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.

Right.

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 | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Nancy Marquez

    All I know is that rape is a crime and the person involved should pay for it. It’s hard to leave in fear. that’s why it’s better to take extra precautions to feel our security. Grab this panic button service I got from the internet this may help a lot because it does to my friends I hope this will help with you also. This service can trace u where ever you may be if ever you are in trouble at the same time they can respond easily when ever you ask for help in a single press of a button.

  • Ferdiad

    You think, but can’t prove, because you are lazy and cheap. I never said it was or wasn’t consistent. I just asked for some studies. I believe, maybe I am crazy, that when you attack someone you are much more effective if you do it with facts. Here, I did some research for you.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-the-incidence-of-rape-resulting-in-pregnancy-is-very-low/2013/06/12/936bc45e-d3ad-11e2-8cbe-1bcbee06f8f8_blog.html

  • captain america

    Sounds to me like he was just quoting a statistic.

  • PeteWa

    he’s an idiot, as are you.
    incidences of pregnancy from rape are consistent with rates of pregnancies across the board.
    I think you are lazy and cheap.

  • Ferdiad

    You are correct, it is not for everyone. What this idiot Congressman said is “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” He didn’t say people don’t get pregnant from rape. John’s post, citing the American Congress of OBGYN’s” put the number from rape AND incest at 10 – 15k. What is the break down between rape and incest? Look, once again i would like if you actually read my comment. I’m just wondering if anyone has actual data on whether his statement is true or false? Is the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy low or isn’t it? Answering that question doesn’t mean we go an pass all kinds of crazy abortion laws. I am decidedly pro-choice, but I also like arguing facts and not intentionally misquoting what people say. To me, maybe its just me, that is a lazy and cheap way to win an argument.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Just as rape isn’t about sex, but actually power and violence, these constant GOP assertions that rape isn’t so bad, there aren’t that many pregnancies, what’s the big deal about forcing women to be pregnant with their rapists’ babies aren’t about preserving life.

    It’s about the ultimate male privilege — the right to impregnate a woman, even if it’s against her will. And this twisted patriarchal notion that if a sperm manages to make it to an egg, it is thereafter entitled to hijack a woman’s body for at least the next nine months. (Preferably longer.)

    It’s also behind their position that there’s something morally wrong with taking contraceptive medication — because again, it is a woman deciding she won’t get pregnant.

    It’s political and cultural misogyny.

  • nicho

    The only research that agrees with him came from Nazi death camp experiments. But Conservatives like Nazis, so it’s understandable he agrees with them.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The Moron religion.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The research has been done and is out for sometime. What he is saying is COMPLETELY FALSE! Get it?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Franks’ head looks like it’s being sucked into a vortex—-maybe that explains it.

  • samizdat

    “…assault rape…”? What the hell?

  • PeteWa

    reading past the headline: not for everyone.

  • cambridgemac

    It’s about patriarachy. Patriarchy depends upon theft, violence, coercion and….rape. Rape is a political act, not a sexual act. Like burning crosses in front of homes and lynching. So, they’re defending rape and opposing acts of resistance like contraception, literacy, critical thinking. “Your bodies are belong to us.”

  • Kes

    Did you even read John’s post?

    “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.”

  • cambridgemac

    You’re overlooking WHAT KIND OF WOMAN gets raped. Once you take that into account, the dismissal of a few hundred pregnancies is no big deal.

  • Ferdiad

    I don’t like the repugs just like the next guy, but I also like accurate reporting. Rape is bad. Most R’s are idiots. But here is the question i have: is his statement accurate? Seriously, is there any data on whether incidence of pregnancy from rape is rare? I’m just curious if anyone actually cared to investigate the actual statement and disprove it, rather than just blasting this guy. Is his statement accurate or not? Just a question and wondering if anyone has the answer.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    One of them from kolob ran for President recently.

  • Monoceros Forth

    The right-wingers’ weird insistence on this point doesn’t even quite make sense on their own terms. I guess the logic is: there’s no need to worry about allowing abortion even in the case of pregnancies caused by rape because it doesn’t happen that often, a mere few hundred times a year, which is basically nothing, so no need to worry about it. Right-wingers tend to be fanatically absolutist about other types of crime, especially when it comes to keeping “terror suspects” in jail for the rest of their lives without trial, in which case we’re not supposed to take even the slightest chance that one suspect might wriggle out of a conviction. But in this case? Meh, what’s a few hundred rape babies more or less?

  • UncleBucky

    Now which cult are you talking about? ;o)

  • UncleBucky

    In his inability to say what he has been scripted to say, he sounds like Porky Pig stuttering:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESidBrr2cxk

  • nicho

    Actually, the claim that rape rarely causes pregnancy comes from experiments conducted in Nazi concentration camps. So, I guess it’s only logical that the Conservatives would be attracted to it.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/12/trent_franks_abortion_myth_and_the_nazis_no_exception_for_pregnancy_from.html

    The Nazis also claimed that rapists were infertile because they masturbated so much.

  • Peter

    Just ask all those European women during WW2 who were raped repeatedly by either Allies, Nazis or Russians and were lucky their bodies just shut it all down and no one became pregnant.

    The mind of a Rethuglican is a hazy and mysterious place full of untruths and fantasies.

    Grown men who spend so much time worrying about what women do to with their own bodies and thinking incessantly about gay sex.

  • Randy Riddle

    I’m becoming convinced that our government has been taken over by Reptilian Aliens who have the mental capacity and technology to travel from a distant star and disguise themselves as humans but sill lack any knowledge of human anatomy, empathy, or how to balance a checkbook.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    But it’s not hard to get a Trent Franks from rape.

  • unclemike

    Days Without A Republican Saying Something Anti-Woman: 0

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