GOP Lawmaker Sparks Outrage By Citing ‘Consensual Rapes’ During Abortion Bill Debate

A Republican state legislator from Missouri on Friday claimed that the majority of sexual assaults are either “date rapes or consensual rapes” during a debate in the state house over a controversial bill that would ban abortion at eight weeks, reports The Washington Post.

Rep. Barry Hovis, a 30-year veteran of the Cape Girardeau Police Department, was discussing his experience in law enforcement handling rape cases when he made the controversial remark.

According to the Post, Hovis argued that the eight-week window the bill allows for abortions “gives [rape survivors] ample time” for an abortion.

Critics of the bill note that many women do not know they are pregnant until after the eight weeks mandated by the Missouri bill.

“I’ve been a person that’s taken reports of rape,” Hovis said during his remarks.

“I’ve taken reports of incest. I have been involved in those investigations and there’s many different levels when we talk about those things. All of them are terrible. . . . 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. That was one or two times out of a hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible,” he said.

Kansas City Star reporter Crystal Thomas noted that Hovis’ statement drew shocked responses from people inside the chamber.

Thomas followed up with Hovis after his speech and he said that he misspoke and claimed he meant to say that law-enforcement officials always have to determine whether a sexual assault claim is “consensual or rape.” He then said he knew there was “no such thing as consensual rape.”

Hovis later told Thomas that he misspoke, and that “there is no such thing as consensual rape.”