A GOP Lawmaker Used The Term 'Consensual Rape’ While Talking About Abortions

by Thea Glassman
Ksdk News/Twitter

A GOP lawmaker referred to “consensual rape” while discussing restrictive abortions

So, here’s reason one million and one why men should not be making decisions about women’s bodies. Rep. Barry Hovis, a Republican legislator from Missouri, literally used the words “consensual rape” while arguing for abortion restrictions. He also made a few more disgusting statements about rape, which will make you want to scream very, very loudly.

Hovis was trying to legitimize a new Missouri law which would make abortion illegal at eight weeks – a timeframe when many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant. Oh yeah, and the law also doesn’t make exceptions for rape and incest victims.

But that’s perfectly okay for Hovis, who said that eight weeks is “ample time” for a rape survivor to get an abortion, per The Washington Post. It’s really, really great that a male lawmaker is deciding how long it might take for a woman to work through the trauma of her attack, figure out she’s even pregnant, and then make the decision to have an abortion.

Then, he took it a step further. Hovis, who worked at the Cape Girardeau Police Department, decided to also delegitimize rapes based on the context in which they happen. And that’s when he used the term “consensual rape.”

“Let’s just say someone goes out and they’re raped or they’re sexually assaulted one night after a college party — because most of my rapes were not the gentleman jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met,” Hovis said. “That was one or two times out of a hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible.”

Rep. Raychel Proudie quickly stepped in and informed Hovis: “There is no such thing, no such thing as consensual rape.” It’s a sad, sad, sad day when someone has to correct a lawmaker and explain to him that a person is never actually agreeing to be raped.

When asked by The Washington Post about his terminology, Hovis backtracked. “I’m not trying to make excuses,” he said. “Sometimes you make a mistake and you own up to it.”

He added that there’s “no such thing as consensual rape” and claimed that, while he was working the police department, “when a rape is reported, and I’ll speak for myself, you always take the word of the victim.”

That response didn’t quite cut it. Many, many people took to Twitter to explain just how messed up and dangerous Hovis’s statements were.

Missouri passed the restrictive abortion bill this past Friday. They joined Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Alabama, and Kentucky as states that have recently clamped down hard on reproductive rights, making it virtually impossible for women to get safe, legal abortions.

If you’d like to fight back against these awful restrictions (and Rep. Barry Hovis’s massive ignorance), head to Gateway Women’s Access Fund, a Missouri-based organization that helps women who cannot afford the financial burdens that come along with getting an abortion.

In the meantime, it would also be really super if men stopped making executive decisions about what we do with our bodies.