Was Franks another Akin?

posted at 8:04 am on June 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

I didn’t hear Trent Franks’ remarks on the House abortion ban regarding exceptions for rape directly at first.  Instead, I saw the reaction on Twitter, and assumed that Franks had made some sort of absurd Todd Akin-like comment about the improbability of conception during rape.  Since these comments primarily came from Republicans and conservatives, I felt sure that we had another GOP officeholder.  A whole series of “OMG Republicans shut up about rape” and similar Twitter updates scrolled past my timeline.

So what did Trent Franks say that was sooo off the wall that Republicans should never debate a rape exception to abortion bans ever again?  This is what he said — in the context of a debate about a ban on abortions after the 20th week of gestation, emphasis mine:

“Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject- because you know the, the incidents 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, and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment,” he added.

Franks wasn’t implying that women don’t get pregnant from what Whoopi Goldberg once called “rape rape,” as Akin did.  He was making the statistical point that incidents of pregnancy from rape are very low — both in terms of overall pregnancies and in terms of abortions. Furthermore, since the rape would be known immediately and the pregnancy not long afterward, the need to exercise that exception after 20 weeks should be very, very rare.

While Franks’ allies rushed to shut him up and the rest of the pro-abortion side out of the debate, Jonathan Chait wondered what all the fuss was, even while disagreeing with Franks:

It sounded like Akinism to a lot of liberals. The Huffington Post reported that the remarks “echo those made last year” by Akin. But this requires changing what Franks said in a crucial way. Slate reports the story in the headline “The GOP Is Talking About Rape and Its ‘Very Low’ Pregnancy Rate Again.” …

But Franks didn’t say the “rate” of pregnancy from rape is low. He said the “incidence” is low. He didn’t say it’s hard to get pregnant when you’re raped. He said rape-induced pregnancy doesn’t happen very often.

Is that claim, which is different than Akin’s, true? Well, there are about 30,000 pregnancies from rape a year. I’d say that’s a lot. I suppose that if you’re comparing it to the total number of abortions, a figure that’s 20 to 30 times larger, you could argue it isn’t so many. From Franks’s starting point, in which which abortion is murder, the United States allows massive murder of human beings on an unthinkable scale, next to which 30,000 annual pregnancies looms small. If (like me) you don’t share his view of abortion, that 30,000 pregnancies looms large.

In other words, it’s basic statistical analysis, nothing more.  Using Chait’s numbers on overall abortions, the percentage that a rape exception would allow would be about 10% of all abortion requests — which leaves 90% as elective abortions for the purpose of convenience.  And as Franks was trying to point out, after a 20 week period in which abortions would still be legal if this bill became law, the percentage of abortions under that exception should be much. much lower.

This is what a debate over abortion rights and limitations has to discuss.  I don’t recall any on the Right being as squeamish about using statistical analysis to point out during the gun-control debate that homicide victims by rifles of all kinds (“assault” or otherwise) constituted an exceedingly small percentage of homicides by firearms, even smaller than “personal weapons” of hands, feet, arms, legs, and presumably headbutts — less than half, actually. No one on our side felt compelled to tweet “OMG Republicans stop talking about homicides!!1!1!!”

Let’s quit ceding territory on vital debates simply because a couple of people have managed to make a hash out of it. That works a lot better than jumping to conclusions.  And kudos to Chait for intellectual honesty, too.

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It is possible to juggle flaming knives, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

myiq2xu on June 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Talk about burning topics of the day.

Yawn.

sartana on June 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

I wonder if Akin was actually trying to say what Franks correctly said…?

Nah.

itsnotaboutme on June 13, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Yeah this is important – NOT

Of course our resident cockroach troll last night had his undies in a bunch over it.

gophergirl on June 13, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Talk about burning topics of the day.

Yawn.

sartana on June 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

That’s what Wilberforce’s mockers said about his decades-long, often lonely anti-slavery campaign.

