Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario — when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail — abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
"Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”Here's the video:
Depressing is the whole notion of "legitimate" rapes. You know, "rape rapes" as opposed to some slut asking for it. (Of course the FBI waited until just this year to redefine their 1927 definition of rape as more than just “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” So, for example, raping a drugged women, coercing a minor, raping someone with a foreign object, or any rape of boys or men have never entered into their statistics for over 80 years now...)
Disgusting is the fact that Akin, who believes in some sort of magic vagina venom (thank you Martha Plimpton), serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. (Petition to have him removed from that committee here.)
Ironic is the possibility that this idiot who seems to have very little actual knowledge of basic biology when it comes to women may very well replace one of the few woman who now serves in the U.S. Senate -- Claire McCaskill -- whose reaction to his remarks is here (via Twitter).
And, chilling is the idea that Akin -- and men like him -- get to make laws about what women and girls can and can't do with their own bodies.
Speaking of rape and abortion, in 2005 Akin voted "against the creation of a national sex offender registry database that required those convicted of a sex crime to register before completing a prison term and increased mandatory sentences for those convicted of molesting children." And just last year, he 'joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term “forcible rape."'
The sad truth is that Akin is not alone in his belief in the magic vagina venom:
Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
1995-04-21 04:00:00 PDT Raleigh, N.C. -- Women do not get pregnant when raped because "the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work" during an attack, a state lawmaker said yesterday.
Republican Representative Henry Aldridge made the remarks to the House Appropriations Committee as it debated a proposal to eliminate a state abortion fund for poor women.
"The facts show that people who are raped -- who are truly raped -- the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant," said Aldridge, a 71-year-old periodontist. "Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."
And, from philly.com:
March 23, 1988|By JOHN M. BAER, Daily News Staff Writer
HARRISBURG — The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are "one in millions and millions and millions," said state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, the Legislature's leading abortion foe.
The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to "secrete a certain secretion" that tends to kill sperm.
Two Philadelphia doctors specializing in human reproduction characterized Freind's contention as scientifically baseless.
Freind made the statement on a central Pennsylvania radio interview program earlier this month.Akin already has his defenders. From Politico reporter Dave Catanese:
proclaimed that women like Obama because they "don't get what's going on" and Geraldo who believes there's a “lesbian cabal” at the Department of Homeland Security and the guy who just wrote a Letter to the Editor at the local Observer-Reporter about how the women folk do not belong in the workplace would love to chime in with their support.)
And then there's the Catholic Church which is opposed to any and all abortions -- even those to save the life of the women...and girl. From RH Reality Check:
A pregnant 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic died from complications of leukemia, according to CNN. The young woman was forced to wait nearly three weeks to begin chemotherapy to treat her disease as hospital officials initially refused to treat her fearing it could terminate her pregnancy. In the end she lost her life and the pregnancy, and may have died because of the delay in her treatment.
Under an amendment to the Dominican Republic's constitution which declares that "life begins at conception," abortion is banned, effectively for any reason. The girl's leukemia was diagnosed when she was just nine weeks pregnant.
Dominican women's health advocates told RH Reality Check this afternoon that while the doctors and the state refused to allow the girl treatment for leukemia, they made her undergo "ultrasounds to show that the baby was healthy and for her to see it moving."
Chemotherapy was begun after the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, at which time the girl began to bleed, yet still the doctors refused to interrupt the pregnancy. Advocates report that she subsequently miscarried the pregnancy and began to hemorrhage; the medical team was unable to contain the bleeding and she died.
The girl's mother had pleaded with both doctors and authorities to give her daughter an abortion so she could begin chemotherapy immediately.The Catholic Church certainly had a large role in banning abortions in the Dominican Republic which led to this teen's death. And, they have certainly not been shy about using their influence on politicians in these United States. Pennsylvania women just recently escaped having ultrasounds forced upon them. If that law had passed, many would have ended up at a "crisis pregnancy" center like this one in Pittsburgh where Bishop David Zubik blessed their ultrasound machine (photo at link!). The name of the center? "Women's Choice Network."
That's like calling pedophile priests "Altar Boy Protectors."
Some day, we might just start treating women like actual people -- not strange creatures with magic vagina venom.
But, I won't hold my breath for that day to come.