Quantcast
Connect with us

Idaho Republican thinks ‘trauma’ prevents pregnancy in rape: ‘That may be true with incest a little bit’

Published

on

Another Republican lawmaker suggested women and girls are unlikely to become pregnant from rape or incest.

Idaho state Rep. Pete Nielson (R-Mountain Home) spoke up during a hearing Thursday during a legislative hearing to decide whether abortion providers should be required to give patients a list of facilities that offer free ultrasounds, reported The Spokesman-Review.

ADVERTISEMENT

The measure makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and a clinic manager testified that her center had treated two rape victims — one whom chose to keep her baby and the other who offered her child for adoption.

Nielson expressed his doubts that those pregnancies were medically possible.

“Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident,” Nielson said. “That may be true with incest a little bit.”

Women’s health advocates attacked the lawmaker’s claims as “absolutely scientifically and medically inaccurate” — and said they also subjected rape victims to doubts about their accusations if they became pregnant as a result of the assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Nielson stood by his claims — even as he admitted he wasn’t sure whether they were accurate.

“That’s information that I’ve had through the years,” he said. “Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know. In a rape situation, there’s a lot of trauma.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The lawmaker explained his own interest in the topic.

“I read a lot of information. I have read it several times,” Nielson said. “Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot.”

The idea that rape is unlikely to result in pregnancy dates back to at least ancient Greece, and it was even written into law in medieval England.

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s since been proven incorrect by science and medicine, but the notion persists in the minds of some anti-choice Republican legislators.

Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens), speaking last year before the same legislative committee, asked a physician during an abortion-related hearing whether it would be possible for a woman to swallow a camera to conduct a gynecological exam.

“It cannot be done in pregnancy simply because, when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina,” said Dr. Julie Madsen, prompting loud laughter from within the chamber.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) doomed his U.S. Senate bid in 2012 when he suggested that victims of “legitimate rape” would not likely become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Listen to audio of Nielson’s comments posted online by Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia training exercises at ‘The Base’: report

Published

on

One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Oklahoma police searching for man who shot Taco Bell employee in dispute over the drive-thru

Published

on

Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot a Taco Bell employee early Saturday morning.

"The employee was shot in the leg after asking the customer to pull forward in the drive-thru," KFOR-TV reported Saturday. "The customer argued, but eventually pulled forward, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot the employee."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report

Published

on

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.

"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image