Some of us actually care about making murder illegal.

itsnotaboutme on June 13, 2013 at 8:24 AM

A lib citing a fact is indeed worthy of a headline.

hillsoftx on June 13, 2013 at 8:25 AM

It is possible to juggle flaming knives, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

myiq2xu on June 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Mom still has you using plastic huh?

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 8:26 AM

itsnotaboutme on June 13, 2013 at 8:23 AM

He wasn’t. Akin was given about fifty chances to “clarify” what he said, and it was very clear he meant exactly what he said and didn’t really understand what he’d said wrong. It was cringe-inducing.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Oh how the lsm is lappjng this up……

cmsinaz on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

In other words, it’s basic statistical analysis, nothing more. Using Chait’s numbers on overall abortions, the percentage that a rape exception would allow would be about 10% of all abortion requests — which leaves 90% as elective abortions for the purpose of convenience.

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Mom still has you using plastic huh?

Just a spork.

myiq2xu on June 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Let’s quit ceding territory on vital debates simply because a couple of people have managed to make a hash out of it. That works a lot better than jumping to conclusions. And kudos to Chait for intellectual honesty, too.

Ed. You do this (‘ceding territory’) all the time. In some cases there may be a strategic advantage (birthers) but in others not so much.

gh on June 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

There were appx 4.2 million births in the US last year. There were over 1.5 million abortions, and appx 15% miscarry. Total pregnancies are around 7 million. CDC reports there were ~30k pregnancies from rape last year (although only 7k rapes were reported from the FBI stats-how odd!). SO only about .4% of pregnancies occur from rape.

It seems to me this is just another fem-fit!

gonnjos on June 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Using Chait’s numbers on overall abortions, the percentage that a rape exception would allow would be about 10% of all abortion requests

And what percentage of that 10% of self-reported “rapes” that end in pregnancy are women who had consensual sex with their “baby daddy,” later regretted it, and then decided they’d been “raped.” Or women who had a hook-up with a stranger when their boyfriend was out of town (or out of sight), became pregnant, and later needed a way to explain how the pregnancy was not her fault?

If we looked at the number of rapes that are reported to the police within hours of the assault, then looked at the number of those rape victims who became pregnant, the numbers would probably be pretty low. Which is all this guy was saying.

AZCoyote on June 13, 2013 at 8:36 AM

My answer to questions on this subject would be “I’ll get back to you on this topic after you ask Democrat X why they support sex-selection abortion. Not once has I heard a journalist ask the question.”

forest on June 13, 2013 at 8:36 AM

What the pro-life side needs to understand is that the pro-”choice” side wants to suppress any debate on this issue. This means that there is no bona fide misunderstanding about Rep. Franks’ comments. Rather, the left is determined to attack any valid argument raised by the pro-life side. To do so, the pro-abortion side will look for and find (because that is their determined intention…their strategy) any language used by the pro-life side and twist it and distort it it so that it can be discarded, ridiculed and trashed. There is no good faith in this and the sooner the pro-life side accepts this, the sooner it will stop surrendering valid arguments because they fear what the left will say about them.

Blaise on June 13, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Talk about burning topics of the day.

Yawn.

sartana on June 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Yes, the slaughter of millions of innocent children is such a bore.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Yeah this is important – NOT

Of course our resident cockroach troll last night had his undies in a bunch over it.

gophergirl on June 13, 2013 at 8:24 AM

I gotta say, what with the NSA Stasi, the IRS scandal, the State Department scandal, the DoJ scandals, the lack of a budget, a jobless and anemic “recovery,” and life in general…… I can’t muster up much interest in what essentially is a politician being conveniently taken out of context to generate up faux outrage by LIVs who only care about lady parts and the “right” to kill unwanted children. You are not going to change the minds of the LIVs so why even bother engaging them?

Happy Nomad on June 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

I would be FOR doing away with disposable diapers if they resulted in the deaths of 100 children per year, much less 1.5 million, wouldn’t you?

gonnjos on June 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

This from the it who thinks unwanted puppies and unwanted babies are the same.

