Do Human Beings Conceived in Rape Have Right To Life? Rep. Titus: 'It's Not a Yes-or-No Question’

By Brittany M. Hughes | May 15, 2015 | 2:10pm EDT
Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) (AP)

( -- Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) on Thursday would not answer whether a human being conceived in rape has a right to life, saying, “it’s not a yes-or-no question” before refusing to elaborate.

On Capitol Hill on Thursday, asked Titus, “Does a human being conceived in rape have a right to life?”

“That’s not a quick question,” Titus said.

“Is it a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?” asked.

“Well, it’s not a yes-or-no question, so,” said Titus. followed up, “Can you expand on that, why it’s not a yes or a no?”

“No, I’m not going … I don’t want to … I – I’m thinking about something else, so you can come back to me, or talk to Caitlin in my office, and see if we’ll have an answer for you,” Titus said.

Caitlin presumably is Caitlin Teare,  the communications director for Rep. Titus. reached out to Titus's office on Friday by e-mail for a response to the question of whether a human being conceived in rape has a right to life, but received no response.

Tweet by Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.), May 13, 2015. 

In a May 13 tweet, Rep. Titus said of the legislation, "GOP bill #HR36 is a dangerous & extreme restriction on women's reproductive rights. Let's #TrustWomen &#StopTheBans."

The House voted 242 to 184 to approve the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday, May 13. The bill puts a national ban on most abortions after 20 weeks gestation except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger. Titus voted against the bill. 

Four Democrats voted in favor of the bill, while four Republicans voted against it, including Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Rep. Charles Dent (R-Penn.).

The bill also requires doctors performing an abortion for a rape or incest victim to “do so only in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.”

The only exception to this requirement, the bill states, is if attempting to save the baby during an abortion would result in “the death of the pregnant woman” or the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, of the pregnant woman.”

The bill also requires that a “physician trained in neonatal resuscitation be present if, in reasonable medical judgment, the pain-capable unborn child has the potential to survive outside the womb.”

The revised bill also makes some revisions to the earlier version’s rape exceptions, which required the woman to report the rape to law enforcement before seeking an abortion after 20 weeks.

The amended bill still places the same requirements on minors who become pregnant as the result of a rape, but allows an adult woman to receive an abortion after 20 weeks if she reported the rape, or has received medical treatment or counseling at least 48 hours prior to the abortion being performed.

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