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Republican Yesli Vega Falsely Suggests Rape Victims Are Unlikely to Get Pregnant

A Republican nominee in a closely watched House race in Virginia made bizarre and false remarks about rape victims, saying in leaked audio recordings that she wouldn’t be surprised if a woman’s body prevents pregnancies from being raped because “it doesn’t something that happens organically,” and that the rapist does it “quickly.”

The nominee, Yesli Vega, a supervisor and deputy sheriff in Prince William County, made the comments last month during a campaign stop in Stafford County, according to Axios, who published the audio recordings on Monday.

The person with Ms. Vega speaking in the two clips, which together last about a minute, has not been identified and Axios has not revealed the source of the audio.

In a statement, Ms. Vega did not dispute the authenticity of the recordings, but said: “As a mother of two, yes, I am fully aware of how women get pregnant.”

The first clip indicates that Ms. Vega spoke in the context of the abortion debate, as you can hear it said: “The Left will say, ‘What about rape or incest cases?'”

Ms Vega, citing her experience as a police officer, said she had “worked on one case” since 2011 in which the young woman became pregnant as a result of rape.

In the second clipAfter the unidentified woman said she had heard that it is “more difficult for a woman to conceive if she has been raped,” Ms. Vega replied, “Maybe because there is so much going on in the body, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any, you know, studies, but if I’m processing what you’re saying, I wouldn’t be surprised because it’s not something that happens organically, right? It forces.”

After the unidentified woman said the body is “shutting down,” Ms. Vega replied, “Yeah, yeah, and then the individual, the man, does it so fast, it’s not like, you know, and so I can see why perhaps there is truth in that.”

Ms. Vega’s statement did not immediately say whether she stood by her comments. “Liberals are desperate to divert from their failed agenda,” the statement reads. She also said her political opponents would “rather lie and twist the truth” than explain their position on abortion.

Her campaign did not explain what “lie” her comment was referring to.

Ms. Vega won a Republican primary on June 21 to face incumbent Democratic Abigail Spanberger in Virginia’s seventh congressional district, a newly Democratic-oriented district. Ms. Spanberger supports abortion rights.

On TwitterMs. Spanberger called Ms. Vega’s comments “extreme and ignorant” and “devoid of truth”.

Ms. Vega’s recorded comments are similar to comments made in August 2012 by Representative Todd Akin, who, as a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, said pregnancy by rape is “really rare” because: “If it’s a legitimate rape is, the female body has ways of trying to shut that whole thing down.”

Leading Republicans called for Mr Akin to drop out of the race, which he declined. He then lost the race by nearly 16 percentage points to Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill.

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