After Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) asserted his belief that “legitimate rape” doesn’t often lead to pregnancy, Republican lawmakers were quick to attempt to configure his radical stance on women’s health as an outlier in their party. However, increasing numbers of GOP politicians’ language about the nature of sexual assault actually echoes Akin’s — including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), whose state’s policies use language that effectively narrows the definition of rape.
Not only did Martinez refer to “forcible rape” in an announcement instating April as New Mexico’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month — as if some kinds of sexual assault need to be qualified as more or less “legitimate” than others — but, as RH Reality Check reports, the term also appears in the state’s proposed changes to its official applications for childcare assistance.
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