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5 Crazy Things the GOP Is Still Saying About Women, Rape and Abortion--Even While the Convention Tried to Ignore It

As the convention pivoted away from social issues, conservative figures couldn't stop saying weird stuff about rape.

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We didn’t think it was possible, but Republican Rep. Steve King said something that might be even more clueless and scientifically absurd than Todd Akin’s remarks. Whereas Akin claimed that the female body has some sort of mystical power to avoid conceiving through rape, King stated that he had never even heard of such a thing happening to a woman (an underage woman, specifically). For real!


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.”

So pregnancy-through-rape denialism is a thing now. Great.

4. Senate candidate thinks conceiving through rape is much like having a baby out of wedlock.

Rape victims who become pregnant are not a homogenous group with only one set of experiences. However, we can say that becoming pregnant from rape is often a nightmarish experience for both the rape victims and the children they conceive. Read this chilling piece from the New Yorker to get a sense of some of the ways pregnancy through rape can cause serious, long-term emotional and psychic scars.

It’s disrespectful to those experiences when someone like Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith comes along to say that conceiving through rape is “similar” to having a baby “out of wedlock,” as his daughter did – and as is the case with more than half of U.S. births to women under the age of 30. Republicans love pointing to that statistic as an indicator of our nation’s moral decline, which is obviously ludicrous.

When Smith said that pregnancy-through-rape is similar to pregnancy-sans-wedding-ring, it was really misogynistic code for “those women are morally inferior.”

But what can we expect from a guy who thinks the only thing two grown women (“girls”) could possibly want to talk about is shoes?

5. Wisconsin Rep. dismisses pushback against false rape claims as playing “political football.”

Republican Rep. Sean Duffy (who, fun fact, was once a cast member on The Real World: Boston) minimized the wretched comments about rape made by his fellow party members by suggesting that Dems are just playing “political football” by pushing back. What jerks! How dare they correct lies!

Here’s Duffy’s full exchange with CNN’s Piers Morgan, via Jezebel:

MORGAN: What about Paul Ryan's positions on social issues like abortion? He's pretty right-wing, to the more extreme end of the party. Are you concerned that that will be perceived as anti-women?

DUFFY: Well I think what the issue's that extreme is when Barack Obama has voted four times to say if you have a failed abortion and the baby is born alive, you aren't allowed to save it. That is what is extreme. And I think we have to have a real conversation not just on social issues, but the real issues that Americans care about, which is the debt, which is the economy, which is jobs. Moms and dads across America, moms specifically.

MORGAN: But if you're trying to target women, which Mitt Romney has to do because he's way behind on women, is it really advisable to have people like Todd Akin rearing their ugly heads, coming out with all this guff about rape?

DUFFY: You want to know what I think is ugly? I was a prosecutor. I prosecuted rape cases for adults and children. And the Democrat Party is going to try to use rape as a political football, that's a disgrace. I'm disgusted by it.

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