GOP Indiana Rep Warns That Women Will Fake Rapes In Order To Get Free Abortions

The Indiana House has approved one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, but not after a bizarre debate led by sponsor state Rep. Eric Turner (R). When Democratic legislators asked for an exception for rape and incest, Turner cried foul and warned that women would just fake rapes to get some of those free abortions. The Indiana House agreed and rejected the amendment.

State Rep. Gail Riecken (D) introduced an amendment to exempt “women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm.”

In the video below, Turner stepped forward to warn of legions of false rape victims clamoring for free abortions:

Turner then stepped to the podium and insisted that Riecken’s amendment would create a “giant loophole” for women. That loophole? Women “could simply say they’ve been raped”:

With all do respect to Rep. Riecken, I understand what she’s trying to do. But as you know that when the federal health care bill was going through Congress there was a lot of discussion whether this would allow for abortion coverage and of course we were all told it would not. And the bill, my house bill 1210, would prevent that for any insurance company to provide abortion coverage under federal health care bill. This [amendment] would open that window and I would ask you to oppose this amendment.

I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.

The House voted down Riecken’s amendment 42 to 54. There appeared to be little consideration of the fact that it is a crime to falsely allege a crime.

Source: Think Progress and found first on Reddit.

Jonathan Turley

78 thoughts on “GOP Indiana Rep Warns That Women Will Fake Rapes In Order To Get Free Abortions”

  1. I dont think the man to speak first was trying to degrade or upset anyone. At least thats what I gathered from his tone. The woman, reasonably, got very emotional after his comments; I completely understand. For the record Ive been researching the topic of rape for a matter of weeks recently (not that that is an exorbitant amount of time, and by no means would classify my self as an expert.) However, having said all of this, my point for comment is this: There are some women who do in fact lie about being raped, and its been proven–and for a wide array of reasons. Before you take the discussion of topic and start making rude comments criticizing those who may or may not make good decisions, look at the facts first.

  2. Way to go GOP Reps of Indiana! You have extrememly restricted the rights of women over their OWN bodies! I could see this leading to women doing abortions themselves at home, which is much worse than a clinical abortion.. And just a thought, but arent Republicans supposed to be for less government interference anyways? Oh the irony.. and not to mention the hipocricy..
    And congratulations to Rep. Eric Turner! You won the ‘Douchebag of the Year’ award; you and your buddies must be so proud..

  3. Gyges,

    Lol – I read the Onion piece a long time ago … and I laughed just as hard this time as I did the first time … thanks for posting!

  4. Let me preface this by saying three things:

    If you create a system that only allows medical treatment for certain reasons, you may get people faking those reasons for that medical treatment. This doesn’t mean those exceptions to the ban shouldn’t exist. Punishing the innocent to get at those you MIGHT be guilty in the future is the action of a power hungry and insecure person.

    This particular medical treatment should be more, not less, easily available.

    Rape (regardless of it’s a family member, but especially in that case) is a horrible thing, and anyone dismisses it lightly, (I’m looking at you Rep. Eric Turner) is in fact a horrible human being.

    That said, this Onion article sprang to mind.,11546/

  5. rafflaw,

    I know … that’s why I posted the above article from … the poster child for conservative women has crawled out from under her husband.

  6. Phyllis Schlafly? I haven’t heard her name mentioned in awhile. Talk about taking women’s rights back to the 40’s and 50’s.. She is the poster child for doing just that.

  7. eniobob,

    ““Ms. SCHLAFLY-”. I told the feminists the only person’s permission I had to get was my husband’s”

    That must have been well received,LOL!!”

    Lol – I bet the crickets were lively that night, huh??

  8. SL:

    “Ms. SCHLAFLY-“. I told the feminists the only person’s permission I had to get was my husband’s”

    That must have been well received,LOL!!

  9. RE: Stamford Liberal, March 31, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Though debate exists, a thorough review of the medical evidence in the Journal of the American Medical Association determined that “pain perception probably does not function before the third trimester.”


    While it may be correct to allow that pain perception does not function before the third trimester, perception is not sensation and sensation is not perception.

