Monday, May 23, 2011

Kansas Rep. Pete DeGraaf: Being impregnated during a rape is just like getting a flat tire

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 7:21 AM

click to enlarge Yeah, like anyone would want to "R" Pete.
  • Yeah, like anyone would want to "R" Pete.

Rape is often called the ultimate violation of self. A crime of absolute contempt for personal integrity, leaving the women caught in its wreckage to labor under the trauma for years. What reprehensible event could possibly have the same consequences as the spiritual dead zone rape victims are left in?

Well, getting a flat tire, according to Kansas state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.

Last Friday, Kansas legislators approved a ban on insurance companies

offering abortion coverage as part of their general health plans. The one exception: when a woman's life is at risk.

DeGraaf, who is in his first term and who is an associate pastor, also called for banning coverage for abortions of rape pregnancies. (Women could get around this if they purchased separate, "abortion-only policies.")


During the House discussion there was predictably some disagreement over whether excluding rape pregnancies from coverage was perhaps the sort of callous treatment a recently violated woman shouldn't have to deal with. Here's DeGraaf's response to Rep. Barbara Bollier's challenge, as reported by the McPherson Sentinel:

Rep. Pete DeGraaf, a Mulvane Republican who supports the bill, told her: "We do need to plan ahead, don't we, in life?"

Bollier asked him, "And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?"

DeGraaf drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, "I have a spare tire on my car."

"I also have life insurance," he added. "I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for."
This is the part of the story where it would be fun to talk about how DeGraaf should be put through something similar to rape, even though tortures on that level are hard to invent. Someone could give him the old Shazam, which is when you unzip a

man's taint from anus to testicles using a pair of kiddie scissors. Shazam! Or we could make jokes about how there should be a AAA for sexual assault. That kind of thing is fun to write and fun to read, and we could all get good and angried up.

But, you know, even though that stuff might make us feel good, the truth is there's a lot of people who voted for DeGraaf who think he's just telling it like it is. Of course, those people prove the old line about rape being the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused.

So DeGraaf will keep preaching at his church, everyone will forget about it, and he'll probably get re-elected. He might even carve himself out a nice life in politics surrounded by people who agree with him and make sure he always knows he was right about those dumb women who failed to prepare for rape, assuming he ever gives it another thought. Then, on his deathbed, he'll look back, comfortable that he led a brave and innocent life, ready to enter heaven.

One quick thing before we're done. DeGraaf's Web site lists his office number as 785-296-7693, his home phone as 316-777-0715 - that's at 1545 E. 119th St. Mulvane, KS - and his e-mail as pete.degraaf@house.ks.gov. You know, just in case you're one of the people who do disagree with him and think you might be able to persuade him. Democracy thrives on open discourse.

UPDATE: Women's rights organization Kansas NOW has announced a campaign to send DeGraaf spare tires in protest of his remarks, and voting record. Read how you can send DeGraaf a tire here.

UPDATE II: Kansas NOW raised $4,000 in donations and has called for DeGraaf to apologize. They tried to deliver spare tires to him at the capital building, but as you can read here, DeGraaf was less than receptive.

Follow The Pitch on Facebook and on Twitter @pitchplog & Peter Rugg on Twitter @petermrugg.

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