Franks fundraising e-mail invokes rape and pregnancy comment

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) cites his controversial comment about rape and pregnancy in a new fundraising e-mail to supporters.

U.S. Rep Trent Franks, R-Ariz., right, speaks as U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., listens during a news conference where they endorsed Arizona Prop. 109 Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 at the Capitol in Phoenix. Proposition 109 would amend the Arizona state Constitution, making it a constitutional right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife lawfully.(AP Photo/Matt York) U.S. Rep Trent Franks, R-Ariz.(AP Photo/Matt York)

"NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the taxpayer-funded abortion lobby is attacking me for one reason — I’m 100 percent unapologetically pro-life, and I won’t back down,” he wrote in the e-mail, which was first reported by the Arizona Republic.

Franks initially made the comment Wednesday at a House hearing in which a Franks-sponsored ban on abortions after 20 weeks was being debated, saying that the "incidence of rape resulting from pregnancy are very low."

Franks soon clarified his comment, saying he intended to refer only to women in the sixth month of pregnancy, rather than all women.

By Thursday, he admitted his folly, telling a gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he had been through the "spin dryer."

“Believe me, I’ll tell you what, I’ve been through a spin dryer here in the last 48 hours and I wish I hadn’t assisted (critics) so much to that end," Franks said, according to Politico.

By Friday, Franks said he needed money to fight back against those very same critics.

“(As) you can see below, my position has made me the #1 target of abortionists,” Franks said in the e-mail. “Now they will spend whatever it takes to destroy me, remove me from Congress, and stop me from protecting any more unborn children."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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