    There has been a long-standing medical fiction regarding pain, pain sensation, pain perception, overt response to pain.

    The conventional medical model has it, so I understand, that the symptom of something is the cause of the symptom, such that, if there are no disease symptoms, there is no disease. With all due respect, methinks such a notion is biological stupidity at of tragically profound consequences.

    In the extreme, this notion can result in not using anesthetic for a baby because the baby has not learned the conditioned responses to pain which are the physician’s way of noticing pain. That a physician does not notice something is not evidence that the not noticed something is unreal.

  10. And finally Mike, you don’t say what kind of law you practice, but here is another lawyer’s thoughts, he practices family law and has actual experience and quite more to offer than your anecdotes.

    After you read the essay below, notice how similar Wendy Murphy’s thoughts are to your own: Appleton: “The “fake rape” crap really gets my goat.” Murphy: “Ugly myth” calls for “boiling rage”.

    Research Shows False Accusations of Rape Common

    Despite its many painful and unseemly aspects, the Kobe Bryant rape case and the media storm surrounding it have drawn attention to a severely neglected problem: false rape accusations.In her recent Daily Journal column, high profile feminist professor Wendy Murphy dismisses the problem of false accusations as an “ugly myth,” and calls for “boiling rage” activism to address what she perceives as the anti-woman bias of the criminal justice system. Like many victims’ advocates, Murphy cannot seem to fathom the possibility that Bryant could be innocent. However, research shows that false allegations of rape are frighteningly common.

    According to a nine-year study conducted by former Purdue sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, in over 40 percent of the cases reviewed, the complainants eventually admitted that no rape had occurred (Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994). Kanin also studied rape allegations in two large Midwestern universities and found that 50 percent of the allegations were recanted by the accuser.

    Kanin found that most of the false accusers were motivated by a need for an alibi or a desire for revenge. Kanin was once well known and lauded by the feminist movement for his groundbreaking research on male sexual aggression. His studies on false rape accusations, however, received very little attention.

    Kanin’s findings are hardly unique. In 1985 the Air Force conducted a study of 556 rape accusations. Over one quarter of the accusers admitted, either just before they took a lie detector test of after they had failed it, that no rape occurred. A further investigation by independent reviewers found that 60 percent of the original rape allegations were false.

    The most common reasons the women gave for falsely accusing rape were “spite or revenge,” and to compensate for feelings of guilt or shame (Forensic Science Digest, vol. 11. no. 4, December 1985).

    A Washington Post investigation of rape reports in seven Virginia and Maryland counties in 1990 and 1991 found that nearly one in four were unfounded. When contacted by the Post, many of the alleged victims admitted that they had lied.

    It is true, of course, that not every accuser who recants had accused falsely. But it is also true that some who do not recant were not telling the truth.

    According to a 1996 Department of Justice Report, of the roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive. The report notes that these figures mirror an informal National Institute of Justice survey of private laboratories, and suggests that there exists “some strong, underlying systemic problems that generate erroneous accusations and convictions.”

    Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecution of rapists during his 16-year career, says that false rape accusations occur with “scary frequency.” As a regular commentator on the Bryant trial for Denver’s ABC affiliate, Silverman noted that “any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes.” According to Silverman, a Denver sex-assault unit commander estimates that nearly half of all reported rape claims are false.

    The media has largely ignored these studies and experts and has instead promoted the notion that only 2% of rape allegations are false. This figure was made famous by feminist Susan Brownmiller in her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. Brownmiller was relaying the alleged comments of a New York judge concerning the rate of false rape accusations in a New York City police precinct in 1974.

    A 1997 Columbia Journalism Review analysis of rape statistics noted that the 2% statistic is often falsely attributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and has no clear and credible study to support it. The FBI’s statistic for “unfounded” rape accusations is 9%, but this definition only includes cases where the accuser recants or the evidence contradicts her story. Instances where the case is dismissed for lack of evidence are not included in the “unfounded” category. Brownmiller’s credibility can be assessed by her assertion in Against Our Will that rape is “nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

    Murphy also contends that the criminal justice system is stacked against women, and that the law reform initiatives promoted during the past three decades have “failed to make a bit of difference in the justice system’s handling of rape cases.” In reality, feminist advocacy and the now ubiquitous rape-shield laws have made an enormous difference in the way the system treats rape cases.

