Target: Arizona Representative Trent Franks
Goal: Condemn Representative Trent Franks for insensitivity towards rape victims.
Representative Trent Franks recently stated that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low” in regard to his proposal to criminalize all abortions after twenty weeks, even in the case of rape or incest.
Trent Franks, a Republican congressman from Arizona, has proposed legislation that would make it illegal for women to have an abortion after twenty weeks under any circumstances, and has defended his legislation with insensitive comments about victims of rape. Franks claims not only that pregnancy from a rape happens infrequently, but also that women should report rape within forty-eight hours, and therefore should not be attempting to have an abortion due to rape after twenty weeks. This type of rationale for criminalizing abortion enforces victim blaming, as it indicates that the woman is at fault for not reporting her assault, rather than the rapist being at fault for committing the crime. Additionally, The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that more than 30% of women do not realize that they are pregnant until after the twenty week mark, after Franks’ proposed cut-off.
By signing the petition below you will be reminding Congressman Trent Franks that his insensitive comments about rape victims will not be taken lightly and that victim blaming is not to be tolerated.
Dear Representative Trent Franks,
Victim blaming in the case of sexual assault must end. It’s time for representatives to stop demoralizing women for seeking to terminate pregnancies due to rape.
Your recent comments indicating that pregnancies rarely result from rape, and your words condemning women who seek an abortion after twenty weeks trivializes the physical, mental, and emotional pain that rape victims face. Blaming women for not reporting their rape within forty-eight hours and punishing them for this by taking away their right to terminate the pregnancy perpetuates the idea that the victim is to blame, rather than the rapist.
I am asking you to revoke your comments about rape victims and to speak with more sensitivity about the topic of abortion in rape-related pregnancies. Women who have experienced sexual assault should know that the law and the lawmakers are on their side.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr