"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 an email to supporters on Thursday, according to the Arizona Republic. "Will you contribute $25, $50, $100, or even $500 right now to help me fight back?"The remarks in question are his assertions that adding an exception for rape and incest victims to his bill banning abortions after 20 weeks is irrelevant because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." He later clarified so that there would be no misunderstanding him, explaining that he meant that the number of rape or incest pregnancies was low enough that he saw no reason to bother making an exception for them in his 20-week limit, as they had already been "dealt with" in "almost every case." That extenuating circumstances leading to delay might surround instances of rape or incest more often than other cases is apparently either irrelevant or something that's not ever crossed his mind, but I'm going to go with "doesn't give a damn" because his qualifier, almost, is a blunt acknowledgment that there will be victims affected by his bill.
I realize that we are generally supposed to assume that all politicians are liars and crooks, to the point where pundits seem to think that people objecting to even their most ridiculous stances and pronouncements are just being maudlin, but Franks is on the extremist scale of these things. He's proud of it. It feels rather odd that his otherwise successful effort to push extremist legislation is considered a gaffe or a political fumble only if his own explanation of his extremism, "the incidence is low," hits a sour note while he's doing all the rest of it.
If we take Franks at his actions, he's not even "100 percent apologetically pro-life" because he justifies his no-exceptions 20-week ban by asserting that "almost" all victims will have had abortions by then anyway. The 100 percent stance, however, is no abortions for any woman, ever, regardless of circumstance. That's what he and a wide swath of other conservatives have been pushing towards—based entirely, I might add, on religious grounds—but there's not been much pushback by the vast swath of people that consider themselves upstanding political judges of these things. There's only pushback when someone pulls the "gaffe" of saying exactly what they mean.