• Sun, Mar 3 2013

Seriously? One More GOP Politician Calls Pregnancy From Rape Rare Because Of ‘Trauma’

no wayDid you think that after the 2012 elections and the defeat of guys like Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock that we would be done with politicians making ignorant comments about rape and pregnancy? Me too. And apparently, we were oh so wrong. Let’s listen to the latest nonsense, brought to you by the President of the California Republican Assembly, Celeste Greig.

Amazingly, the comments were made as Greig was attempting to criticize Aiken’s comments from last summer when he said that women’s bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down,” after a “legitimate rape.” The GOP leader said that Aiken’s remark was “insensitive” and that he should have apologized for it. By the way, he attempted to apologize, it was just equally ignorant and offensive. Just for the record.

Then, Greig went on to basically agree with Aiken’s statements.

“The percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized,” she said. Greig continued, “because of the trauma the body goes through, I don’t know what percentage of pregnancy results from the act.”

By the way, since Mrs. Greig didn’t feel the need to look into actual facts before making her statement, let’s remind everyone of the real percentages. We went over all this before, but we seem to need a refresher.

According to Planned Parenthood, roughly five percent of rapes result in pregnancy. A medical study from the 90s puts the average yearly total of pregnancies from rape at 32,101. I think for those thousands of women every year, their situation doesn’t feel small.

Even worse, there’s the implicit insinuation that if you did get pregnant, your rape was not “traumatizing” enough to count as rape. Rape with no pregnancy is an act of violence. But if you conceived a child during that sexual act in which you had no choice, the act is considered… what?

If you notice, even though Greig criticizes Aiken’s comment as insensitive, she doesn’t call it wrong. She goes on to reiterate it in her own way. And honestly, I think she just proves that even if conservatives stop speaking about rape and pregnancy, they’re stance won’t be changing anytime soon. This misguided and ignorant belief that pregnancy from rape never happens, and therefore shouldn’t be a concern or subject to a “rape exemption” clause in anti-abortion legislature, continues on.

I suppose we should thank the Aikens and Greigs of the world for reminding us that this offensive viewpoint persists, so that we all know what we’re fighting against. We all know why it’s so important to elect politicians who believe in a woman’s right to choose, no matter how, when, or why she got pregnant.

(Photo: shutswis/Shutterstock)

Share This Post:
  • Byron

    I don’t think the notion that not every single rape victim is traumatized by their rape is such an abhorrent one.

    Some people see a horror flick and can’t sleep for weeks, some have their relatives die in front of their eyes and yet escape mostly normal, albeit sad, and continue to live mostly “sane” lives despite experiencing a traumatizing event.

    Just because an event is traumatizing it doesn’t mean that every single person is going to be traumatized by it. Some people are stronger than others, some take more to traumatize.

    I think the insinuation that 5% of rape victims are strong enough to not allow themselves to be traumatized by their rape is not a bad one.

    • faifai

      What the… How did you… What is this I don’t even…
      Let’s look at the facts:
      Fact 1: 5% of rapes result in pregnancy.
      Fact 2: This idiot woman said that traumatic rape does not cause pregnancy due to trauma.
      Where do you come up with “5% of rape victims are strong enough to not allow themselves to be traumatized by their rape”? What does that have to do with whether people carry their scars with them forever, or learn how to leave them behind?

    • Byron

      Simple logic really.

      The article asks:

      “But if you conceived a child during that sexual act in which you had no choice, the act is considered… what?”

      I was merely answering that question using that lady’s line of thought as my basis of reasoning. If we are to take as a fact that only non-traumatizing rape results in pregnancy, then a minimum 5% of rape victims are extraordinarily strong individuals that endured their rape unscathed and managed to get pregnant. This could rationally be inserted as that lady’s thought pattern.

      I’m just explaining stuff with a likely and most importantly logical line of reasoning, don’t jump down my throat for no reason. >_>

      If you have a problem with me accepting that politician’s premise, that’s another matter. My task up there merely aimed to explain it, not validate it or agree with it. People should be able to understand, explain and theorize about stuff they disagree with without needing to pour vitriol from every pore as they do so.

    • WTF??

      Being traumatized by a horrific event does not equate to being unable to go on with life. When a very close relative of mine died a pretty horriffic, violent death, I was traumatized. It didn’t mean I was incapable of living my life. Many women (and men) manage to somehow continue on and not completely fall into a messy heap – this does NOT mean they escaped their rape unscathed. Your logic is pretty shoddy.
      Also, the premise that traumatic events prevent conception doesn’t take into account the fact that after ovulation, an egg remains available for fertilization for approximately 24 hours… so if a woman is raped, lets say 4 hours AFTER she ovulated, then she has a pretty good chance of becoming pregnant, traumatized or not… you can’t stop the horse once it has bolted.