Are you really that degenerate, or are you just trolling for attention?

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Should we also refer to disposable diapers as medical necessities that are vital to safeguarding “women’s health” — and have the government pass laws requiring every American to subsidize disposable diapers and call them misogynists who want to kill women if they object?

AZCoyote on June 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Ummm…

http://libaware.economads.com/ddiapermyth.php

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 8:46 AM

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Are you serious? Really?

antisocial on June 13, 2013 at 8:49 AM

It’s not rocket surgery. Democrat garbage are ramping up the War on Womens again, to appeal to the dumbest in our society. Republicans not arguing their ideas aren’t going to get Democrat garbage to lay off their third rate demagoguery.

Maybe calling out the garbage about the Bill Clintons of their party maybe will.

MNHawk on June 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Meh, libs are always reluctant to let facts get in the way of their opinions.

deepdiver on June 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

If you had any real integrity you must be feeling pretty stupid by now.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I would be FOR doing away with disposable diapers if they resulted in the deaths of 100 children per year, much less 1.5 million, wouldn’t you?

gonnjos on June 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I am all for the deaths of 1.5 million fetuses a year in America today. I think the number of abortions is too low. Teenage girls are still have babies in large numbers. This does not make America a better place to live.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Thanks for forwarding the equivalency between infants that can’t control their defection and adults that cant control their copulation. Lib pretzel logic, at it’s zenith.

socalcon on June 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM

There were appx 4.2 million births in the US last year. There were over 1.5 million abortions, and appx 15% miscarry. Total pregnancies are around 7 million. CDC reports there were ~30k pregnancies from rape last year (although only 7k rapes were reported from the FBI stats-how odd!). SO only about .4% of pregnancies occur from rape.

It seems to me this is just another fem-fit!

gonnjos on June 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

In 1979, according to a Justice Department estimate based on a wide-ranging public survey, there were 2.8 rapes for every 1,000 people. In 2004, the same survey found that the rate had decreased to 0.4 per thousand.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/18/AR2006061800610.html

thujackass hardest hit

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Talk about burning topics of the day.

Yawn.

sartana on June 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

“Final Solution

You know, it is amazing that when I make a comment about using illegals as organ donors or dropping nukes on enemies, I am treated like the worst barbarian in history.

Then we have the acceptance of US commanders standing by while the guys in Benghazi were killed or the ongoing slaughter of viable babies in slaughterhouse clinics. All these deaths are serving little other than political expediency.

This elicits a yawn from you.

Well!

Send your resume. At the rate things are going this or a future POTUS, may need a person like you to provide the “final solution” for many remaining white Christians or others with the wrong words in their organization list or resume. Key word for your special attribute: Narcissism.

IlikedAUH2O on June 13, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I am all for the deaths of 1.5 million fetuses a year in America today. I think the number of abortions is too low. Teenage girls are still have babies in large numbers. This does not make America a better place to live.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Yes, we must kill off all the Americans, with their large carbon footprints, and bring in tons of immigrants who will consume less.

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Teenage girls are still have babies in large numbers. This does not make America a better place to live.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Nope. No shame, no regrets, no awareness of the moral maze he’s working himself in to.

This is a conscience that is seared, I suspect.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Ummm…

http://libaware.economads.com/ddiapermyth.php

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Maybe the article has a point about disposable diapers. I am sympathetic to environmental arguments, but would have to do research before I would take this one seriously. I have read a couple of “public health”/”environmental” arguments that are nothing more than an irrational fear of human excrement.
Since you bring this up, let me point out to you that there many people who read Hotair who are hostile to environmental arguments. Some of them are pro-lifers. It is amusing that a movement that wants to call itself “pro-life” has supporters so hostile to our ecosystems and life on this planet.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Maybe calling out the garbage about the Bill Clintons of their party maybe will.

