Freshman Rep. Roger Rivard (R-WI) has broken the one rule Republicans have been trying to stick to since Rep. Todd Akin humiliated the entire party by saying that victims of “legitimate rape” cannot get pregnant: Don’t say “rape.”
In the aftermath of Akin’s comments, Republicans including Mitt Romney unsuccessfully tried to get Akin to drop out of the race. Now the GOP has a new problem.
When disussing his father’s advice to not have premarital sex, Rivard told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “some girls, they rape so easy,” twice:
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’”
Rivard realized that he’d messed up, badly, and issued a statement clarifying his comments within hours.
Rivard’s comments point to a consistent faction of the Republican Party—including his ally Paul Ryan—that believes rape has not been defined clearly enough and is thus often exploited by women who want to claim to be raped. This offensive leap in logic is required to justify a stand that abortion should not ever be legal—even in cases of rape.
Photo credit: Roger Rivard campaignn