    Some of these changes have been fair, and have led to greater protections for rape victims. However, others have made it more difficult for men to defend themselves, with at times horrifying consequences for the accused.

    For example, in December, the Arkansas Supreme Court denied an appeal by Ralph Taylor, who is serving a 13-year sentence for rape. The court held that evidence of the victim’s alleged prior false allegations of rape was inadmissible because it was considered sexual conduct within the meaning of the state’s rape shield statute. In that case, the defense proffered the testimony of two friends of the alleged victim, both of whom claimed that she had previously falsely accused another man of raping her. The court added that admitting such evidence could “inflame the jury.”

    In her book Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality, Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young details numerous questionable rulings in which potentially innocent men were prevented from properly defending themselves by the rape shield laws which Murphy endorses.

    One of these cases concerns an 18 year-old Wisconsin boy named Charles Steadman, who in 1993 was sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly raping an older woman. Steadman was underage when the crime allegedly occurred, but was prohibited from revealing that his accuser was currently facing criminal charges of having sex with minors, and thus had an excellent reason to claim that the sex with Steadman was not consensual. Such evidence was deemed related to his accuser’s sexual history and thus inadmissible.

    In 1997, sportscaster Marv Albert was accused of assault and battery during a sexual encounter with a woman with whom he had had a 10-year sexual relationship. Albert sought to introduce evidence that his accuser, who had been in a mental hospital six weeks before the alleged assault, had previously made false accusations against men who had left her, as Albert, who was engaged to be married, was planning to do. Albert’s offer of proof was denied, compromising his ability to defend himself. Facing a possible life sentence, he chose to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault.

    Murphy’s dogged attacks on Ruckriegle as a veritable “advocate for the accused” are also without foundation. Far from being a black robed patriarch in league with the defendant, Ruckriegle’s rulings were reasonable and, if anything, minimalist. It is not the rulings but the reaction to them by victims’ advocates and the media which are worrisome.

    For example, Ruckriegle granted a defense motion that Bryant’s accuser would not be referred to as “the victim” in court. Such labeling, as opposed to “alleged victim” or “accuser,” undermines the presumption of innocence. However, this motion was hotly contested by both the prosecution and by victims’ rights organizations, which filed amicus briefs and complained that Ruckriegle’s decision created an anti-woman double-standard.

    Ruckriegle also allowed Bryant to introduce evidence that his accuser had had other sexual encounters in the 72 hours before her medical examination for the alleged assault. Bryant’s defense team contended that the microscopic vaginal injuries the prosecution claimed were suffered in the alleged assault could instead have been the product of various consensual sexual encounters.

    Media commentators labeled the 72 hour decision a “bombshell for prosecutors” that “threatens all women,” and likened Ruckriegle to a man who has “tiptoed into a minefield.”

    Murphy is correct that rape is a horrible crime. But false accusations of rape are every bit as horrible. They are a form of psychological rape that can emotionally, socially, and economically destroy a person even if there is no conviction, especially for those of less fame and fortune than Bryant. The stigma attaches to the falsely accused for life. Few believe them and few care. Prosecutors systematically refuse to prosecute the perpetrators. And victims’ advocates like Murphy refuse to see falsely accused men as victims, and instead work to minimize and conceal the problem.

    This column first appeared in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal (9/15/04).

    Marc E. Angelucci is a public interest attorney in Los Angeles and is the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men.

  11. Mike,

    If you were to research the issue you would find many studies showing wide results from the famous, but debunked Brownmiller number of 2% to the FBI number of I think 8% up to Gene Kanin’s 40% and higher.

    So I have questions for you since you think the issue is a load of crap.

    What officially well studied false rape accusation rate would you require before you did not think it was a load of crap?

    You may also wish to take a look at:


    About 9% of cases are classified as false allegations,

    And here are some more run together links. Pull them apart and perhaps you will learn a bit that you didn’t know.


