Missouri State Rep. Apologizes for 'Consensual Rapes' Comment in Support of Abortion Ban

He was met with hisses from abortion rights supporters

Representative Barry Hovis, a Missouri State Legislature member representing Cape Girardeau County located in the southeastern part of the state, apologized for the comments he made concerning “consensual rape” on May 17. Many found the Republican’s remarks incredibly insensitive. He uttered the offending words when he discussed his professional experience as a 30-year-old law enforcement veteran during a debate. The latter was about an extremely restrictive abortion bill which would ban abortions if the woman in question completed a pregnancy period of eight weeks.

Hovis, during his speech, made many observations. He started with a hypothetical scenario where a woman gets raped during a college party. The former police officer asserted that majority of the rape cases he had managed during his career in the police were not unknown to the lady “gentlemen jumping” out, but most were what he termed “consensual rapes” or “date rapes.” Only about two percent of the horrifying incidents, according to the Republican, was actual rape.

The Republican’s speech was met with anger from abortion rights supporters present in the audience. The GOP member later apologized for what he said, and he claimed that he wanted to say, “date rapes or consensual or rape” and not “consensual rapes.” He said that he didn’t annunciate the word “or.”

Social media hawks were quick to seize on the issue, pointing out the similarities between comments made by Hovis and that of those uttered by Todd Akin, the United States Representative during the Missouri Senate race in 2012. In the same year, Akin used the two words “legitimate rape” when he gave an interview with local media. He even claimed that women could stop pregnancy after they suffer rape.

Even after the insensitive remarks made by Hovis, the GOP controlled legislature voted 110 for and 44 against to pass the abortion restriction bill, one of the toughest in the United States. This bill threatens both doctors and women will incarceration if anyone violates its terms. Mike Parson, the Governor of Missouri, has assured his fellow Republicans that he will sign this bill and make it to law. Missouri is not the only state to pass such a bill. Two other states -Alabama and Georgia have signed similar bills restricting abortion.

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