Nunn: Potential Child Needs To Be Considered In Rape, Incest Situations

Congressional candidate Zach Nunn is back to suggesting there should be restrictions on women seeking abortion in the cases of rape and incest.

In an interview on Tuesday on Today With Caleb, a podcast hosted by Caleb Primrose, a conservative activist in West Des Moines, Nunn said the potential child needed to be considered in such situations.

“In the extremely rare situation of rape or incest, we want to be able to have a conversation in consultation with the doctor there, but we need to remember this is not just a conversation between a woman and her doctor. This is also a conversation about the future of that child, and that needs to be taken into consideration,” Nunn said. “So let’s provide some clear guidelines.”

Nunn was talking about the bill he voted for that had Iowa ban abortion after 20 weeks with only exceptions for the life of the mother, not rape or incest.

Repeatedly, Nunn said the question of abortion restrictions should be left up to voters in each state, not the federal government. So, women could have the right to bodily autonomy in one state but not another.

“Let’s give this back to Iowans and find rational places for this,” he said Tuesday. “I would fight against Democrats or Republicans who try to overreach at the federal level.”

Nunn, a Republican, is running against Incumbent Democrat Cindy Axne to represent Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.

Since June, voters have repeatedly made clear they support legal abortion access and rejected attempts to restrict it. In Iowa, 61% of respondents in a recent Des Moines Register poll said abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Prior to that poll, the number was consistently around 60%.

Yet Nunn has long supported restricting abortion.

In 2017, he voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks. He also voted for the bill to ban abortion after electrical activity is detected in the embryo—usually around six weeks, and commonly mislabeled as a heartbeat. He voted for the amendment to repeal the Constitutional right to abortion in Iowa and for the 24-hour waiting period.

The six-week ban, often referred to by antiabortion politicians as a “heartbeat bill,” does have exceptions for rape and incest, but both must be reported within 45 days for rape and 140 days for incest. The majority of those crimes aren’t reported.

In May of this year, Nunn raised his hand when debate moderator Dave Price asked which Republican candidates supported banning abortion without any exceptions.

He’s since tried to walk that back. In an August editorial published by the Des Moines Register, Nunn said he recognized medical emergencies happen.

“That is why the heartbeat bill I supported in the Legislature contained specific exceptions for horrific circumstances like rape, incest and fetal abnormalities, and to save the life of the mother,” he wrote.

But in his interview this past week, his comments suggest there should at the very least be extra hoops to jump through for rape and incest situations.

Life of the mother exceptions are also less straightforward than they sound. Since Roe v Wade was overturned in June, multiple stories have come out about how sick women have gotten before they were allowed to have abortions to save their lives.

In September, Nunn released an ad saying he supported “common sense” limits to abortion, but only listed life of the mother. In an October debate with Axne, Nunn said, “I am pro-life. I support the mother and the baby.” He repeated that Iowa voters should get to decide.

On Tuesday, Nunn said, “And then we don’t want to see situations where we’re putting my wife, you know, our sisters, our brothers in a situation where they would have to make those hard choices and end one life to try and save another.”

He did not clarify whose decision it was.

“This shouldn’t be a decision that states get to make; this is a decision that women get to make,” Axne said during the October debate. “I’m saying this is women’s decision. This doesn’t belong in the state legislature here in Iowa. We need to trust women on this issue.”

 

Nikoel Hytrek
11/6/22

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2 Comments on "Nunn: Potential Child Needs To Be Considered In Rape, Incest Situations"

  • I think the old expression for his answers is “being all over the map.” Why? Because he’s a naked political opportunist who is attempting to hide his true objective which is banning all abortion.

  • The comment from Chris is absolutely right.

    And I’m trying to imagine the incredible potential guidelines that Nunn might have in mind, not that he’s actually thinking about the real issues involved or doing anything besides spewing random phrases in all directions in the hope of getting elected so he can vote on abortion exactly how he really wants to.

    Sooooo, in regard to Rape According To Nunn, would the victim be allowed to have an abortion ONLY if she suffered injuries while resisting? Only if she screamed loud enough? Only if she was completely sober and drug-free at the time of the rape? (I could definitely see Nunn supporting that one.)

    Only if she had locked her house/condo/apartment so that the rapist had to damage the dwelling to get in? Only if it was a complete-stranger rape? (I could see Nunn supporting that one too.) Only if she hadn’t walked alone at night, hadn’t accepted a ride from someone she didn’t know extremely well, and had not otherwise made a transportation choice of which Nunn might disapprove?

    I have a close relative who was sexually assaulted by a stranger who broke into her apartment. Fortunately, my relative did not get pregnant as a result. But remembering that crime and how it affected not only my relative but our entire family, I certainly do have some thoughts about Mr. Nunn that are not civil enough for this blog.

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