MNHawk on June 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Don’t impugn the Father of the Year.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Trent Franks said nothing wrong.
I can’t wait for the day you slaves-to-the-media in the ‘republican’ party cause
social conservatives to leave your ass on the side of the road. We’ll see how many
elections you win then. The abortion debate is going our way and will continue to as technology makes it irrefutable that life begins at conception. Social conservatives are on the ‘right side of history’, but the media is your god and Rove your savior. Good (R)iddance.

AmeriCuda on June 13, 2013 at 9:12 AM

This is a conscience that is seared, I suspect.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Much as an increasing number of Americans seem to be.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:13 AM

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

According to Guttmacher, in 2005 mere 185,000 of the 1.5 million abortions were teen pregnancies. 1.3 million were adults.

But good news for you, with your morning coffee, that year 100,000 pregnant teens miscarried.

socalcon on June 13, 2013 at 9:15 AM

I am sympathetic to environmental arguments

But sympathy for innocent life? Not so much.

Since you bring this up, let me point out to you that there many people who read Hotair who are hostile to environmental arguments. Some of them are pro-lifers. It is amusing that a movement that wants to call itself “pro-life” has supporters so hostile to our ecosystems and life on this planet.

OK. Who? Quotes? What have they said that would lead you to that conclusion? Or are you lying again?

, but would have to do research before

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

That would be a first.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 9:17 AM

AmeriCuda on June 13, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Social conservatives defecting?

And exactly where are they going?

This is about eighth on the list of the terminal problems of the Republican party.

IlikedAUH2O on June 13, 2013 at 9:19 AM

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 9:11 AM

The link was put there so that you could see your side TRYING to eliminate that convenience.

I am sorry you didn’t realize that.

Interesting how you went from “I would have to do the research” to “so hostile to” all in one paragraph.

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM

CONTENT WARNING. Do not read this if you are easily offended. Seriously.

Hey thujackass, you worthless piece of road kill.

You said that an unwanted baby is no different than an unwanted puppy. You are right–if you’re an atheist. If God doesn’t exist, then humans are just animals. On the same ontological level. We just evolved. A cosmic accident. No concrete standard of right or wrong.

The logical conclusion that if —–but is it right or wrong to be logical?

An evolutionary accident.

So then, I assume you support Obama’s death panels. Who needs non-productive old people sucking scarce resources.

Speaking of sucking up scarce resources; let’s kill all the handicapped people. Who wants those societal drains. Seniors, too.

Then we can kill anyone who is on welfare. But let’s not waste valuable resources killing them. Just herd them into some blighted area of town and let them starve.

Do you see any degree of difference between killing unwanted animals and killing for food? Is killing for food better than killing for unwantedness? Better? Right or wrong? Who is to say? Sounds like a moral decision.

You eat hamburgers? Now there’s an unwanted animal. Well, except as dead and butchered and exposed to the proper amount of heat and seasonings.

How about we butcher all those people we don’t want and eat them. That way they wouldn’t be so . . . unwanted.

Has anyone calculated the protein content of human meat?

Of course we could put them in feedlots. We already have Ghettos.

We call cow meat beef; pig meat pork. What do we call people meat.

And unwanted babies. Just toss them over into the corner. They will eventually become too weak to scream and cry. They will quickly, and painfully, dehydrate and die.

Or should we give them a shot of something to hasten their demise. We would do the same for an unwanted puppy. You don’t like the way animals are treated at the slaughterhouse. Let’s be consistent.

Of course, to be logically and humanely consistent, we should anesthetize babies in the womb before we rip them apart. Don’t want to cause them any pain. But so what if we cause them pain. No need to introduce morality at this point.

There is no God. No Absolute Authority. To whose morality should we subscribe.

How about your moral standard, thuja, molester, armandhammmer–any of you who claim superior knowledge? Any of you who have an evolutionary superior intellect. Thuja, God of the Universe. Absolute Standard of Morality.

Any of you smart enough to tell the whole world how to live? You seem to think you are. You get on the World Wide Web and tell everybody the way things should be.

