GOP Candidates Downplay Possibility Of Pregnancy From Rape

Republicans who sought to outlaw abortion for years claimed to favour exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother’s health. These exceptions are included in the Hyde Amendment as well, which forbids paying for abortions through government programs like Medicaid.

However, conservative states are passing prohibitions now that Roe v. Wade’s safeguards have been repealed, and frequently these exclusions are not present. A nonprofit organisation that promotes reproductive health care, the Guttmacher Institute, claims that 12 states that are set to ban abortion after the Supreme Court reversed Roe do not permit rape or incest.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) defended her state’s trigger law, which forbids abortions unless necessary to save the mother’s life, on Sunday. She stated, “I just have never believed that having a catastrophe or awful event happen to someone is a reason for having another tragedy occur.”

However, even in red areas, overwhelming majorities of Americans support access to abortion in cases of rape and incest.

In an effort to diminish the fact that their party is eliminating this exception, some Republicans are now attempting to lessen the risk of becoming pregnant after being raped. Others advise individuals to make lemonade out of their lemons.

Karrin Taylor Robson, a Republican running for governor, described it as “very rare” in an interview she gave on Friday to KTAR, a radio station in the Phoenix area.

A campaign representative forwarded a National Review article citing a 2004 Guttmacher Institute research, which revealed that less than 2% of abortions are caused by rape or incest-related pregnancies, to support Robson’s claim. How frequently a woman becomes pregnant in certain circumstances is not mentioned in the article.

Additionally, Robson’s campaign stated that she genuinely supports abortion exclusions.

Karrin “has been an active member of the pro-life movement in this country for decades, and strongly believes life begins at conception.” According to Karrin, abortion should be prohibited unless the mother’s life is in danger, the pregnancy was caused by rape, incest, or another crime.

Someone approached GOP congressional candidate Yesli Vega this month at a campaign rally in Virginia and inquired about whether she had heard “that it’s harder for a woman to get pregnant if she’s been raped.”

“Well, maybe because the body is experiencing so much activity. I’m not sure. I don’t know, I haven’t seen any studies,” she retorted. “However, the way I’m processing it, it wouldn’t surprise me. since it isn’t anything that is naturally occurring. It’s forced by you. I understand why there is truth to that because the person, a male, is doing it just as swiftly — it’s not like, you know. It’s regrettable.

Consensual intercourse and rape both result in the same percentage of pregnancies. Almost 3 million women in the US have had a rape-related pregnancy at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Science has consistently debunked the idea that getting pregnant is a result of rape, according to Amita Vyas, director of the Maternal and Child Health Program at George Washington University. However, numerous studies have shown that many rapes and sexual assaults go unreported in the United States. Over 40% of women are predicted to encounter sexual violence throughout their lifetimes. The Department of Justice estimates that close to 80% of rapes and sexual assaults go undetected and that only a small percentage of sexual abuse is really recorded.

Given how rarely rape and sexual assault are recorded in this country, Vyas continued, “we can’t presume that the modest numbers of ‘rape-related pregnancies’ that GOP leaders describe are even remotely realistic. We cannot develop policies based on inaccurate and incorrect data, either.

Even if they don’t know what they’re talking about, it’s obvious that some of the politicians who could be in charge of making decisions on reproductive health don’t.

While other Republicans don’t dispute the science, they advise women to just make the most of their circumstances.

Greg Lopez, a candidate for governor of Colorado, said in an interview with The Denver Post that women who are raped and then become pregnant should essentially view the situation as a gift that will make them happy.

Lopez declared, “I’m a great believer that a child brings happiness into people’s life. “A child offers delight to me, even though it wasn’t something you planned on or agreed upon,” the speaker said.

Lopez is obviously a man who will never get pregnant as a result of the rape.

Republicans have a history of making these kinds of remarks, but they are now much more commonplace, and the party openly supports making abortion a crime without these exclusions.

In the Missouri Senate race in 2012, Republican Rep. Todd Akin appeared to be edging out Democrat Claire McCaskill. But then he started talking about rape-related pregnancies.

That’s pretty rare, according to the doctors I’ve spoken to, he added. “The female body has methods to try to shut the whole process down if it’s real rape. But let’s imagine that anything went wrong or that it didn’t function. I believe there should be some sort of punishment, but it should go to the rapist.

The remarks received a lot of backlash for being unscientific, foolish, and far to the right. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who was then the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney both urged Akin to withdraw from the campaign after the National Republican Senatorial Committee disavowed Akin’s bid. He declined, and as a result, McCaskill defeated him by 15% of the vote.

In 2010, Sharron Angle, a Nevada GOP Senate candidate, was questioned about what she would say to a young girl who had been sexually assaulted by her father, had become pregnant, and was thinking about having an abortion.

When asked at the time, Angle responded, “I believe that two wrongs don’t constitute a right.” “And I’ve had to offer counseling to young girls who had extremely risky, challenging pregnancies; not 13, but 15. My recommendation was that they look into some options, which they did. They discovered that by turning what was essentially a lemon issue into lemonade, they had succeeded.

There are no “good” or “bad” reasons to have an abortion, to be clear. Even while abortions brought on by rape and incest are frequently among the saddest situations, they account for a very small proportion of all abortions. Concentrating too much on these two categories may provide states with prohibitions with these exceptions with cover, making them appear humane and less horrific.

And in fact, it is frequently quite challenging for pregnant women to achieve the criteria necessary to qualify, such as reporting the attack to the police, even when these exceptions exist. They are “intended to be insurmountable and are frequently retraumatizing if not harmful for the patient,” according to the Guttmacher Institute.


The best method to assist rape and incest victims, according to Guttmacher, is to “completely remove abortion laws and restrictions.”

The controversy over how frequently rape leads to pregnancy is a diversion, according to Jessica Arons, senior policy counsel at the ACLU. “The reality is that whenever someone’s request for an abortion is denied, regardless of the justification, their human rights are being violated. Forced pregnancy has negative effects on one’s health, financial stability, relationships, and plans for the future; in a nation where there is a serious maternal mortality crisis, it can even be fatal for Black women. The anti-abortion agenda’s severe and callous nature is the only thing this argument about rape exclusions demonstrates.

The state’s six-week abortion ban, which makes no exceptions for pregnancies brought on by rape or incest, was defended by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last year. He proposed that Texas simply get rid of all rapists as his remedy.

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