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

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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.

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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.

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

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“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.”

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.”

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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.

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

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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.

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.”

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


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Sondland says Ukrainians knew there was a quid pro quo for military aid — because he told them

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E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland's opening statement contains a blizzard of damning allegations about President Donald Trump and his immediate officials' conduct surrounding the withholding of foreign aid to Ukraine.

In particular, Sondland's statement directly contradicts a major talking point used by Republicans to defend the president: That there couldn't have been a quid pro quo to force the Ukrainians to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, because the Ukrainians did not know the delay in military aid was linked to opening investigations.

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‘We followed the president’s orders’: Sondland leaves no wiggle room for Trump’s direct involvement in Ukraine scandal

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European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland will leave no wiggle room for President Donald Trump to deny his direct involvement in the Ukraine scandal in his bombshell opening statement.

As reported by the Daily Beast, Sondland will testify that he followed President Donald Trump's orders to work with personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on dealing with Ukraine, despite the fact that he was personally reluctant to do so.

"Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States," the statement says. "We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President’s orders."

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Sondland directly implicates Trump and Giuliani in ‘quid pro quo’ in bombshell opening statement

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European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland is directly implicating both President Donald Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani in running a "quid pro quo" scheme to condition a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on launching an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Daily Beast has obtained excerpts of Sondland's opening statement that show the EU ambassador will make clear in his testimony on Wednesday that Giuliani wanted a quid pro quo with Ukraine -- and that he was pushing for it with Trump's encouragement.

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