“[T]he way things should be” That darned morality thing just keeps popping up.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Since you bring this up, let me point out to you that there many people who read Hotair who are hostile to environmental arguments. Some of them are pro-lifers. It is amusing that a movement that wants to call itself “pro-life” has supporters so hostile to our ecosystems and life on this planet.

If Hotair readers are hostile to your environmental agenda, it is because it is not well thought out.

You never include things like disposal costs for CFL’s, manufacturing costs for Solar Panels, Electrical storage for making wind and solar viable. The cost of having a plumber come clean out your drain pipers thanks to your 1 gallon per flush toilets.

This list goes on ad infinitum.

I’d be hostile too. And I consider myself a conservationist.

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

I gotta say, what with the NSA Stasi, the IRS scandal, the State Department scandal, the DoJ scandals, the lack of a budget, a jobless and anemic “recovery,” and life in general…… I can’t muster up much interest in what essentially is a politician being conveniently taken out of context to generate up faux outrage by LIVs who only care about lady parts and the “right” to kill unwanted children. You are not going to change the minds of the LIVs so why even bother engaging them?

Happy Nomad on June 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Yep.

When all of that is taken care of and Obama is out of the WH and Reid/Pelosi are banished – then I’ll garner up the outrage over what this guy supposedly said.

gophergirl on June 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Furthermore, since the rape would be known immediately and the pregnancy not long afterward, the need to exercise that exception after 20 weeks should be very, very rare.

So, requiring a woman who was raped to decide within 20 weeks that she does not want to have the rapist’s child is an extreme right-wing position according to America’s socialist party.

Those left-wing liberal socialists running much of Europe must be really be right-wing extremists when it comes to abortion because, IIRC, most of Europe has laws that prohibit abortion after 5 months unless the woman’s life is in danger. Apparently those extremist right-wing misogynist socialists running Europe have been waging a War On Women for decades, or something.

farsighted on June 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Facts to a liberal is like holy water to vampires.

Alinsky on June 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Once you take away the freedom of speech, you win a lot more debates. The left has taken the lead in squashing speech for years now and this is just another example. Of course he said nothing wrong, yet they will make it appear he did, rather than debate the issue.

Yet I heard a Congressman the other day talk about someone losing a donation and insinuating that he lied under oath when he mentioned that. The left will do or say anything and they can no longer be trusted to engage in honest debate about anything. It’s all about “messaging” and that’s it, the truth be damned.

bflat879 on June 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

The abortion debate is going our way…

AmeriCuda on June 13, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Naive and wishful thinking. Can you name any countries that have ever banned abortion after once allowing it?

You also assume a lot by saying “our” way. There are plenty of pro-choice Republicans. If they seriously thought legal abortion was at risk (its not), many of them, myself included, would be crossing over and voting for the other side to stop such a move.

Franks’ comments may play OK in SoCon echo chambers like Hot Air, but they play terribly in the US electorate as a whole. Pro-lifers do need to just shut up about rape already. When you have gotten abortion banned with a rape exception, then you can start talking about no rape exception. I won’t hold my breath.

cool breeze on June 13, 2013 at 9:39 AM

confirmed, or perhaps reconfirmed, that thuja is a ghoul.

22044 on June 13, 2013 at 9:49 AM

WryTrvllr on June 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

He also conveniently ignores the fact that most hostility to the environmentalist agenda isn’t regarding the environment but their using the environment as a cover for their political agenda. Most of the really radical environmentalists care less about the environment than they do about enforcing their distorted vision on the rest of us by hijacking the political process. There isn’t a conservative that I know that isn’t a conscientious environmentalist in their daily lives.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I disagree with Ed on the “Ceding ground” comment because it assumes that the ground that is being discussed has any value to the conservative movement. Most conservatives are probably divided on all of the aspects of abortion and their is no one size fits all as a policy. So ANY political discussion of abortion by the conservative side has no positive value but a big potential negative value. The old question that every pol should ask themselves is “What is the best and what is the worst that can come from my answer on this topic”. If they could overpower their egos just once they might just say “Next question”. Is there an upside to discussing “Affirmative action”? NO! Is their an upside to discussing abortion? NO! Is there an upside to discussing rape? NO!

