Arizona Congressman makes controversial comments about rape

June 12, 2013

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is being attacked for a comment during the latest skirmish over abortion in the U.S. House.
A Republican from Arizona’s Eighth District, Franks is sponsoring a bill banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. 

A Democratic colleague proposed an amendment in the House Judiciary Committee to make an exception for victims of rape and incest. But Franks said that has no bearing on this bill.

“The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low, but when you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case, that’s impossible, because this is in the sixth month of gestation," Franks said.

California Democrat Zoe Lofgren called his comment astonishing.

“There’s no scientific basis for that," Lofgren said, "and the idea that the Republican men on this committee think they can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

Franks later said he meant that very few pregnancies produced by rape are aborted after 20 weeks. The bill passed committee on a party-line vote with Republican support.

Updated 6-12-13 3:48 p.m.

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