JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri state lawmaker was met with hisses when he used the phrase “consensual rape” during a highly charged House debate on a bill that would ban abortions at eight weeks, including in cases of rape and incest.
Republican Rep. Barry Hovis, of Cape Girardeau, said in the chamber Friday that most of the sexual assaults he handled before retiring from law enforcement weren’t strangers “jumping out of the bushes” but instead “date rapes or consensual rapes.”
Abortion-rights supporters who attended the debate hissed in response.
St. Louis-area Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie later assured the House that “there is no such thing as consensual rape.”
Hovis’ office hasn’t returned a message seeking comment.
Lawmakers passed the bill 110-44.
The comment was reminiscent of former Rep. Todd Akin, who lost the state’s U.S. Senate race in 2012 after saying women’s bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”