inspectorudy on June 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM

There isn’t a conservative that I know that isn’t a conscientious environmentalist in their daily lives.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

This bears repeating.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

There isn’t a conservative that I know that isn’t a conscientious environmentalist in their daily lives.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

This bears repeating.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Yes, excellent & important point.

22044 on June 13, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I disagree with Ed on the “Ceding ground” comment because it assumes that the ground that is being discussed has any value to the conservative movement. Most conservatives are probably divided on all of the aspects of abortion and their is no one size fits all as a policy. So ANY political discussion of abortion by the conservative side has no positive value but a big potential negative value. The old question that every pol should ask themselves is “What is the best and what is the worst that can come from my answer on this topic”. If they could overpower their egos just once they might just say “Next question”. Is there an upside to discussing “Affirmative action”? NO! Is their an upside to discussing abortion? NO! Is there an upside to discussing rape? NO!

inspectorudy on June 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Yeah. It’s just a bunch of blobs of tissue.

It is not politically expedient to talk about saving lives so, Shut up.

Typical libspeak.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 10:10 AM

of course the liberal want to shut people up about rape and abortion. nIt’s a losing argument for them since the majority of the country is prolife.

unseen on June 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM

When the reference to rape comes up in debates on abortion, the only thing for GOP ers to say, is that they Abhor Rape! that is all. Maybe we should start a GOP club called Republicans Against Rape. We should make sure we stand for really harsh penalties and jail time.

And especially, we should not point out that the law is a big jumble of all kinds of rape in it, repeat after me: All Rape is violence against women, and sometimes men.

Fleuries on June 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Pro-choice Republicans are irrelevant to the discussion of abortion in the context of the republican party positions. The party will remain pro-life. You can b!tch and moan about how many pro-choice republicans there are but we are never going to give you your way on this issue, so if it’s really that important to you, you’re in the wrong party. S’all.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM

“30,000 pregnancies in America, from rape.”

Really?

Let’s assume that one out of ten sexual encounters result in pregnancy (I know that’s stupidly high, but for the sake of argument). Three hundred thousand rapes in the country each year. That would mean there’s an average of six thousand rapes in every single state, every single year.

Are there really 6000 women raped in every state each year? Or is this another leftism?

(Yeah, yeah, I know the answer, too. But if I just state it, then it becomes troll-bait. And I really hate trolls.)

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Where are you getting the figure of 300,000 rapes a year? Back-of-the-envelope math by armchair experts is not a preferred source.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Where are you getting the figure of 300,000 rapes a year? Back-of-the-envelope math by armchair experts is not a preferred source.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Try reading dip.

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Reading what? You offered no link.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Reading what? You offered no link.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Reading what I wrote. You obviously just scanned it. I offered an hypothesis, and a reasonable question for said hypothesis.

I don’t know you, and and I know nothing about you. And yet, your kneejerking without reading really makes you look “poorly”.

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

I know wiki is a lazy source but that would suggest there were around 300,000 reported rapes, not rapes total. RAINN insists 50% or more rapes go unreported. No idea how accurate that is at all, but you have to concede there is some non-zero number of rapes that go unreported, and likely some that involve pregnancy.

In my anecdotal experience, girls who get pregnant from rape were less likely to say they were raped if they kept the baby than if they decided to abort it.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

You wrote:

Let’s assume that one out of ten sexual encounters result in pregnancy (I know that’s stupidly high, but for the sake of argument). Three hundred thousand rapes in the country each year. That would mean there’s an average of six thousand rapes in every single state, every single year.

