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Trent Franks: Low rate of pregnancy from rape

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, here in a 2012 file photo, has expanded his “pain-capable unborn child” act to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide. It originally applied only to Washington, D.C. (Cronkite News Service photo by Stephanie Snyder)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House Republican drew a sharp response during debate on an abortion bill when he said that the number of pregnancies resulting from rape is very low.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., later sought to clarify his remark, saying he intended to say that later-term abortions linked to pregnancies caused by rape are infrequent.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, where Franks made his original comment, quickly compared it to the statement made by former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., that women’s bodies can avoid pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” Akin’s 2012 campaign for a Senate seat in Missouri foundered after the comment.

Franks’ original comment Wednesday was: “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said that assertion was not based on scientific fact and Rep. Jerrold Nadler cited several studies that found that rape results in higher levels of unintended pregnancies. The committee was debating, and later approved, a Franks-sponsored bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancies.

His comment came when Democrats proposed an amendment to make an exception to that ban in the case of rape or incest. Franks said that what he meant to say was that abortions occurring after the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy, which would be prohibited under his legislation, rarely are the result of rapes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. I think Franks is a sociopath and has no business holding public office. His comment was completely dismissive of the estimated 25,000 women and girls who become pregnant due to rape each year. I don’t find that number “insignificant” in any way. If we want to talk about “protecting” babies then why don’t we talk about that fact that in 36 states, AZ included, the rape daddy is granted the same parental rights as that of any other dad? As I see it, here is what Franks supports: step one: force rape victim to give birth, step two: force her to seek rapists permission to put the baby up for adoption or share custody rights with him, step 3: leave innocent baby in the care of a violent sex offender. Could we maybe start by closing the rape daddy loop hole? This is one reality of a maniacal crusade to punish perceived “*****”.
    The other reality is denial of the standard practice of medicine to one class of patients (pregnant women) in favor of a zealot’s uninformed opinion. What if Franks was a Jahova’s witness on a crusade to ban blood transfusions? How would you like to be left to die from blood loss, a curable condition in most cases, and have no say in the matter because the religious beliefs of someone else trump your right to self determine?
    I have come to the conclusion that there are a whole lot of people who support Franks’ extremist abortion ban that would change their minds if they were informed with accurate medical information and stats. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind agreeing to volunteer herself, his wife, a sister, a daughter to lay in a hospital bed in pain and dying of a hemorrhage due to placental abruption or infection caused by an incomplete miscarriage after 20 weeks just to enforce someone else’s irrational religious beliefs. That is exactly what a 20 week abortion ban will accomplish. Not to mention it will ensure that guys like Kermit Gosnell are always needed and stay in business.
    Rep Franks should stick to application of his ideologies to his own life and mind his own business where the lives of others, people he doesn’t know and doesn’t give a damn about, are concerned.

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