Pregnancy From Rape Very Rare, Congressman Claims [Video]

Rape from pregnancy is very rare, according to an argument presented Wednesday by Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ). He was responding to a question during a House Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on his proposed bill 1797 which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) asked about making an exception for rape. Trents replied:

“[M]y 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…”

I wouldn’t report on an inflammatory statement like that without evidence, but one of this left-leaning “friends” did post the video, which you can see down below. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) told The Washington Post:

“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low. There’s no scientific basis for that. And the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

But other Republicans aren’t happy either about the pregnancy from rape foot-in-mouth moment from Trent Franks. Gabriel Gomez, a Republican currently running for the open Massachusetts Senate seat, called Franks a moron:

“I think that he’s a moron and he proves that stupid has no specific political affiliation.”


Folks, I have to assume that almost everyone out there already knows this but, for the record, a woman can’t just put her mind to it and decide that she won’t get pregnant because she was raped.

That’s why we have medical technology in the first place.

However, future congressmen apparently snooze through their sex education classes, because we’ve had this conversation before. In 2012, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) rose to national notoriety with much the same claim:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Here’s that video of Franks’ comment:

So, yeah, he actually said it. What are your thoughts on Rep. Trent Franks’ statement that pregnancy from rape is “very low?”

[Congressman Trent Franks photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and Creative Commons]