I recently saw a meme on Quora that claims to show quotes from conservative politicians arguing against abortion in the cases of rape.

Meme in spoiler tags:

enter image description here

Objectively, which of these quotes are real, which are taken out of context, and which are false?

  • PLEASE try to keep answers neutral and objective. Mods, please add a chatroom for people to discuss this if needed. Also, please flag if this it's too inappropriate.
    – jinkevin
    Dec 31, 2021 at 3:34
  • 4
    The Todd Atkins quote is (in)famous enough that it has its own question: Do victims of rape have biological defenses that prevent pregnancy?
    – Laurel
    Dec 31, 2021 at 3:47
  • Could you add link to the post you found this from?
    – pinegulf
    Dec 31, 2021 at 7:36
  • 1
    @user141592 I found the same main body, slightly different wrapping as early as at least September of 2018, and based on a reverse Google image search, possibly as old as 2014 Dec 31, 2021 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


Snopes examines this list of supposed quotes.

Did Republicans Actually Say These Things About Rape?

Published 27 February 2014, Updated 30 September 2020

A “Republicans on Rape” graphic widely circulated online since 2014 collects various comments about that crime supposedly made by GOP politicians in recent years:

The remarks collected in that graphic were indeed all uttered by the persons to whom they have been attributed; below we offer four of the statements on video (also on YouTube), as well as the context in which they were made, and any clarifying remarks subsequently offered by their speakers.

Snopes claims these quotes were made variously in 1990, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Looking at just one claim, about Lawrence Lockman, Maine's Morning Sentinel reported

Maine lawmaker says he regrets comments on rape, gays

Posted February 27, 2014

Republican Lawrence Lockman is under fire after a liberal activist’s blog post details his comments on AIDS, rape and abortion.

A Republican state lawmaker who has come under fire from the Maine Democratic Party for past statements about gays, rape and abortion said Wednesday that he regrets making the comments.

Lockman appears to admit making the remarks with this reply

“I have always been passionate about my beliefs, and years ago I said things that I regret. I hold no animosity toward anyone by virtue of their gender or sexual orientation, and today I am focused on ensuring freedom and economic prosperity for all Mainers,” he said.

Which of these quotes are real?

  • Snopes has links to videos of four of the statements made.

Which are taken out of context?

  • Any isolated quote is always taken out of context.
  • 1
    Given your source confirms all of the quotes as accurate, the 'supposed' in your opening line seems an odd word choice, as it implies the opposite.
    – Jontia
    Jan 3, 2022 at 9:10
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    An "isolated" quote need not be "taken out of context" if the context is included within the quote, or the context can reasonably be inferred from the quote (or the context the quote is provided within - in this case, the other quotes around it) and such an inference is accurate. For instance, if Jodie Laubenberg's quote was answering "why should rape victims report the rape as soon as possible?", it would be taken out of context, as it's actually good advice but implied to be the opposite. If she's explaining why she doesn't support exceptions in cases of rape, it's entirely in context.
    – Glen O
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:18
  • Incidentally, it's definitely the latter - I checked, and her next sentence was "The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development" (Note that I'm not addressing the fact that she misunderstands what a Rape Kit is)
    – Glen O
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:21

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