Rep. Todd Akin, who is running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, spent his Sunday attempting to remove his foot from his mouth. The lynch mob on Twitter wants to hunt him down and inflict grievous bodily harm upon him. So what did this idiot say? Well, in an interview on KTVI-TV he was asked if abortion should be legal in the case of rape. His response was
It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
Akin said in his aw-shit statement, “In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.” He also admitted on Twitter that he does realize that rape can result in pregnancy.
So everyone is going psycho over his term “legitimate rape”. I would like him to explain what he meant. Did he just mean stranger-rape? Was he excluding statutory rape committed by an 18 year old and his underage girlfriend in the back seat of his car? Spousal abuse rape? Date rape? Drug/alcohol incapacitated rape? My gut feeling is that he probably does exclude all of those, in his tiny little empathetic heart.
Rape is rape. It is an act of violence. Whether it is perpetrated by a stranger, a relative or a spouse, it is one of the most horrific experiences a human being can endure. There is no mechanism by which a female body will not conceive from a rape – if she is ovulating, not on birth control and does not seek “morning after” contraception, she probably will. I hope he wasn’t thinking of traumatic miscarriage as his way to “shut that whole thing down.” He obviously also does not have a clue about the psychological toll a rape-pregnancy has on the victim… why should she be punished by being forced to carry that pregnancy to term? Trauma on top of trauma…
A lot of the articles online have cited a study published in 1996 in the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding rape-related pregnancies. That study, conducted over a three year period with slightly over 4,000 adult women, came up with a 5% rape-related pregnancy rate. The majority of those pregnancies were with adolescent incest-rape victims. The study extrapolated that rapes resulted in 32,000 pregnancies per year. Another study from 1998 that I looked at regarding spousal/partner abuse found over 20% of those abuse victims reporting rape-related pregnancies. I could not find any more recent statistics online.
The statistics, however, don’t matter. What matters is that this moron (and you can bet that Romney is distancing himself from this fellow-Republican) has no idea how a woman’s body works (obviously) and really has no empathy for rape victims. He should not be in a position to make laws regulating our bodies.
C’mon Missouri, re-elect Sen. Claire McCaskill. Send Akin home and let him get a real job.