Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez (R) criticized Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) for his remarks on rape and pregnancy, calling the congressman a "moron" for claiming that "the incidence of rape resulting in pregancy are very low."
"I think that he’s a moron and he proves that stupid has no specific political affiliation,” Gomez told ABC News on Wednesday. “I have no idea what goes into the mind of a moron like that ... These kinds of comments only come from a moron and they shouldn’t be tolerated one bit."
Franks' controversial claim came Wednesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Republican congressman's abortion bill. The measure, titled The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, would place a national ban on abortion after 20 weeks.
The Huffington Post's Laura Bassett reported:
The Arizona Republican's comments echo those made last year by former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who notoriously claimed that women cannot become pregnant from "legitimate rape."
Like Akin's, Franks's claim is not supported by research. Medical experts agree that rape does not lower the incidence of pregnancy, and one study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that more than 30,000 pregnancies result from rape in the United States each year.
Franks later sought to clarify his remarks.
"I'm talking about the incidences where pregnancy from rape results in an abortion after the sixth month or beyond are very rare," Franks said, according to NBC News' Frank Thorp.
Gomez told ABC that while he personally opposes abortion, he does not support Franks' bill and would not attempt to place further restrictions on abortion.
Gomez will face Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a June 25 special election to fill Massachusetts' open Senate seat.