The Republican running to unseat Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s Seventh District was caught on tape downplaying the possibility of women becoming pregnant as a result of rape.
Yesli 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 today. “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.