    • Sara

      The question of logic aside, I’m not understanding the point you’re trying to make. You appear to be saying that because, according to Grieg, only “non-traumatic” sexual encounters result in pregnancy and according to statistic, 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, that means that 5% of rape victims are not traumatized by their rapes. Is that in fact the argument that you’re making?

      Let’s also not forget that we only have REPORTED rapes to go on. Considering the number of rapes that go unreported, the percentage of rapes resulting in pregnancy may actually be larger than 5%.

    • Fabel

      The problem with “rape + pregnancy= not traumatic” line of thinking (besides the scientific fallacies) is that most people won’t jump to your conclusion that some women are “stronger”—they will jump to the conclusion that it mustn’t have been rape at all.

      Quoting the same sentence you did: “But if you conceived a child during that sexual act in which you had no choice, the act is considered… what?”

      The “what” here is probably replacing the word “consensual”. The fear is that this line of logic can discredit the fact that there was a rape at all, if a pregnancy resulted. “She wasn’t traumatized” typically doesn’t mean “She is a strong woman” in these politician’s eyes— it means “There mustn’t have been a rape at all.”

    • Sara

      I would agree with this, and I’d add that it really doesn’t matter whether a rape was “traumatic” or not, by whatever measure might be used to determine that. Rape is rape is rape, and the degree to which it’s unacceptable is unchanged by the woman’s outward reaction to it. And since different people will have different outward reactions to the same trauma, it’s inappropriate for anyone but the rape victim herself to attempt to determine the degree to which a rape was traumatic. Not that it actually matters.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Oh you mean that GENTLE rape thingy? Please, mansplain rape more to us!

    • Byron

      Uhh, I’m unaware of what you’re referring to. The above commenters seem to grasp my point so just read their replies and you’ll come to understand what I was saying.

      Oh and you’re free to, uhh, womansplain what this gentle rape thingy is if you want.

  • GruffOl’Gal

    Okay, let’s just get this rape stuff settled. If a man is convicted of rape against an adult (male or female) he gets his penis removed (penectomy) in addition to a felony jail sentence. If he rapes or molests a child in any way he gets the death penalty (my first choice) or life without possibility of parole along with a penectomy and castration (again a felony). Women child rapists/molesters get either sentence 1 or 2 with chemical “castration”.

    If a man fathers a child by a woman not his wife, he gets castrated. That will cover pregnancy from both rape AND men who leave children behind for the welfare system to take care of because their “manhood” precludes the use of condoms. Wake up folks, ejaculation equals the possibility of pregnancy. Period!!! Wonder how many politicians or actor/politicians would be having out-of-wedlock children by their mistresses then? And just WHY don’t we have birth control pills for men on the market yet???

    If a woman WITH children becomes pregnant, yet again, while on welfare, she gets her tubes tied unless she marries and gets off the welfare rolls within 90 days. If a single woman gets pregnant while on welfare she gets one “pass” ONLY; 2nd strike gets tubes tied.

    And politicians who think there is such a thing as an un-traumatic rape should be made to watch 20 hours of the police-confiscated rape videos of adults and children (victim’s identities masked) from various sickos who taped their heinous activities . Mouth wash and barf bag provided. Bring your own aspirin.

    And while I’m at it. . . I want rape and child molestation to be felony crimes (may be already but I’m not looking it up) so. . .anyone who knowingly covers up either crime should be brought up on charges of aiding and abetting a felony. Yes, I’m speaking to the clergy.

    There! Grandma has put everyone on the firing line. Enough with the ignorant nonsense already!

    P.S. This is a rough draft of Grandma’s line of thinking. I’m sure there are some refinements that can be made.

    • Andrea

      Most state laws considering possessing a pound of dope a MUCH bigger crime than raping a woman.

      “The sentencing guideline in cases of criminal sexual abuse is placed at
      base offense level 30, meaning a minimum sentence of 97 months
      imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 210 months imprisonment if
      convicted.”

      “Possession of marijuana starts at a level 6 offense (for less than 250
      g), and increases to level 38 (for posession of 30,000 kg or more). The
      sentence for level 6 is 0 to 6 years, and just like heroin and cocaine, a
      level 38 sentence is 235 to 293 years.”

      This is from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual.

      Great time to be alive ain’t it

    • OldBroad

      It sure is!! I suppose we should be “grateful” we don’t live in countries where the woman is executed for being raped and the man “just” gets a beating. Wonder if the 2 folks who voted down my “solution” were guys. . .ya think?!?! By the way, in case anyone’s wondering, I certainly don’t hate men, just the terrible stuff some of the low life deviants do.

  • Sara

    Does anyone else get the impression that these people are just having a contest to see who can come up with the most illogical, ill-informed, straight-out-of-the-10th-century backwards nonsense possible? I mean, seriously, at some point it just becomes almost comic. It WOULD be funny, if it weren’t for the fact that actual lives are being affected by this BS.