You started with an estimate and then offered no source for your facts. That makes this back-of-the-envelope math. The fact that you do not instantly say “it was just a guess” makes you an armchair expert.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Pro-choice Republicans are irrelevant to the discussion of abortion in the context of the republican party positions. The party will remain pro-life. You can b!tch and moan about how many pro-choice republicans there are but we are never going to give you your way on this issue, so if it’s really that important to you, you’re in the wrong party. S’all.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Pro-choice Republicans have had their way on the abortion issue for the last 40 years, since Roe v. Wade in 1973. We are content to have the party pay lip service to the pro-lifers while not actually doing anything about it. Notwithstanding the party’s official position, did Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I or Bush II actually do anything to ban abortion, or even seriously try? It isn’t really that important to us as long as there is no serious threat to legal abortion, but if there were, we would be switching sides, which would put a stop to any such movement.

cool breeze on June 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The fact that you do not instantly say “it was just a guess” makes you an armchair expert.

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM

(Let’s assume that one out of ten sexual encounters result in pregnancy I know that’s stupidly high, but for the sake of argument). Three hundred thousand rapes in the country each year. That would mean there’s an average of six thousand rapes in every single state, every single year.

And the fact that you don’t know what “for the sake of argument” means, makes you, what?

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM

alwaysfiredup on June 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM

From Wikipedia:

According to United States Department of Justice document Criminal Victimization in the United States, there were overall 191,670 victims of rape or sexual assault reported in 2005

So, if there are 30,000 rape-pregnancies each year, that is roughly 15% or so.

So, according to Chait, more than 1 in 10 sexual encounters result in pregnancy.

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

And also, note, that figure is “rape or sexual assault” which means that out of 191,670, some percentage did not include activity that could result in pregnancy. Meaning, the percentage of rape pregnancy, according to Chait, is something like 1 in 4.

In Chait’s mind then, 1 out of every 4 times sex occurs, the women gets pregnant.

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Of course, that 191k number is reported incidents and they estimate that only 16% are reported, which means that there are closer to 600,000 or 700,000 rapes or sexual assaults each year.

Which would be relevant, except that Frank’s point was that exceptions for rape/incest require that the rape was reported. So, we should only be working off reported rape numbers.

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

But, of course, I don’t believe the claim that close to 90% of rapes go unreported. Or the claim that 1 in 6 American women are raped. That, like Superbowl Sunday women abuse, is a way over inflated claim.

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

He’s not listening. Throw a few bombs and split. Sound familiar?

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM

It isn’t really that important to us as long as there is no serious threat to legal abortion, but if there were, we would be switching sides, which would put a stop to any such movement.

cool breeze on June 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The funny thing is, abortion is not one of my top issues. I can accept a pro-choice republican if he is firm on other conservative issues.

I can understand how someone who is fervently pro-life can have it as one of their top issues, b/c they believe abortion is murdering innocent children.

I’ve never understood how someone who is pro-choice can have it be one of their top issues. I really, really, really want women to have abortions!! that seems to me to be a very weird priority. Sure, you think abortion is not a big deal, that no life is effected, etc. But to make it a number one concern and priority when voting? It’s like people revel in abortion.

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

He’s not listening. Throw a few bombs and split. Sound familiar?

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Sound familiar to what?

Monkeytoe on June 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I am all for the deaths of 1.5 million fetuses a year in America today. I think the number of abortions is too low. Teenage girls are still have babies in large numbers. This does not make America a better place to live.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Notice how thuja skips teenage sex causing young girls to be pregnant and how THAT’S the reason teenage girls are still having babies in large numbers. Screw the babies. The girls must have sex.

DethMetalCookieMonst on June 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Why even go there?

Idiot SoCons just can’t help themselves, and Franks is one of those kamikaze pro-lifers that also wants to criminalize abortion in cases of rape. He was a big backer of Akin when the firestorm happened.

Conservatives need to start purging this position, it’s toxic at the ballot box as we saw two easy Senate wins in bright Red states because of this “pure” stance on abortion.

