Republican Yesli Vega was recently asked to elaborate on a controversial statement she made about rapes resulting in pregnancies during her campaign for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District seat.
On Oct. 20, WVAW Charlottesville’s television reporter asked Vega if she believed it. [a] woman can’t get pregnant from being raped,” a charge that her Democratic opponent, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, is making a focus this fall.
“That’s absolutely absurd,” Vega stated. “Those were never my comments. It is a shameful thing. [Spanberger] To score political points, I would use something as horrific as that.”
Gianni Snidle, the spokesperson for the Virginia Democratic Party, called Vega’s denial a “lie.”
We ran a fact check and found that Vega has not said a woman can’t get pregnant from rape. But she did suggest that women, for special reasons, are unlikely to get pregnant from being raped — a claim that medical experts have long rejected.
This controversy is a result of comments Vega made in spring. As first reported by Axios, Vega was taped speaking to an unidentified woman at a Stafford County campaign event. Vega — who opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when a mother’s life is endangered — was asked what Congress should do if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its Roe v. Wade decision (which it later did).
Vega supported new restrictions at the state level. “The left will say, ‘Well, what about cases of rape?’ she added. I am a law-enforcement officers. In 2011, I became a policeman. I have worked in one case where a young woman was raped and became pregnant.
Vega was then asked, “I’ve actually heard that it’s harder for a woman to get pregnant if she’s been raped. Did you hear that?
Vega replied“Well, perhaps because there are so many things going on inside the body. I don’t know. I haven’t seen any studies. It wouldn’t surprise you if I was processing your words. It’s not something that happens organically. It is forced. The individual, the male, is doing it as quickly — it’s not like, you know — and so I can see why there is truth to that. It’s unfortunate.”
According to the American American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynologists, the claim that rape does not lead to pregnancy is “nothing biologically plausible” and “not supported by any physiology or scientifically validated data.”
Jen Villavicencio is an OB/GYN who works at the medical group and wrote in an email, “Repeating previously proven lies shows ignorance regarding medical facts.” “Worse, suggesting that survivors of sexual assault can’t get pregnant is hurtful and makes light of the very real trauma they endure.”
The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynology published 1996 the most cited study on rape and pregnancy. It was found that about 5% of rapes involving victims aged 12 to 45 led to pregnancy. It was estimated that 32,101 pregnancies each year are the result of rapes. These rapes can often be a result domestic or family violence.
We asked Vega’s campaign to elaborate on her statements about the connection between rape and pregnancy. Unexplained, we received a statement accusing Spanberger, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Alexandria OcasioCortez [D-NY] The act of “lying.”
Spanberger has often said that Vega has “doubted” whether a women can get pregnant from rape and sometimes she’s gone a step further. For example, a TV ad aired by her campaign in August said, “Yesli Vega was caught on tape saying women couldn’t get pregnant from rape.”
Vega said “those were never my comments,” when a TV reporter recently asked her if she believes a woman can’t get pregnant from rape.
She was referring specifically to the taped comments she made when an unknown woman questioned Vega over her views on abortion. Vega didn’t say a woman can’t get pregnant from rape. She stated that she only knew of one case where this happened during her 11-year tenure in law enforcement.
But there’s more to this story. Vega suggested to the unidentified woman that rape is not an organic process and that women may be less likely to become pregnant by it. It’s a forced thing.” These claims have been disproven through research and rejected by medical professionals.
Vega parsed a reporter’s question and gave a misleading answer. We rate her denial Half True.