Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a ten term Republican Congressman from Maryland who faces a tough re-election fight in Maryland's redistricted 6th Congressional District this year was asked to clarify his positon on abortion at a town hall yesterday.
"Oh, it’s been the same for twenty years. I’m pro-life, with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest," Barlett said in the video flagged by a Democratic source. "I’m so avidly pro-life I’m against corporal punishment.”
A member of the audience took the question one step further asking "if you have somebody that commits a violent, heinous crime, forcible rape, which results in the pregnancy of the woman who was forcibly raped, what is your position?”
Barlett responded by saying he supported again, the exception in cases of life of the mother, rape, and incest but added that very few pregnancies and abortions are a result of rape.
“Oh, life of the mother – exception of life of the mother, rape and incest. Yeah, I’ve always -- that’s a mantra, you know, I’ve said it so often it just spills out," he said. "If you really -- there are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest --- compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”
“There’s 20,000 pregnancies every year from rape," a member of the audience responded.
“Yeah, and how many abortions? In the millions,” said Bartlett.
“That’s 20,000 rapes. That’s 20,000 people who are violated,” another member of the audience said.
“Yeah, I know, I know. But in terms of the percentage of pregnancies, percentage of abortions for rape as compared to overall abortions, it’s a tiny, tiny percentage,” Bartlett said.
“And incest is quite high too, believe me. In Appalachia we saw incest on a daily basic,” the member of the audience responded.
“Oh yeah, but again, it’s a tragedy for the family and the person, but in terms of actual numbers it’s a pretty small percentage of the total number," Bartlett said again.
“Unless you’re the one,” someone said.
“Most abortions, most abortions are for what purpose? The just don’t want to have a baby! The second reason for abortion is you’d like a boy and it’s a girl, or vice versa. And I know a lot of people are opposed to abortion who are pro-choice," Bartlett said.
Bartlett ends by commentating that we need to find ways to stop unwanted pregnancies.
Bartlett's Full Remarks on Abortion
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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