GOP congressman Trent Franks: It’s hard to get pregnant from rape (video)

What is wrong with these people?  Pro-life Republican congressman Trent Franks from Arizona is apparently an expert on both rape and conception.

And all the ladies out there will be glad to know that Congressman Franks says you have little to worry about: It’s really hard to get pregnant from getting raped.

Here’s Cong. Franks, the video is below:

 “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

Why is it low?

Because the magic rape genie will be there to protect you.

Okay, I added that last part. But what an idiotic thing to say.  And it’s been said enough times that clearly this is some right-wing talking point that’s shared in the Republican pro-life community.

GOP Rep. Trent Franks, rape expert.

GOP Rep. Trent Franks, rape expert.

In fact, I did a little Googling, and it definitely is a right-wing talking point. It’s based on a lot of weird back-of-the-envelope math looking at how many women who are raped are fertile (not too young or too old), how many days a year the average woman is able to conceive, but it also looks at weird things like the miscarriage rate. Newsflash: Getting pregnant and having a miscarriage from your rapist is hardly “not getting pregnant.”

Another odd point is the one about women’s bodies having a way of a shutting down these things, the line that lost GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin his election last November.  First, here’s what Akin said:

 “The female body has ways” of shutting “that whole thing down.”

And in fact, the Pro-Lifers use this argument, wrapped in scientific mumbo-jumbo:

Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.

They end claiming there are maybe 200 to 500 rape pregnancies a year.


See Stephen Colbert's video on the ongoing GOP rape gaffes at the end of this story.

See Stephen Colbert’s video on the ongoing GOP rape gaffes at the end of this story.

That’s why the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – you know, actual doctors – a statement saying that the real number is 10,000 to 15,000 abortions per year due to rape and incest.  And we don’t even know how many rape pregnancies are carried to term.  Slightly different than 200.

Why are the Republicans so bad on rape?  Because it’s the intersection of two issues they’re really bad on – contraception and women.   Just to revisit some of the top hits from the GOP on this topic, to remind you what the War on Women is all about:

GOP allies aren’t very good on rape either.  Like the Catholic church that said that child rape was “understandable.”  I’m guessing they don’t get much pregnant much either, so I suppose that’s okay too?

Perhaps the only rational way to end this post is with Stephen Colbert’s take on this entire ongoing GOP rape mess:

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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