Missouri lawmaker rebuked for ‘consensual rape’ remark says he misspoke on House floor

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Missouri state lawmaker says he misspoke on the House floor when he referred to "consensual rapes" during a highly charged debate on a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks, including in cases of rape and incest.

Missouri's Republican-led Legislature approved a ban on abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy on Friday, and GOP Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign it.

Republican Rep. Barry Hovis said in the chamber Friday that most of the sexual assaults he handled before retiring from law enforcement weren't strangers "jumping out of the bushes" but instead "date rapes or consensual rapes."

You can watch the entire session in this video player. Rep. Hovis' remarks begin at 1:34:35. The player will expand full-screen on mobile devices. 

Abortion-rights supporters who attended the debate hissed in response. St. Louis-area Democratic Rep. Raychel Proudie later assured the House that "there is no such thing as consensual rape."

Hovis, of Missouri's southeastern Bootheel region, told the Associated Press he had meant to say "date rapes or consensual or rape." When pressed on whether that made sense in the context of the rest of his sentence, he said he believes there is no such thing as "consensual rape."

The comment was reminiscent of former Rep. Todd Akin, who lost the state's U.S. Senate race in 2012 after saying women's bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

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