Tag Archives: Rape

GOP Congressman Channels Todd Akin: ‘The Incidence Of Rape Resulting In Pregnancy Are Very Low’

So, my question is this…are they purposely sabotaging their chances of winning a majority in the Senate or for that matter maintaining their majority in the House?  I truly hope they keep this line of dialogue going at least until the mid-term election.

Think Progress

Despite Republican strategists’ efforts to keep GOP politicians from making insensitive comments about rape victims, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) channeled former Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) infamous“legitimate rape” comment during a committee hearing on Wednesday. Defending his proposal to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest, Franks claimed, “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”

As the Washington Post reports, Franks went on to nonsensically argue, “But when you make that exception [allowing rape victims to get abortions], 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.”

Franks is the latest male Republican lawmaker to opine on the validity of rape victims’ needs. In 2012, several GOP candidates lost the election after letting slip their ignorant and offensive beliefs about rape victims and what rights they deserve. Akin set off a media firestorm when he claimed that a woman could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because her body “has ways of shutting that whole thing down.” Soon after, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock told rape victims to embrace pregnancy as “a gift from God.”

These claims quickly collapse under cursory scientific scrutiny. By claiming rape-related pregnancies are “rare,” Franks is dismissing an estimated 32,101 women who get pregnant from rape per year. One study found that about 32.4 percent of victims did not find out they were pregnant until their second trimester — beyond the strict 20 week limit Franks is seeking to impose on American women seeking abortions. Half of those victims chose to undergo an abortion rather than keep the fetus or put it up for adoption. Some research suggests that rape victims are actually more likely to get pregnant, putting the number of women who became pregnant from rape in one year around 83,000.

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Filed under Rep. Trent Franks, Tea Party Talking Points

Donald Trump’s Awful Tweet About Sexual Assault In The Military

Donald Trump is as ignorant as he looks…

The Huffington Post

Donald Trump

On Tuesday, the Pentagon released a report about the rampant sexual assault taking place within the United States military. The figures the report laid out were shocking to read. From the Associated Press:

The Pentagon report says that the number of sexual assaults reported by members of the military rose from 3,192 to 3,374 in 2012, while the department estimates that as many as 26,000 service members were assaulted, based on anonymous surveys, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the report.

Politicians from President Obama on down condemned the findings. For noted military theorist Donald Trump, however, the study sent a different message:

It’s quite the classy response! Is Trump saying that men are all prone to rape? Or that women shouldn’t be allowed in the military because they’ll inevitably be assaulted? This seems like a very dark view of the world. Trump has threatened to run for president in the past, but it’s possible that he just lost the women’s vote. And men’s. And military families. And everyone, everywhere.

 

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Missing the Point…

Randi Rhodes

This weekend two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted in a high-profile rape case. It was a tragic story, though to some people the tragic part was evidently more the judgment than the crime…

Reaction to the judgment was predictable. Given the way football players are treated in a town like this, the crime itself was predictable. The CNN report when the verdict was announced seemed more concerned about the fate of the rapists than the girl who was raped. CNN, we know you’re hurting for ratings, but Steubenville is a very small town. Poppy Harlow, the CNN reporter on the story, described the rapists as young men with “promising futures, star football players, very promising students.” If you didn’t know that a rape conviction was being reported, you would think these kids were in a car wreck.

If CNN was callous, Breitbart.com was crass, as you would expect. CNN lost track of what the real story was. It’s Breitbart’s job to obscure what the real story is. Breitbart blamed the media for the verdict. You know who is usually most to blame for a verdict? The perpetrators. Breitbart bemoaned “the impact on the residents of Steubenville.” The impact of the rape on the rapists… the impact of the rape on the town… eventually will someone consider the impact of the rape on the rape victim?

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Republican New Mexico Bill Would Make Criminals Of Rape Victims Who Have Abortions

Uh…that GOP moratorium on the word rape seems to have dissipated…

Alan Colmes’ Liberaland

The bill by Rep. Cathrynn Brown would require victims of rape to carry fetuses to term or be accused of tampering with evidence.

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime,” the bill says.

Third-degree felonies in New Mexico carry a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a progressive nonprofit opposing the bill, called it “blatantly unconstitutional” on Thursday.

“The bill turns victims of rape and incest into felons and forces them to become incubators of evidence for the state,” he said. “According to Republican philosophy, victims who are ‘legitimately raped’ will now have to carry the fetus to term in order to prove their case.“

 

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Filed under GOP Folly, GOP Hubris

Indiana Senate Candidate Mourdock: Rape Pregnancies Are A “Gift From God”

If Tea Party candidates keep making these gaffes, they will be obsolete before the mid-term election in 2014…

Alan Colmes

Debating his opponent, Democrat Joe Donnelly, Richard Mourdock said women who are raped should be forced to give birth because these pregnancies are a “gift from God.”

