House GOP quietly adds rape and incest exception to abortion bill

The move follows Trent Franks' comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are "very low"

Published June 16, 2013 2:03PM (EDT)


After Rep. Trent Franks' comment that pregnancies resulting from rape are "very low," House Republicans went into quiet damage control mode on his bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks - first adding an exception for rape and incest, and then putting conservative Rep. Marsha Blackburn in charge of overseeing the legislation.

Politico reports:

A spokesman for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) confirmed Friday to POLITICO that she’ll be managing the debate, and that the bill is being changed to include the new exception.

“I think the reason that leadership asked me to handle the bill is the amount of pro-life work that I’ve done throughout my years in Congress," Blackburn told the Weekly Standard.

Franks, R-Ariz., had remarked during a House Judiciary hearing that the bill shouldn't have an exception for rape or incest, an amendment proposed by Democrats. “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,” Franks said.

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

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Abortion House Republicans Marsha Blackburn Rape Exceptions Trent Franks