirred up controversy and made false medical claims, but the latest GOP rape controversy comes courtesy of West Virginia House Del. Brian Kurcaba (R).
According to Charleston Gazette reporter David Gutman, Kurcaba made the comment during debate on a GOP abortion bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill had previously been vetoed in 2014 by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) until revived by the GOP members of the House of Delegates.
The House Health Committee had already voted down putting an exception for incest or rape into the bill, approving it “as is” on Thursday. Kurcaba was making a case for why those who have been victimized by rape and incest should not be allowed abortion exceptions.
“Obviously rape is awful. What is beautiful is the child that could come from this.”
USA Today reports that Kurcaba has made a statement apologizing to “anyone who took my comments about the sanctity of human life to mean anything other than that all children are precious regardless of circumstances.”
Kurcaba’s rape comment sounds similar to some other recent GOP rape comments that went viral, as documented by Charles Gaba, who is now tracking them on his website and Twitter. Indiana’s GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R) made a very similar statement about rape back in 2012.
“When life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.”
Wisconsin State Representative Roger Rivard (R) took a lot of heat for saying “some girls, they rape so easy.” But perhaps the most notorious — and scientifically unsubstantiated — comments made special medical claims that if rape truly occurred, a woman couldn’t get pregnant, such as Missouri’s Republican Congressman & Senate candidate Todd Akin’s (R) rape theory.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Other GOP politicians have pushed that remark even farther, making ludicrous and false medical claims about pregnancy resulting from rape. According to Pennsylvania GOP State Rep. Stephen Freind (R), women inherently harbor a special spermicidal secretion they unleash in these special cases.
“The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are one in millions and millions and millions — the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to secrete a certain secretion that tends to kill sperm.”
North Carolina’s State Rep. Henry Aldridge (R) seems to feel rape works the opposite way, instead of secreting secretions, the female body dries up.
“The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”
Do you think this latest GOP rape claim deserves the backlash, or has Kurcaba’s comments been misunderstood and taken out of context?
[Photo via Brian Kurcaba campaign]