GOP Gov. Says Rape Victims Should Be Forced to Have Rapist’s Baby

If Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts wants to ban abortion in his state, and he wants that ban to apply to victims of rape.

CNN’s State of the Union host Dana Bash asked the governor about a recent effort he supported to pass a “trigger” abortion ban that would go into effect immediately if the Supreme Court rules to overturn abortion rights, which appears to be imminent considering the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion.

“Nebraska, your state, does not have a so-called trigger law on the books. But there was an effort, as you know, to pass one,” Bash said in a Sunday interview with Ricketts. “It failed by only two votes last month. The abortion ban that you tried to pass did not include any exceptions for rape or incest.”

The host then asked, “Do you think that the state of Nebraska should require a young girl who was raped to carry that pregnancy to term?”

Ricketts replied, “So, Nebraska is a pro-life state. I believe life begins at conception. And those are babies too. So, if Roe vs. Wade, which was a horrible constitutional decision, gets overturned by the Supreme Court, which we’re hopeful of, here in Nebraska, we’re going to take further steps to protect those pre-born babies.”

“Including in the case of rape or incest?” Bash clarified.

“They’re still babies too. Yes, they’re still babies,” the Republican replied.

Bash next asked the governor if he would call a special session of the Nebraska legislature to impose an abortion ban following a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe, Ricketts said, “That would certainly be my intention.”

Also on Sunday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt endorsed his state’s law banning abortion that includes no exceptions for rape or incest.

“Now, your law as I understand, it has no exemptions for rape or incest. And the argument is a victim may not know at six weeks that she is pregnant,” host Shannon Bream said to Stitt when he appeared on Fox News Sunday. “So, what do you say to a woman who finds herself in that situation, lives in your state and feels like she’s got no options?”

“Well, first off, super compassionate about that. I have daughters, cannot even imagine what that would be like and that hardship,” Stitt responded. But despite his superficial compassion, Stitt would still force victims to have a baby.

“You have to choose,” Stitt continued. “That is a human being inside the womb. And we’re going to do everything we can to protect life and love both the mother and the child. And we don’t think that killing one to protect another is the right thing to do either.”

Bream followed-up by asking Stitt how he as governor will help these children conceived in trauma and born by force, considering Oklahoma’s abysmal track record in child wellbeing (it ranks 42nd in the nation). Stitt went on to blast the “socialist Democrat left” and said it is “just ridiculous to even kind of quote those types of stats.”

“We have a free market in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “We believe that God has a special plan for every single life and every single child, and we want everybody to have the same opportunities in Oklahoma. And aborting a child is not the right answer.”

Ricketts and Stitt join fellow Republican Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi in callously defending abortion laws without certain exemptions. Last week, Reeves defended Mississippi’s trigger law that would force victims of incest to have their assailant’s child if they become pregnant.

Even abortion bans with rape and incest exceptions are dangerous to pregnant people. Although a person may be eligible for an exception in a state where the law includes such allowances, it is still often extremely difficult or impossible for them to obtain an abortion because those laws can contain requirements, like mandating a rape victim file a police report in order to qualify.

“These exceptions don’t do the job that people think they’re going to do,” Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, told The Atlantic.

Abortion bans without exceptions are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. At least ten states — including Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma — have passed abortion bans lacking exceptions for rape, incest, or both. While most of those laws have been blocked by courts, they could go into effect in the very likely event that Roe is overturned.

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