After saying that the number of pregnancies resulting from rape is very low during a debate about an abortion bill, an Arizona congressman clarified his remarks.
“The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low," Rep. Trent Franks originally said on Wednesday. "But when you make that [rape and incest] exception, there's usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours. And in this case that's impossible."
Franks later clarified his comment, saying he intended to say that abortions occurring after the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy, which would be prohibited legislation he was proposing, rarely are the result of rapes.
A Franks-sponsored bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy was approved by the House Judiciary Committee, The New York Daily News reported. It will be debated on the House floor next week.
"Pregnancies from rape that result in abortion after the beginning of the sixth month are very rare," Franks said in an emailed statement. "This bill does not address unborn children in earlier gestations. Indeed, the bill does nothing to restrict abortions performed before the beginning of the sixth month."
Rep. Zoe Lofgren had this response: "I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low ... There's no scientific basis for that. And the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous."