The Return of ‘Legitimate Rape’ in Missouri

You would think that politicians would have learned a lesson from watching Todd Akin destroy his entire political career with his dumb statements about “legitimate rape,” but you would apparently be wrong. Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin is using identical language to defend a vile anti-choice bill.

A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of “legitimate rape.”

Rick Brattin, a state representative from outside Kansas City, filed the bill on December 3 for next year’s legislative session. The proposed measure reads, “No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion.”

The bill contains exceptions for women who become pregnant as the result of rape or incest—but there are caveats.

“Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it,” Brattin tells Mother Jones. “So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”

Brattin adds that he is not using the term “legitimate rape” in the same way as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who famously claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

“I’m just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you’re going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed,” Brattin says. “That’s just common sense.” Under his bill, he adds, “you have to take steps to show that you were raped…And I’d think you’d be able to prove that.”

First of all, this is not “common sense” (whatever the hell that is; I hate that meaningless phrase). What we know, what is undeniable, is that most rapes are not, in fact, reported to the police for a whole range of important reasons. And if a woman comes in and claims they were raped, do you think Brattin would believe her? Not likely. Not unless someone is tried and convicted of the rape, which takes months at the very least and therefore eliminates any possibility of her exercising her right to have an abortion. This is an exception that doesn’t actually help anyone who has been raped.

Of course, the whole thing is bad theory, whether the woman is raped or not.

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  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, it’s just Common Sense. If someone breaks in to your home and shits on your couch, you ask them for permission to throw it out. If it was a man, anyway.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Also, this is totally different than Akin. Akin was running for US Senate, and had to face all the voters of his state. Rick Brattin is state House, and does not.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    A Missouri Republican is pushing a bill that would allow a man who gets a woman pregnant to stop her from having an abortion. The measure would force a woman who wants an abortion to obtain written permission from the father first—unless she was the victim of “legitimate rape.”

    And if she can’t get her rapist convicted, then the rapist will effectively own her body for the next nine months. And after the baby is born, the rapist will have a good chance of getting custody of the child, on the grounds that the mother wanted to abort it and is therefore unfit.

  • sinned34

    And after the baby is born, the rapist will have a good chance of getting custody of the child, on the grounds that the mother wanted to abort it and is therefore unfit.

    And then he’ll be entitled to child support, which the mother can go to jail for being a “deadbeat mom” if she doesn’t pay.

    That should teach those slutty sluts for being alive while having a vagina.

  • John Pieret

    Rick Brattin is the same numbnutz who has been pushing (surprise!) creationist bills in Missouri for the last several years, in particular an “equal treatment” for evolution and Intelligent Design law, to apply even in public colleges and universities:

    https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/14219/darwin_vs_design_if_one_is_taught_should_the_other_be_required

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    One of the many despicable parts of this whole idea, is the idea that a man somehow “owns” or has a right to something that’s inside someone else’s body. On what grounds, really, is that claim based? No one else owns any part of the food a woman eats, the water she drinks, or the oxygen she’s assimilated into her blood — so why is a man’s DNA any more special than any of those other things?

  • John Pieret

    I love his “logic” too:

    When asked if he would support an exception for women whose partners are abusive, Brattin says, “I haven’t really thought about that aspect of it.” But he adds, “What does that have to do with the child’s life? Just because it was an abusive relationship, does that mean the child should die?” Brattin notes that women in these situations can obtain protective custody once the child is born.

    So, given your premise, what does the fact that it was a rape have to do with the “child’s” life? … why should the “child” die just because it was an abusive rape relationship? The mother can get protective custody from the rapist too. Just what is the difference between a rapist and an abusive husband anyway? Abusive husbands are very likely to rape their wives.

  • Alverant

    Not unless someone is tried and convicted of the rape, which takes months at the very least and therefore eliminates any possibility of her exercising her right to have an abortion.

    That’s the general idea.

  • drken

    Wow, so much wrong with this. Let’s see what I can come up with off the top of my head: In order to get an abortion, you not only have to report the rape, but get a conviction too. No problem, I’m sure the state will be more than willing to expedite the case just to let you get an abortion. But, what about appeals? Does the rapist have to use up his appeals too? Also, wouldn’t this law encourage false rape accusations? I’m sure no defense attorneys would ever think of accusing a defendant of falsely reporting a rape to get an abortion. I’m also sure no pro-life DA would think of throwing a case to “save a baby’s life”. Also, wouldn’t any man who signs this permission slip be doing so under threat of a rape accusation? Good luck getting that signature held up in court. What about notaries who refuse to notarize the signature due to “religious objections”?

    This is wrong on so many levels.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    So, given your premise, what does the fact that it was a rape have to do with the “child’s” life?

    That’ll be the reason that exception is likely to get stricken from the bill — which means that rapists will indeed become, in effect, part-owners of their victims’ bodies, and of their children, if this monstrosity of a bill actually passes.

  • kevinkirkpatrick

    Future St. Louis Craigslist ad: Area man offering service: will claim fathership for, and consent to termination of, any unwanted pregnancy. Service purchaser must cover notarization fees and $20.00 for time and travel.

    New anti-abrtion tactic: claim to have had relations with any woman who actually does get consent from real impregnator. Because what good Christian wouldn’t tell a little fib to save the life of a child? Bonus: blood test after birth exonerates claimant of any responsibility for raising the child (because as a good Christian, who gives a shit about the actual welfare of the kid post birth?).

  • mck9

    Look, it’s very simple.

    1. A woman has value only as breeding stock, and the value accrues to her owner.

    2. A female child is the property of her father (or other male relative in some cases, but let’s not get distracted by the exceptions).

    3. The first man whose penis enters her vagina thereby acquires her as his property. He may have to pay fifty pieces of silver to the previous owner.

    4. Subsequently, any other man who impregnates her thereby becomes successor in interest.

    5. If otherwise ownerless, a woman becomes property of the state, to be supervised by duly appointed male officials. In no case may she be granted autonomy.

    Not all of these biblically-based principles have been implemented yet by the Republican-controlled Missouri legislature, but give them time.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Big Government can’t do anything right. The Bill doesn’t even specify how many shekels of silver the rapist has to pay the girl’s father before he marries her!

  • scienceavenger

    Brattin adds that he is not using the term “legitimate rape” in the same way as former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who famously claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from a “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

    Well, yeah you are, but that’s not the problem, and it never was. Sadly partisan Democrats seem intent on stooping to the GOP’s “you didn’t build that” level on this issue by focusing on the “legitimate rape” part, which was just a mistatement of “legitimate charge of rape”, and not on the “shut that whole thing down” part, which is where the idiocy lies.

    But @7 hits the nail onthe head – if the fetus is a child, and removing it is murder, then what does the means of its creation have to do with anything? Clearly this is just another TRAP law. Fuck that.

  • drken

    @scienceavenger #14:

    I agree with you on people getting hung up on his poor choice of words, but the term “legitimate rape” wasn’t used to assess the veracity of the claim, but to distinguish forcible rape from statutory rape and incest. In the context it was used there was a consistent internal logic to his ignorance. If in fact, women could not get pregnant as a result of forcible rape, this would not apply to statutory rape and incest as these are legal terms that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It is certainly a statement about society when we’re more concerned about a congressman saying something offensive than we are that he doesn’t understand where babies come from.

    Also, I was under the impression that the Supreme Court already struck down laws requiring permission slips.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Abusive husbands are very likely to rape their wives.

    A man doesn’t have to “rape” to use his own property.