Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Myth That Rape Rarely Causes Pregnancy Comes From Nazi Experiments

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Rep. Trent Franks testifies during a May 2011 hearing on Capitol Hill
I don’t understand why Republicans continue to offer up headlines like “GOP congressman: Rate of pregnancies from rape is ‘very low.’ ” It is terrible politics for them to focus the public’s attention on their justification for the fact that they don’t support an exception to abortion bans for rape victims. The view doesn’t have anything like majority support, and they come off as heartless, ignorant scolds. If I were an anti-abortion activist, I’d want to muzzle these people. But they are irrepressible. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, argued against an exception for rape and incest victims from a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He said, “Before, when my 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.” He is of course following in the footsteps of former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who said that women can stave off pregnancy after a “legitimate rape.” (He apologized but that didn’t save him from losing his next election.)
 
These claims are false, of course, or as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists puts it, “medically inaccurate, offensive, and dangerous.” That is not all that’s wrong with the claims. They originate with Nazi experiments on women in concentration camps. Here’s what I wrote about this last November

For the rest of the story: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/06/12/trent_franks_abortion_myth_and_the_nazis_no_exception_for_pregnancy_from.html

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