Virginia Republican House candidate Yesli Vega found herself facing backlash after audio of her suggesting people can't get pregnant during a sexual assault surfaced.
This is not the first time this ignorant misinformation was shared publicly by a Republican politician to justify restrictions on reproductive healthcare, but it may be the first time the false rhetoric was repeated by a Republican woman.
Vega—who campaigned with support from Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz and conservative activist Ginni Thomas—was caught on audio making her false claim.
There is no medical or scientific support for Vega's statement.
At an event in Stafford County, Virginia, Vega was asked about the United States Supreme Court ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization which overturned Roe v. Wade.
Vega stated her support for future reproductive healthcare restrictions in Virginia before adding:
"The left will say, 'Well what about in cases of rape or incest?'"
"I'm a law enforcement officer. I became a police officer in 2011."
"I've worked one case where as a result of a rape, the young woman became pregnant."
Vega is a Prince William County supervisor and sheriff's deputy
An unidentified voice then asks:
"I've actually heard that it's harder for a woman to get pregnant if she's been raped. Have you heard that?"
"Well, maybe because there's so much going on in the body. I don't know. I haven't, you know, seen any studies."
"But if I'm processing what you're saying, it wouldn't surprise me. Because it's not something that's happening organically."
"You're forcing it. 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."
This is completely false.
Fertility of the parties determines likelihood of pregnancy. People can and do become pregnant during sexual assaults.
Audio of Vega's comments was shared on Twitter by Axios and their Virginia correspondent Ned Oliver.
People were appalled Vega would believe and share such ignorance.
Asked for a comment about her misinformation, Vega told Axios in a statement:
"I'm a mother of two, I'm fully aware of how women get pregnant."
Is she sure about that, though?
Her comments clearly indicate otherwise and demonstrate why comprehensive, fact-based sex education is critical.