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Missouri Republican politician apologizes for ‘consensual rape’ statement


Missouri State Rep. Barry Hovis used the phrase "consensual rape" during a highly charged House debate on a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks. (Jacob Wiegand/The Southeast Missourian)

A Missouri politician feeling the heat for a crack about “consensual rape” has apologized.

Republican Rep. Barry Hovis, who represents a swath of southeastern Missouri, referenced his experiences as a former 30-year police veteran during a debate over a new bill that would ban abortions after only eight weeks of pregnancy, reported USA Today.

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

Hissing from abortion-rights supporters rained down on Hovis after his speech, reported The Associated Press.

He tried explaining that he had misspoke and meant to say, “Date rapes or consensual or rape,” rather than “consensual rapes.”

“It’s my apology if I didn’t enunciate the word ‘or,'” said Hovis on Friday.

Reaction to Hovis’ abortion talk lit up social media.

“Thank you Rep. Barry Hovis for being the 2019 version of Todd Akin,” posted Greg Boege on Twitter. “I’m now rather concerned about any women who you were responsible for serving and protecting in your considerable amount of time on the force.”

Republican Akin, who in 2012 was running in a tight race against then-Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, infamously stated during an interview: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Support for Akin immediately tanked and McCaskill rolled to a 16-point victory.