Home Billboard highlights Virginia Republican candidate’s odd theory on rape, pregnancy

Billboard highlights Virginia Republican candidate’s odd theory on rape, pregnancy

Chris Graham
yesli vega billboard
Image courtesy DCCC.

A billboard in Stafford County is reminding voters in Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District that Yesli Vega said last month that victims of rape are less likely to get pregnant.

“Yesli Vega’s dangerous, ignorant claim that victims of rape are less likely to become pregnant is completely disqualifying,” said Monica Robinson, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is behind the billboard.

“We won’t let voters forget. Yesli Vega will have to answer for her draconian attacks on reproductive rights from now until November,” Robinson said.

Vega is running against incumbent Democrat Abigail Spanberger in the Seventh District, which covers a 3,100-square-mile area stretching from Central Virginia and the Richmond metro area into the D.C. exurbs.

The Seventh is about as 50/50 as you can get. Spanberger won re-election in 2020 with 50.9 percent of the vote in her race with right-wing Republican Nick Freitas.

Spanberger won the seat in a 2018 upset of Republican incumbent Dave Brat, in a race in which she received 50.3 percent of the vote.

Vega is a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and a sheriff’s deputy. Answering questions at a campaign event in Stafford County last month, Vega, according to audio obtained by Axios, brought up the role of rape and incest in the debate over abortion rights.

“The left will say, ‘Well, what about in cases of rape or incest?’ I’m a law enforcement officer. I became a police officer in 2011. I’ve worked one case where, as a result of a rape, the young woman became pregnant,” Vega said.

Vega was then asked, according to the Axios report, “I’ve actually heard that it’s harder for a woman to get pregnant if she’s been raped. Have you heard that?”

“Well, maybe because there’s so much going on in the body. I don’t know. I haven’t, you know, seen any studies. But if I’m processing what you’re saying, it wouldn’t surprise me,” Vega said. “Because it’s not something that’s happening organically. You’re forcing it. The individual, the male, is doing it as quickly — it’s not like, you know — and so I can see why there is truth to that. It’s unfortunate.”

Vega, in a statement to Axios, which had asked her for comment on her remarks, responded: “I’m a mother of two, I’m fully aware of how women get pregnant.”

It seems that maybe she doesn’t.

“I was outraged to hear my opponent’s extreme and ignorant comments regarding rape victims and the prevalence of rape-related pregnancy,” Spanberger said in a statement when the news on this broke last week. “In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, her comments are even more horrifying and disrespectful to the millions of American women who have or will become pregnant due to sexual violence.

“My opponent’s views are devoid of truth, shamefully disrespectful towards victims of rape, and clearly indicate that she is not qualified to be making serious policy decisions on behalf of our fellow Virginians. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure a woman’s right to choose and the fundamental right to privacy,” Spanberger said.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].