Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) argued Wednesday that the number of women who get pregnant due to rape is “very low.”
“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,” Franks said, objecting to a amendment to a proposed ban on abortions after 20 weeks that would allow exceptions for rape and incest.
“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 and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment,” he added.
A 1996 study estimated about 5 percent of women will become pregnant with their rapists’ babies — an estimated 32,201 pregnancies a year.
The Washington Post‘s Fact Checker Glen Kessler gave Franks’ claim “Four Pinocchios,” noting, “The available research suggests that not only is there little or no difference, but the rate of pregnancy after rape may actually be slightly higher. Under any definition, that does not qualify as ‘very low.’ There is no reason to suggest any distinction.”
“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, (D-CA), responded. “There’s no scientific basis for that and the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”