  12. Kinda OT but in the same realm of how conservatives view women:

    Friday, Apr 1, 2011 10:52 ET
    War Room
    The hypocrisy of Phyllis Schlafly
    By Justin Elliott
    Gage Skidmore / CC BY 3.0

    Phyllis Schlafly, the longtime conservative activist and anti-feminist, spent much of her career railing against efforts to increase access to child care — and even the very concept of parents (specifically mothers) using child care to allow them to pursue careers. But, according to a new report, Schlafly herself had “domestic help” to help raise her six children, a fact that she has either never mentioned or, at the least, not emphasized in her public rhetoric.

    Schlafly is out with a new book co-written with her niece, called “The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say.” In writing about the book, the Los Angeles Times’ Meghan Daum interviewed Schlafly’s niece, Suzanne Venker. And when Daum asked Venker how Schlafly had managed it all, she surfaced a remarkable piece of information:

    How did Schlafly manage to raise all those kids and pursue such a prominent career? Granted, at 25 Schlafly married an older, well- established lawyer, and granted, she herself didn’t go to law school until she was in her 50s, but did she have help? If so, she never seemed to mention it.

    Venker seemed to almost despair at the question: “I’m in a pickle because I haven’t been asked this directly before,” she said. “I’m going to say this the best way I can. She had domestic help…. She wouldn’t have called them nannies, but she had people in her home. That’s what she chose. Did she mention that fact enough to get her point across to young people about how she managed to do it? No, she did not.”

    Indeed, even a cursory search of Schlafly’s public statements show an outright hostility to use of help or child care. In 1989, when the Senate was considering a Dodd-Kennedy bill to provide day care to poor families, Schlafly fired off an angry letter to one of its Republican sponsors, Orrin Hatch. In it, Schlafly blasts what she calls “stranger care”:

    We expected pro-family leadership from you, not surrender to the liberals who want to build a baby-sitting bureaucracy, penalize full-time mothers, and impose federal regulations that will drive low-cost daycare out of business.

    The Dodd bill is unjust and discriminatory because it discriminates against mothers who take care of their own children and taxes them in order to subsidize those who use stranger care — because it discriminates against employed mothers whose children are cared for by relatives — and because it encourages and subsidizes institutional care of babies instead of encouraging the care of babies within the family home.

    Here is Schlafly in 1980, quoted in Newsweek:

    In 1971, Congress approved a $ 15 billion child-development program aimed at making “quality child care” available to all, according to ability to pay. But it was vetoed by President Richard Nixon, who declared that such government interference would threaten family life. That sentiment still prevails among conservatives. It has helped defeat every comprehensive day-care bill for the past nine years, and right-wing delegates promise to make day care a prominent target next month at the White House Conference on Families. Argues conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly: “There’s no real substitute for the care of the real mother.”

    Testifying before Congress on another matter in 1981, Schlafly said (via Nexis): “It would be a tragic mistake for Congress ever to adopt any public or tax policy which encourages mothers to assign child care to others and enter the labor force.”

    And she’s still not being candid about her own experience. Check out this exchange from an NPR interview this week, in which Schlafly was asked directly how she managed her career and her family:

    MARTIN: How did you manage, though? As a mother of six, as your husband was -certainly had a busy career of his own, and being as significant a national figure as you have been, how did you manage?

    Ms. SCHLAFLY: Well, politics was my hobby. And I really spent 25 years as a full-time homemaker before I did any particular traveling around. And by that time the children were well along in school or college. And they were very supportive. My husband was very supportive. I told the feminists the only person’s permission I had to get was my husband’s.

    What about that domestic help?

    (Hat tip: Right Wing Watch) With research assistance from Justin Spees

    Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin More: Justin Elliott

  13. Thank you Elaine,

    Mike Appleton, I’m going to repost some of what I wrote (or really collected. I have *removed* the links, but I think google will find each source for you if you are interested.

    You seem eager to pin my beliefs on some experience I had, and I suspect you find my credibility low since I am a man and after all you have all your anecdotal experiences,…

    False accusations of sexual misconduct by women? NEVER you say. It’s a load of crap!

