Leslie Carol Botha: Actually, I think my title says it all.
Rep. Steve King: I’ve Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
A Democratic source flagged King’s praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don’t exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”
Contacted by TPM, King’s office said that King didn’t mean he had never heard of pregnancy resulting from statutory rape or incest but that he had no direct, personal knowledge of such instances. “What he was saying was, he personally does not know a girl who was raped,” Brittany Lesser, a spokesperson for King said. “He never says, ‘I’ve never heard of that.’ There’s a fine line between ‘I’ve never heard of that’ and ‘I don’t know personally anybody who’s been raped. There’s a difference. There is a difference.”
The tie between statutory rape and teen pregnancy has been the subject of ad campaigns from groups like United Way.
H.R. 3, the bill co-sponsored by King, Akin and Paul Ryan in 2011, originally called for an exemption in the federal ban on abortion funding only in the case of “forcible rape.” That language was dropped after pressure from women’s advocates and Democrats. At the time, the Republican sponsors of the legislation weren’t too interested in discussing their reasoning for the wording.