“I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.”

Watch:

 

 

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Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest

Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest

I always knew Rep. Steve King  was a loose cannon and part of the far right fringe in Congress, but is this statement worse than Rep. Todd Akins?

Is the guy just looking for publicity?  Are they trying to sabotage the Romney nomination next at the Republican National Convention?  Or is he just stupid?  What the heck is going on?

TPM2012

Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”

The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.

H.R. 3, the bill co-sponsored by King, Akin and Paul Ryan in 2011, originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.” That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats. At the time, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording.

King’s comments offer a window into the thinking behind the language, as well as the general belief in the different categories of rape that provoked Akin’s recent controversial comments about “legitimate rape” and the factually wrong idea that a woman’s body can prevent a pregnancy from rape.

In the KMEG interview, King defended Akin as “a strong Christian man, with a wonderful family” and appeared to push back on those calling for Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race.

“I think this election should be about: How did Todd Akin vote and what did he vote for and what did he stand for?” King said. “In this case, I’m seeing the same thing, petty, personal attacks substituting for strong policy.”

Video of King’s statement…

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Todd Akin: The man who said too much

Todd Akin: The man who said too much

I think David Axelrod was spot when he said that the Republican Establishment is not really upset with what Todd Akin said.  They are upset with Todd Akin for letting the proverbial “cat out of the bag”.

The GOP did not want to “broadcast” their true views during election season for fear of backlash from women and independents.

Salon

The Republican Party turned on Todd Akin because he made plain their creeping extremism and political strategy

When Missouri’s Republican candidate for the Senate said that  “legitimate rape” rarely causes pregnancy, not only was Todd Akin echoing the extreme anti-abortion positions held by many in his party, he was exemplifying the creeping extremism within the Republican Party on women’s issues and far more.  In the new, extremist Republican Party, Akin is not an aberration.  He is merely the latest canary in a coalmine of crazy.

Along with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Akin was an original co-sponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — which, originally, narrowed the federal definition of rape to restrict the ability of women and girls to use Medicaid dollars and tax-exempt health spending accounts to terminate pregnancies resulting from rape. Akin has since said he “misspoke” in his “legitimate rape” remarks, but the legislation he and Paul Ryan sponsored similarly re-labeled rape as “forcible rape” — creepily suggesting there are other, more acceptable versions. What’s more creepy? These are not fringe opinions expressed by powerless lunatics at teeny right-wing organizations. These are the opinions of over 200 Republican members of Congress, one of whom is the party’s candidate for the United States Senate in Missouri and one of whom is the party’s candidate for Vice President.

Yes, the Republican establishment is condemning Akin’s remarks and distancing itself from his candidacy. But let’s be clear: Akin is only guilty of saying out loud what many Republican leaders think and legislate on the basis of.   Talking Points Memo has detailed other Republican leaders throughout the years who have questioned that rape can lead to pregnancy and prominent Republican leaders like Mike Huckabee and  Bobby Jindal oppose abortions under all circumstances, including rape. Both will be speaking at the Republican National Convention next week. Moreover, the many Republicans pushing back against Akin seem more concerned with preserving the dignity of the Republican Party than protecting the dignity and rights of women who have been raped.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Todd Akin, Right-wing disinformation campaign

Keith slams Breitbart and anti-Occupy ‘propagandists’ for ‘exploiting rape victims’

If one takes the time to observe Andrew Breitbart, one might find that inside that angry facade is a very mean person who hates liberals with a  passion.   So much so in fact, that he might at times, manipulate videos to his own advantage or outright lie about the people that he hates,  just to make them look like the “slime” he perceives them to be.

Keith Olbermann gives a stunning example of this…

The Raw Story

Keith Olbermann on Wednesday night blasted conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart for claiming that the “Occupy Wall Street” movement condoned rape.

“The subject of rape itself is no laughing matter,” he said. “The allegation that a political or cultural group condones or encourages rape and sexual assault, against anyone, is virtually as serious a charge as can be leveled. Yet nearly just as bad, is to fabricate, twist, and alter facts, to make it seem like such a charge against such a group has credence.”

Breitbart recently shouted that members of the 99 Percent movement should “stop raping people,” a reference to reports of crime and sexual assaults at some “Occupy” camps.

The various demonstrations across the country took place in public parks and most of them offered free food and shelter. This attracted a number of people who were not strictly a part of the movement, including criminals and other troublemakers.

After DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas appeared on Olbermann’s show on Tuesday and accused Breitbart of “mak[ing] stuff up,” Lee Stranahan of Big Journalism demanded an on-air retraction and apology. He cited a list of 17 news stories of rape and other sexual crimes at “Occupy” protests.

But Olbermann said that list include some stories twice and could not be attributed to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. In four of the stories, he noted, neither the victim nor the assailant were even associated with the protest. In seven other stories, the protesters were the victims, not the assailants.

“That is the evidence that Andrew Breitbart has submitted to rationalize his irrational attempt to smear the Occupy movement and Occupy members, as rapists, and to brand anybody who points out his dishonesty, his twisting of the facts, and who bothers to actually read the stories that disprove his own contention, as a rape denier or rape apologist,” Olbermann said.

“What Mr. Breitbart and his fellow propagandists have done, in fact, is to take at least eight women, eight members of Occupy, who were raped or otherwise assaulted, and blamed them.”

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, at link here

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Santorum To Rape Victims: ‘Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation’

The absurdity from the far-right wing of the GOP is astounding…

Think Progress

Standing steadfast as the most socially right-wing candidate in the GOP presidential field, Rick Santorum has repeatedly touted his extreme anti-choice position, which dictates that abortion should be uniformly illegal, even in cases of rape or incest. He even suggested that physicians who provide abortions to such victims should be criminally charged.

Last Friday, CNN’s Piers Morgan asked Santorum to clarify his reasoning behind such a callous position. Insisting that “it’s not a matter of religious values,” Santorum explained that sexual assault victims should “accept this horribly created” pregnancy because it is “nevertheless a gift in a very broken way” and that, when it comes down to it, a victim just has “to make the best out of a bad situation“:

SANTORUM: Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn’t have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice. I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or doesn’t, it will always be her child. And she will always know that. And so to embrace her and to love her and to support her and get her through this very difficult time, I’ve always, you know, I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation.

Watch it:

The problem with Santorum’s sense of humanity is that it doesn’t seem to extend to the victim. The emotional and physical trauma endured during and after a sexual assault often leaves a woman feeling robbed of any control over her own body and welfare. Robbing a woman of the choice to decide what to do with such “horribly created” consequences only contributes to the victim’s trauma.

What’s more, Santorum’s argument forces a woman in these circumstances to share his religious beliefs and “accept what God has given to [her.]” A woman may very well share his belief and decide to carry the pregnancy to the term, but the fundamental point is that that should be her choice — not the government’s, and certainly not Santorum’s.

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Filed under Rick Santorum, Right Wing Extremism

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Pulls Ad That Blames Women For Getting Date-Raped

What the hell is wrong with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board?  Why did they publish that ridiculous ad in the first place?

Think Progress

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board provoked an enormous backlash by airing ads that tell women who are date-raped that they have only themselves and their friends to blame. The ad was part of a $600,000 campaign aimed at curbing excessive drinking.

After hearing from hundreds of rape victims that the ads were extremely upsetting, even traumatizing, the board has decided to pull them:

The ads send the message that women are not only at fault for getting themselves raped—a societal bias reflected in and re-enforced by too many court decisions—it’s your fault if your friend gets raped, too.

Last night, after receiving hundreds of phone calls and hundreds of email complaints, the PLCB has yanked the ads.

“We feel very strong, and still do, that when we entered the initial discussion about doing a campaign like this it was important to bring the most difficult conversations about over-consumption of alcohol to the forefront and all of the dangers associated with it—date rape being one of these things,” says PLCB spokesperson Stacey Witalec.

“That being said, due to the number of concerns that we heard about that specific ad, and the victims especially that we heard from talking about how the image … made them feel victimized all over again, we felt it was prudent to pull it.”

The board undoubtedly had good intentions when they launched their campaign, but there are better ways to go about it. As Jezebel pointed out, “Shock tactics aren’t necessary to increase awareness of the possibility of rape. We know what can happen after a night of drinking.”

And their blame-the-victim message reinforced the difficulty prosecuting rapists in the state. It’s easier to get away with sexual assault in Pennsylvania than anywhere else in the country because it’s the only state that doesn’t allow expert testimony in rape cases. Because experts aren’t allowed to educate jurors about the behaviors of sexual assault victims and assailants, “jurors are left making judgments based on the biases perpetuated in the PLCB ad.”

“We’ve had several cases where juries have acquitted serial rapists because they felt the victims’ behavior after the assault was counterintuitive,” says Deborah Harley, chief of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit of the District Attorney’s Office.

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