August 14, 2022

A Missouri Republican lawmaker just sparked outrage after trying to use “consensual rape” to defend their anti-abortion law

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The Republican Party’s war against reproductive rights is accelerating at a terrifying rate as conservative politicians seemed to be locked in a competition to see who can devise the most draconian anti-abortion laws. The GOP is teeming with misogynist monsters and closeted sexual predators and with Trump in the White House they finally have their license to enact their nightmarish legislation. As they move ahead, they’ve begun to out themselves for the cruel creatures they really are.


Today, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a shockingly regressive anti-abortion bill, and it’s expected that the governor will sign it into law. During the debate over the bill, a Republican state rep made stunning comments about “consensual rape” while speaking on the floor of the statehouse.

Rep. Barry Hovis claimed that those arguing against the passage of the bill were inflating the number of women who are actually raped in this country. He cited his time as a law enforcement officer as anecdotal evidence of his claim.

“Let’s just say that someone goes out and, uh, they have, 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 the bushes that nobody had ever met. That was one of two times out of a hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible!” said Hovis.

Crystal Thomas of The Kansas City Star reports that the shocking and nonsensical reference to some kind of “consensual rape” understandably stunned the room. There is, of course, no such thing as “consensual rape” and to hear a Republican lawmaker drop the phrase so casually shows you how deeply twisted some of these men’s views on women really are.

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Thomas followed up with Hovis, who in turn claimed that he had misspoken and that what he meant to say was that law enforcement officers have to determine whether alleged sexual misconduct is consensual or in fact rape. He apologized and said that he doesn’t believe “consensual rape” exists, but one can’t help but wonder if it was the immediate backlash that made him backpedal.

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The fact that the phrase came so easily to him in the first place is unsettling, as is his continued efforts to curtail reproductive rights. These people simply cannot be trusted.

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Watch the clip below.



Natalie Dickinson

Natalie is a staff writer for the Washington Press. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been freelance blogging and writing for progressive outlets ever since.

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