California GOP Activist Echoes Remarks about Pregnancies Being Rare in Rape Cases

Monday, March 04, 2013
Celeste Greig


Karl Rove was in California Saturday exhorting the state's Republicans to improve communication of their “timeless principles” in order to recover from their dismal political showings of late.

Comments last week by Celeste Greig, president of the California Republican Assembly (the state's oldest and largest GOP volunteer organization), probably weren't exactly what he had in mind.

Greig told the San Jose Mercury News that pregnancies resulting from rape are rare “because it's an act of violence, because the body is traumatized.” Her remarks echoed those of former U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri that led to his defeat last November and focused attention on GOP efforts nationally and in individual states to rewrite laws on abortion, contraception and violence against women.

Greig made her remarks while ostensibly criticizing Akin for screwing up when he said that victims of “legitimate rape” don't get pregnant because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” She called his remarks insensitive and wrong, and said he should have apologized for them. And then she said, essentially, the same thing.

“The percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it's an act of violence, because the body is traumatized,” Greig told the Mercury News.

There is no legitimate scientific data that shows the rate of pregnancy is lower in cases of rape than through consensual intercourse.

Republican senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana was pummeled in his race last November after asserting during a debate that pregnancies that are a result of rape “are something God intended to happen.”

In Rove's comments at the California GOP convention in Sacramento, he said that the biggest benefit of losing the November election was that it gave the party a “chance to start fresh to look at everything anew and start rebuilding from the ground up. . . . We have great principles, but we sometimes talk about those principles in a way that makes it sound like it's in 1968 or 1980 or 2000 and it's not.”

It was unclear if Greig's comments were part of the fresh start, or whether they were a restating of principles that would appeal to an audience in 2013.

-Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Leader of California Republican Group Steps into Rape Pregnancy Controversy (by Steven Harmon, San Jose Mercury News)

Celeste Greig: Republican Leader Claims Pregnancy From Rape Rare (by Gabriel Rodriguez, PolicyMic)

GOP Activist Says Pregnancies Rare in Rape Cases (Associated Press)

Karl Rove Tells California Republicans to Step Up Communication (by Torey Van Oot, Sacramento Bee)


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