Idaho state Rep. Pete Nielsen (R) said during a Thursday hearing that rape “does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident,” according to a report from The Idaho Spokesman-Review.
“Now, I’m of the understanding that in many cases of rape it does not involve any pregnancy because of the trauma of the incident. That may be true with incest a little bit,” Nielsen told a representative from a crisis pregnancy center at a hearing for a bill that would require abortion providers to give women a list of free ultrasound providers.
He said pregnancy “doesn’t happen as often as it does with consensual sex, because of the trauma involved.”
Nielsen then admitted he wasn’t sure if his information was “totally accurate or not.”
Nielsen is not the first lawmaker to say he believes pregnancy cannot result from rape or incest. The most famous is former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who said in 2012 that female bodies would reject pregnancies if they experienced “legitimate rape.”
Nielsen said he has “explored this a lot” as a father of five.
The bill cleared the State Affairs Committee on party lines and now moves to the Idaho House for a vote.