Republican lawmaker says rapes are mostly 'consensual' or 'date rapes' defending Missouri's abortion ban
The ban in Missouri as part of the 'Heartbeat Bill' movement in many red states, as part of which Alabama passed a blanket abortion ban on May 14, which does not even exclude rape or incest cases
Former cop and Missouri's Republican representative Barry Hovis, while defending a bill to ban abortions when a woman is eight weeks pregnant, said on Friday, May 17, that most rape cases are either "date rapes or consensual rapes". According to the Kansas City Star, he was talking about his experience in law enforcement, and claimed that in most rape cases that he dealt with, the perpetrators weren't strangers "jumping out of the bushes".
"Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes," Hovis said during a highly charged House debate. "Which were all terrible, but I'd sit in court when juries would struggle with those situations, where it was a 'he-said-she-said', which was unfortunate if it really happened." Abortion-rights supporters who were present, including Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie, were quick to point out that there is no such thing as "consensual rape".
Hovis went on to claim that he had meant to say "date rapes or consensual or rape," and that he was sorry if he did not annunciate the word "or". When pressed on the matter, Hovis, who represents the city of Jackson in the Southeastern region, further clarified that he believes there is no such thing as "consensual rape".
"Let's say someone is sexually assaulted, they have eight weeks to make a decision," Hovis had said before the vote. "I've heard of the morning-after pill... it gives ample time in those eight weeks to make those exclusions, which I may not be comfortable with, but it does give people those exclusions."
The Republican-led House in Missouri went on to pass the abortion ban soon after Hovis' comments, making it one of the most restrictive bans in the United States. The bill will now go to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican who has made it amply clear that he will sign the abortion ban.