Planned Parenthood LOVES pro-lifers like Franks and Akin. Suddenly, they don’t look like the monsters they really are.

BradTank on June 13, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Screw the babies.

DethMetalCookieMonst on June 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

It probably doesn’t have a problem with that, either.

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM

blink on June 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Yes. This said it well:

There isn’t a conservative that I know that isn’t a conscientious environmentalist in their daily lives.

Cleombrotus on June 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

davidk on June 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM

cool breeze on June 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Because killing children is THAT important.

Pattosensei on June 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Just to be clear… Franks was speaking math, um, not… arithmetic, right?

jffree1 on June 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Let’s quit ceding territory on vital debates simply because a couple of people have managed to make a hash out of it. That works a lot better than jumping to conclusions. And kudos to Chait for intellectual honesty, too.

The left wants to make any discussion of facts concerning abortion radioactive. Is that really any different than political correctness on other issues?

The hyper-ventilation on the right over Akins played right into their hands. Aside from the verbal stumble of saying “legitimate rape” rather than “legitimate accusations of rape,” the only thing factually wrong with Akins was his attempt to claim that a woman’s body tries to prevent a pregnancy from rape. And even that was based on out-of-date information rather than some malice.

The fact remains that abortion due to rape is very rare, but the moment you make accusations of rape an escape clause to allow abortion, there will be a lot more people claiming to have been raped.

I’d still gladly trade an exception for abortion in cases of rape in order to prevent all the other abortions that happen, but let’s not fool ourselves. If rape becomes an excuse for abortion, claims of rape will become common.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

In other words, it’s basic statistical analysis, nothing more. Using Chait’s numbers on overall abortions, the percentage that a rape exception would allow would be about 10% of all abortion requests — which leaves 90% as elective abortions for the purpose of convenience.

I have never understand why the pro-life movement wants to characterize elective abortions as a “convenience”. Disposable diapers are also a convenience. Should we do away with them also?

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

That’s rich, coming from the side that
– claims that babies are just lumps of tissue or growths, not really human
– talks about “women making their own health choices” as a code phrase for abortion
– keeps trying to change the subject to the extremely rare cases of rape and incest while ignoring the millions of abortions done that have absolutely nothing to do with either
– invents the phrase “reproductive rights” as a euphemism for abortion, when abortion by definition is the opposite of reproductive rights
– keeps objecting that blastocysts are not human, while ignoring the fact that abortion occurs on babies long past the blastocyst stage
– insists on referring to babies as fetuses even when they are old enough to survive a botched abortion

But sure, keep on telling the pro-life side about the specks in their eyes while you ignore the rafters in your own eyes.

And be sure to sound smug and self-righteous while you do it. That always goes over well.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Um… what ever happened to the old fashioned, quaint notion of “adoption”? Sheesh.

lucyvanpelt on June 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Reading what I wrote. You obviously just scanned it. I offered an hypothesis, and a reasonable question for said hypothesis.

I don’t know you, and and I know nothing about you. And yet, your kneejerking without reading really makes you look “poorly”.

Squiggy on June 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

We may disagree on abortion, but I applaud that you aren’t being nice to the idiot. I have the feeling that alwaysfiredup isn’t smart enough to get that 30,000 women impregnated by rape plus your assumption:

Let’s assume that one out of ten sexual encounters result in pregnancy (I know that’s stupidly high, but for the sake of argument).

implies

Three hundred thousand rapes in the country each year.

But I do have a problem with your use of averages:

That would mean there’s an average of six thousand rapes in every single state, every single year.

This average isn’t meaningful given the wide variation in states. I think it would have made sense to compare 300,000 to the FBI actual count of rapes per year. Instead, you should have noted that Nearly 90,000 people reported being raped in the United States in 2008 and 9% of those raped were men who presumably couldn’t get pregnant. Thus, there were 82,000 women raped, which is much less than 300,000.

thuja on June 13, 2013 at 3:13 PM