On Thursday Another Republican Lawmaker Pulled A Todd Akin
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In the age of the Internet, basic facts shouldn't be hard to find. And yet time and time again we find conservative lawmakers saying – and worse, voting for – idiotic things.
Take Idaho Republican state Rep. Pete Nielsen (photo), America's latest graduate of the Todd Akin school of medicine, who is insisting that women don't become pregnant if they've been raped because of the trauma involved. Perhaps worse, harboring a bit of victim-blaming, he also claimed that that's true in cases of incest, "a little bit."
Rep. Nielsen's false facts came in response to a hearing on a bill that would, yes, force doctors to hand pregnant women a list of medical facilities where they can obtain a "free" ultrasound, in case they are considering abortion, so they don't get one.
More "small government" Republicans weaseling their way into women's bodies and minds.
“Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident,” Nielsen told his colleagues on the House State Affairs Committee. “That may be true with incest a little bit.”
But Nielsen says he "believes" it is.
“That’s information that I’ve had through the years,” he said. “Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know. In a rape situation, there’s a lot of trauma.”
“I read a lot of information. I have read it several times. … Being a father of five girls, I’ve explored this a lot.”
Of course, the bill itself is designed to guide women to so-called crisis pregnancy centers, the "crisis" being not that they are pregnant, but that they might decide to not be pregnant.
Raw Story reports that the bill "makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest, and a clinic manager testified that her center had treated two rape victims — one whom chose to keep her baby and the other who offered her child for adoption."
And, as the Democratic lawmakers who voted against the bill noted, these crisis pregnancy centers and ultrasound facilities are not legally required to give women medically-accurate information.
One of the Democrats tried to fix that.
"Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, offered a substitute motion to amend the bill," the Spokesman-Review reports, "to add a requirement that all information provided by the free-ultrasound providers be medically accurate, that “comprehensive options counseling” be included, and that a licensed health care provider 'interpret any ultrasound provided.'"
All the Republicans on the committee voted the amendment down.
In the end, the bill itself passed, 13-4, on a party-line vote, and will now make its way to the full Idaho House.
Here are Rep. Nielsen's comments: