From the Party That Brought You 'Legitimate Rape,' It's CONSENSUAL Rape!
Today, the Missouri House is discussing a bill meant to outlaw abortion after eight weeks, without exceptions for rape and incest. Because they're gross. During this hearing, state Rep. Barry Hovis got up and started talking about his experiences with rape victims as a police officer, and the ways in which this qualified him to be sure that eight weeks is more than enough time for a victim to get an abortion if they so choose.
In the course of this diatribe, Hovis used the term "consensual rape" to refer to ... we don't know what, actually.
Transcript via Heavy:
"Most of my rapes were not the gentlemen jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one or two times out of one hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible, but I sat in court — sat in court — when juries would struggle with those types of situations where it was a 'he-said she-said,' and they would find the person not guilty. Unfortunate, if it really happened, but I had no control over that, because it was a judge or a jury making those decisions. But we'll just say someone is sexually assaulted. They have eight weeks to make a decision."
Following this, Rep. Raychel Proudie, our new hero, got up and told his ass that there is no such thing as "consensual rape."
Now, Hovis is saying he misspoke, saying that he meant to say "consensual or rape," which does not make any sense either. Does he think it is possible for date rape to be consensual? We cannot be sure. It feels very safe to assume that he's not talking about some kind of pre-arranged BDSM scene or something like that.
What we can be sure of, however, is that in the next few days there will be an op-ed in The Federalist or wherever about how "consensual rape" is so a thing. We don't know what it will be, but they'll come up with something.
What we can also be sure of is that whatever he was trying to say, it wasn't anything good.
Hovis, a former law enforcement officer, was, I suppose, trying to explain that he is aware of the fact that sometimes, people are raped. And that, sometimes, those people get pregnant from being raped. But, he assured the rest of the legislature, eight weeks from being raped is more than enough time to either get the morning after pill or to have an abortion.
Which it is not. A rape victim might not be in the right state of mind to get it together to get the morning after pill. And then, if they do not get the morning after pill, they can only get an abortion if they are pregnant, and also aware of the fact that they are pregnant. Which they won't be until they miss a period. This is complicated by the fact that not all of us have perfectly regular periods that occur every 28 days on the dot, which Hovis might know had he ever had a conversation with a woman in which she was also talking. Menstrual cycles are weird. I once somehow skipped an entire period because I was extremely stressed out. I happen to know women who only get their period a few times a year, as a result of some health problems.
Back when I was working at The Frisky, our number one article every single day, pretty much the entire time I worked there, was an article from well before my time titled "Don't Panic! 7 Reasons Your Period Might Be Late (Besides Pregnancy)." And any time of the day, there would be at least 600 people reading that damn article.
Now, Barry Hovis may not be super interested in talking to anyone about their periods, because he is clearly a macho, macho man, but it might behoove him to know that you can't actually take a pregnancy test until a week after your missed period. Which, if you have been raped, might be late because of stress alone.
Then there is the fact that the victim of rape might not be old enough to drive to the store and get the morning after pill. Or a pregnancy test. They might be so young that their periods haven't become regular yet. Hell, if they've had abstinence-only education, they might not know the morning after pill even exists.
There are a whole lot of things that can happen. There are many, many factors here that determine when someone has an abortion. Maybe they need some time to be sure it is the right choice for them. Maybe they need to raise the money. Who knows? It's none of your damn business if you are not them.
I would love to know: How is it that these men, who are so very, very invested in regulating reproductive rights, are so damn stupid when it comes to the reproductive system? I mean, my god! Would it kill them to read a Wikipedia article? I'm just saying. If I were extremely dedicated to making laws regulating dicks, I don't think I'd rely entirely on my own imagination to explain how they work. Then again, maybe I would if I were a Republican. It does seem to be their M.O. for most things.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse