Missouri Lawmaker Says Most Rapes That He's Investigated Are "Consensual" Rapes
As Missouri voted to approve some of the most strict abortion laws in the United States last year, state Rep. Barry Hovis (R-Cape Girardeau) made the controversial remark that “most of the rapes” he encountered in law enforcement were “consensual rapes.”
Hovis’ comment appeared to be in defense of the law’s noticeably absent exemptions for rape or incest, according to The River Front Times.
The Repubican, “a retired Cape Girardeau police lieutenant first elected to office in 2017,” said most rape cases he saw did not involve "gentlemen jumping out of bushes."
Rather, he said, “Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes. Which were all terrible, but I'd sit in court when juries would struggle with those situations, where it was a 'he-said-she-said,' which was unfortunate if it really happened."
Hovis went on to suggest that the bill in question, which banned abortions after eight weeks into a pregnancy (a point at which many women do not yet know they are pregnant), would leave plenty of time for women to act if they had been raped.
"But let's say someone is sexually assaulted, they have eight weeks to make a decision. I've heard of the morning-after pill ... it gives ample time in those eight weeks to make those exclusions, which I may not be comfortable with, but it does give people those exclusions."
Hovis later apologized and claimed to have misspoken, saying: "There is no such thing as consensual rape.”
The bill, HB 126, passed and was signed into law last year but was subsequently partially blocked by a federal judge.