Idaho Senator Apologizes for Rape Remark, Then Suggests Women Get “Rape Test” to Tell Them If They’ve Been Raped

Earlier today, Idaho Senator and double ultrasound bill sponsor Chuck Winder suggested that women with “rape issues” might lie to receive abortions.  Now, in the middle of a firestorm of outrage over his comments, Winder has apologize, saying he “never meant to question victims’ truthfulness.”

Then he suggested he just meant women should talk to their doctors about getting a “test” to see if they were raped when they got pregnant.

Via The Associated Press:

Winder said he was pointing out that a woman would likely want to consult with her physician and perform tests to determine if the child she was carrying was a product of a rape, so as not to allow doctors to abort a consensual conception.

“I used a married woman, the idea being that as a woman or a couple, whether they be married or unmarried at the time, would want to find out if the pregnancy occurred as the product of the rape, or whether the pregnancy was unknown at the time,” Winder told The Associated Press. “There was never any intention on my part to question the honesty of a woman in cases of rape.”

A “rape” test? Are we looking at another procedure that politicians believe exist, much like the “20-week viability test?

Does a woman need a test to prove to her that she has been raped?

Senator Winder, please leave medicine to doctors and stop trying to legislate health care.

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  • monikajk

    Winder is ignorant and deeply insensitive, but he is not asking for proof the woman was raped.  He’s asking for the paternity of the fertilized egg.  Let’s call him out for not knowing paternity test can’t be done until weeks after conception.  Let’s criticize him for not understanding forced pregnancy, especially after rape, is deeply traumatic, and not because of what the embryonic DNA might be.  Might even take issue with him for being rather unclear about just what he meant.  But let’s not misrepresent what he said, that only hurts us.

  • jennifer-starr

    Either way, it’s an idiotic thing for him to say–and someone so ignorant about reproduction and women’s bodies has no business trying to legislate them. I don’t want to be kind to these people and I don’t want to understand their point of view, however ‘well-meaning’ they might believe themselves to be.  I’m just sick of these bills, and of the misogynistic nitwits who get into office and start pushing them. Let’ s hope we get all these idiots out of office and keep them out. 

  • rachael-vinyard

    Even calling for paternity of the fertilized egg is a ridiculous position. This suggests that if the pregnancy was a result of consensual, partnered sex then the decision for an abortion should be called into question. Of course, I’m sure that would make a difference to some women (some might choose to continue the pregnancy if they believe it’s not a result of rape) but clearly Winder is attempting to bring up issues of male consent, which IMO is scarier than a middle aged man not knowing when paternity tests can be performed, especially when he’s doing it in a backdoor way.

  • lynn1

    I am not sure, but his comments seem to suggest that he does not think “marital rape” exists. Rape within marriage was once widely condoned and ignored by the law. 

  • beenthere72

    What a Limbaugh-esque apology.

  • robin-marty

    in trying to be generous, I’m thinking that the confusion in his second statement is the fact that he has been given a talking point stating that mandatory ultrasounds are GOOD for rape victims in order to date the gestational age of the pregnancy so she knows if it happened during the rape, or was a “wanted” baby. The problem is, the talking points (which are part of the model legislation just like the bill was, and most of the people passing these never read them in the first place) was written before the public started pushing back so hard on the “transvaginal” issue that now lawmakers are refusing to so much as use the word ultrasound when talking about them. because he modified the law to not make the t/v “mandatory” although it will have to be used if they want to date a pregnancy, he lost that point, but knows that’s the only justification that can be used for not having a rape exception, so he’s trying to dig out.

  • crowepps

    What do these idiots think doctors did before the ultrasound was invented?  They used a tape measure to see how big the uterus was.  I didn’t have ultrasounds at all with either of my kids, born 40 and 30 years ago.  I can guarantee you Chuck Winder is over 50 and doesn’t have any ultrasound momentos in his baby book.

    Personally, I find it alarming that a group of rich ideologues gets to hand out unconstitutional ‘model legislation’ and ‘talking points’ full of lies, and get their personal religious views enshrined in legislation over the loud objections of the voters.  How exactly has it come about that we now have a hereditary class of politicans who feel entitled to lifetime jobs, who will sell their votes to hold onto them, and feel no compunction about betraying those they represent?

  • veggietart

    Can’t they also determine gestational age based on the woman’s last menstrual period?

  • julie-watkins

    Not if they don’t trust women to tell the truth. :-(

  • crowepps

    Who knew!  (Sarcasm)

  • stklight

    All I keep hearing is “women are liars”.


    And it’s sad.

  • jodi-jacobson

    I understand and really appreciate your point but think that his comment is essentially the same–he is suggesting women do not know what is going on in their own sex lives.  He is suggesting–even with a paternity test, even given his complete ignorance, and even given paternity tests are not really possible at the early stage of pregnancy about which we are ostensibly talking here–that women test for “rape” produced pregnancies.

    It is so beyond absurd it is sickening.

    Either way he is talking about a “rape” test of another kind, even if I am generous.

    People need to own the consequences of their actions, when they choose to spread lies, make laws about other people’s bodies, and make proclamations with no clue whatsoever about what they are talking.