    Have you done any research into this at all?

    Hofstra University? Duke University? Ever googled false rape?

    Read some of these, then get back to me.

    The links in order are:,2933,194032,00.html/

    ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence does not support the widespread belief that women are extremely unlikely to make false accusations of male sexual misconduct. Rather the research on accusations of rape, sexual harassment, incest, and child sexual abuse indicates that false accusations have become a serious problem. The motivations involved in making a false report are widely varied and include confusion, outside influence from therapists and others, habitual lying, advantages in custody disputes, financial gain, and the political ideology of radical feminism.

    Katie Roiphe:

    Date Rape’s Other Victim

    One in four college women has been the victim of rape or attempted rape. One in four. I remember standing outside the dining hall in college, looking at the purple poster with this statistic written in bold letters. It didn’t seem right. If sexual assault was really so pervasive, it seemed strange that the intricate gossip networks hadn’t picked up more than one or two shadowy instances of rape. If I was really standing in the middle of an “epidemic,” a “crisis”- if 25 percent of my women friends were really being raped- wouldn’t I know it?

    Neil Gilbert, a professor of social welfare at the University of California at Berkeley, questions the validity of the one-in-four statistic. Gilbert points out that in a 1985 survey undertaken by Ms. magazine and financed by the National Institute of Mental Health, 73 percent of the women categorized as rape victims did not initially define their experience as rape; it was Mary Koss, the psychologist conducting the study, who did

    Cathy Young:

    Who says women never lie about Rape?
    The “believe the woman” zealotry promoted by Juanita Broaddrick’s defenders is bad for feminism.

    Heather MacDonald:

    The Campus Rape Myth
    The reality: bogus statistics, feminist victimology, and university-approved sex toys

    Wendy McElroy:

    False Rape Accusations May Be More Common Than Thought

    Wendy Kaminer (ACLU)

    It is heresy, in general, to question the testimony of self-proclaimed victims of date rape or harassment, as it is heresy in a twelve-step group to question claims of abuse. All claims of suffering are sacred and presumed to be absolutely true. It is a primary article of faith among many feminists that women don’t lie about rape, ever; they lack the dishonesty gene. Some may call this feminism, but it looks more like femininity to me.

    Emily Bazelon:

    Biurny Gonzalez testified in 2006 that a man named William McCaffrey raped her after taking her for a drive late one night. McCaffrey was convicted and sent to prison for 20 years. The drive happened but the rape didn’t. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to perjury Monday. She faces a prison sentence of two to seven years. She could also be deported to the Dominican Republic where she was born, though she is a legal resident in the United States.

    What prompted the lie? Gonzalez says that friends she’d gone out with that night got angry with her—a fight among them broke a car window—and that “she wanted the group to feel badly.” Then “the lie became too big for her to back out of.” But the guilt, apparently, became too big, too. McCaffrey has been incredibly gracious in commending Gonzalez for coming forward to tell the truth. Should Gonzalez have to do every day of prison time that McCaffrey did? Will this story help deter other women who might be tempted to make up a rape story, or will the harsh penalty scare the ones who falsely cry rape (a minority, to be sure) from coming forward?

  14. W=c,

    I got the information about Germany from an article entitled:

    “Abortion and Eugenics in Nazi Germany” by Henry P. David, Jochen Fleischhacker and Charlotte Hohn

    Population and Development Review, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 81-112

    This may or may not be available on the internet.

    I found out about Russia under Stalin after reading several sources on the Internet (including Wikipedia) that referenced similar laws during Stalin’s time.

  15. Buddha do you have a source for that info?

    The saddest misunderstanding is that abortion can be regulated by law. It is a natural response to conditions and as such, correcting the conditions is the effective way to lessen the occurrance.

    Protecting women from abusive and controlling forces would be a good start.

  16. I was reading about eugenics when I came across this little tidbit:

    Abortions by healthy women were forbidden by law in both Nazi Germany (famous for their “enlightened eugenics” programs) and Russia under Stalin.

    So, GOP . . . it seems like you’ve been keeping good bad appropriate company.

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