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Ear to the Ground

Another Republican Says Something Dumb About Rape and Pregnancy

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Posted on Aug 31, 2012
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Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

Republicans should stop talking about rape. Seriously. It seems as though every time a Republican talks about rape, something stupid comes out.

This latest remark comes from Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, who said something eerily similar to Missouri GOP candidate Todd Akin. During a town hall meeting, the 10-term congressman was asked about rape and abortion. 

“If you have somebody that commits a violent, heinous crime, forcible rape, which results in the pregnancy of the woman who was forcibly raped, what is your position?” (Side note: Let’s stop categorizing rape. Rape is rape.)

Bartlett’s response: “If you really—there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest—compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”

To quote SNL’s Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler, really?! Did he learn nothing from Akin’s ordeal, in which the Missouri congressman publicly stated that women rarely get pregnant from being raped? Forget about the debate over whether sex ed should be taught in America’s schools; it’s about time they offered it in Congress.

Ironically, Bartlett’s position on abortion supports exceptions in the instances of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk.

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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