Latest GOP shocking rape gaffe

A California GOP leader says rape rarely leads to pregnancy

Topics: Rape, Abortion, Legitimate rape, Pregnancy, California, GOP, celeste greig, Todd Akin,

Latest GOP shocking rape gaffe

Another day, another Republican making an ill-advised comment about rape. Celeste Greig, the head of the largest GOP volunteer organization in California — Ronald Reagan once called the California Republican Assembly “the conscience of the Republican Party — told the Bay Area News group that rape almost never leads to pregnancies because the body is too traumatized.

“Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through,” she told the newspaper before arriving at the state GOP’s spring convention in Sacramento.

Ironically, she got on the subject while criticizing Rep. Todd Akin, the former Missouri Senate candidate who infamously said women’s bodies have a way of shutting down pregnancies in the case of “legitimate rape.” “That was an insensitive remark,” Greig said. “I’m sure he regretted it. He should have come back and apologized.” Greig, however, went on to essentially reaffirm part of Akin’s logic.

Some studies have found that women are actually more likely to get pregnant from rape, because contraception is often not used, while others have found the rate is similar to that of consensual sex. In any case, pregnancy from rape is very very real.



The remark drew immediate rebuke from California Democrats. “It’s just outrageous, beyond absurd. It’s insulting. It’s the same line of thinking of ‘If we just dress differently, or behave differently, we won’t be raped.’ They’re basically saying ‘while we’re being raped, if we hate it enough we won’t get pregnant,’” Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner of Berkeley told the newspaper.

Republican pollsters and other strategists have warned GOPers to stop talking about rape all together, as it never leads to good things, but that moratorium sometimes seems impossible considering the obsession with abortion of many in the party.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post said Greig spoke with the Woodland Democratct. In fact, it was the Bay Area News Group who reported her comments.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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