By Jo Piazza / current.com / @jopiazza
Attacks on victims of rape have become all too commonplace this campaign season.
We have wondered whether it is a case of foot-in-mouth disease or a missing sensitivity gene in certain members of the Republican Party that leads them to make such outrageous comments about the crime of rape and consequences for a woman's body in the aftermath of that violent act.
On Tuesday, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock declared that he opposes aborting pregnancies conceived in rape because "it is something that God intended to happen."
For more on Mourdock's remarks and the response from both sides of the aisle, watch conservative commentator
Mark Levin tonight on Joy Behar: Say Anything! at 6E/3P.
The remark came while Mourdock, the tea party candidate who defeated longtime GOP Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary, was debating his Democratic opponent Rep. Joe Donnelly. Mourdock was asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.
"The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Mourdock's remarks have already been compared with Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's remarks in August that women's bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."
Both Mourdock and Akin have backpedaled, and Mitt Romney, who endorsed Mourdock for the Senate seat, has released a statement disavowing the candidate's remarks. Nevertheless, Romney still appears in Mourdock's most recent ads.
Will Mitt Romney have the guts
to withdraw his endorsement of Richard Mourdock?
A pattern of GOP insensitivity toward the victims of rape is becoming very clear. For that reason, we have gathered some pertinent facts and figures that may make these gentlemen running for office think before they utter any sort of opinion on rape.
- Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men in the United States have been raped.
- 60.4 percent of female victims and 69.2 percent of male victims were first raped before age 18.
- 25.5 percent of female victims were first raped before age 12.
- In the first rape experience of female victims, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners 30.4 percent of the time and family members 23.7 percent of the time.
- 31.5 percent of victims reported a physical injury as the result of rape.
- There is approximately a 5 percent pregnancy rate among rape victims between the ages of 12 and 45, which is nearly the same as the incidence of pregnancy arising from consensual sex.
- 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail.
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