White House responds to "alarming" Trent Franks rape comment

Franks had said that the rate of pregnancy resulting from rape is "very low"

Published June 13, 2013 8:40PM (EDT)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to comments by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., that the rate of pregnancy resulting from rape is "very low," saying that Franks' remark shows an "alarming disregard for women."

Franks made the comments in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, during the debate on his bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks at the national level. Franks was voicing his objections to an amendment that would create an exception for rape or incest. “Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject — because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” he said.

The Huffington Post reports:

Carney says the White House issues takes "great issue" with the comments. And he says the remarks have shone attention on the bill in a way "Republicans wish the public would forget."

Several recent court decisions have struck down similar state laws, and the GOP-backed bill has little future in the Democratic-led Senate.

Since Franks made his remark, Republican Massachusetts senatorial candidate Gabriel Gomez has sharply criticized him as well. “I have no idea what goes into the mind of a moron like that,” Gomez said. “These kinds of comments only come from a moron and they shouldn’t be tolerated one bit.”

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Abortion Arizona House Republicans Jay Carney Rape Trent Franks White House