Todd Akin’s “Forcible Rape” of Reason

Here is my column today on the problem of trying to police the kind of trauma that merits an abortion :

It’s Code Red as Republicans try to distance themselves from Representative Todd Akin’s recent startlingly inaccurate biology lesson. Claiming that victims of what he called “legitimate” rape could somehow “shut down” the process of conception, Akin, who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has since tried to dismiss his remarks as boorish, one-off musings. (He meant to say “forcible rape,” not “legitimate rape.”) Obama issued an unequivocal statement that “Rape is rape.” Meanwhile, a Romney-Paul spokeswoman quickly clarified that their administration would permit abortions in cases of rape.

But the story doesn’t end with a bizarre, unscientific comment about how reproduction works. This embarrassing episode is only the latest in a long string of Republican rape canards that present a binary view of female sexuality where some women are deemed worthy of legislative sympathy while others are not.

The ignorance is reaching a new crescendo but it goes back decades. We heard from periodontist-turned-lawmaker Henry Aldridge that women who are “truly raped” can’t become pregnant because the “juices don’t flow.” Others, including a Federal judge, have called pregnancy from rape aslikely as “snow in Miami” and “one in millions in millions,” while some have embraced specious claims about the effect of emotional trauma on conception from “assaultive rape” (so called), and other science-bending notions. Former state representative Stephen Freind once opined that raped women “secrete a certain secretion” to prevent conception. (If such a thing existed, surely the pharmaceutical industry would like to hear about it.)…

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About ErikaChristakis

Yale Lecturer in early childhood education/Licensed teacher/Former preschool director/author. In possession of: unmarketable bachelor’s degree (Harvard, anthropology), semi-marketable graduate degrees (public health, education…). Rewarding career at the intersection of family, society, and schools (including long stint in parenting vortex). Forging a new path to connect all of the above.
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6 Responses to Todd Akin’s “Forcible Rape” of Reason

  1. adauphin04 says:

    I just keep wondering when will enough be enough for women? When women use their ammo and go on strike reproductively speaking?

    No more babies until the patriarchy leaves women to make their own decisions with regards to their own bodies. Governments angry with each other? OK. Let them fight it out among themselves because women refuse to give birth to more troops for them to send to die.


  2. Todd Akins= Open Mouth and Insert Foot? The GOP already defunded him. They want nothing to do with him in Missouri. Romney/Ryan repudiated his stupid, thoughtless and careless statements. What was this man trying to say? I wager a guess he was asked, “if a woman is raped should she have to carry her rapists baby or can she conscientiously abort?” I call this a double whammy question cause there is no way to answer it without getting socked in the gut. Twice! If woman is raped she is given a DNC, a procedure to ensure that any fertilized egg is removed from her uterus. aka. an abortion. This is a private matter with the girl/woman and family. Some people believe that the rape is bad enough and don’t put this woman through having an abortion or baby but what to do when she ends up pregnant from her rape? No one can answer this question for anyone. Akin should have “opted out” of this one. These questions are loaded. They are bait. No one gets them right. Stupid man. End of his career. I still don’t know how he answered the question. The person asking it is a jerk too. What does this question have to do with running for election in Missouri. These people are all bastards! I caution people to never, ever answer these questions. But, they never learn. It’s the same with the gay marriage question. Refuse to answer it!

  3. Kindra says:

    Akin is a total caveman. There is a cause to remove him spreading across the Web –

  4. Peter says:

    “One study even found troubling evidence that pregnancy rates were higher — not lower! — in cases of rape than consensual sex, even after controlling for differences in use of birth control.”

    That statement made me want to vomit. If I didn’t have to pay $40 to read the source, I would like to see the reasoning why that may happen, even though I’m sure I won’t like the answers.

    I really want to express my outrage on this issue, but this Onion article makes my point so much better. Be warned, it’s absolutely disgusting and probably offensive to some:,29258/

    Here’s another petition to remove Akin from the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, FYI:

  5. Richard and Alvin says:

    Er … for some interesting reading try my friend Antonia siit in New Zeland Ericka go to my friend Antonias blog in NZ ….. her adventures and story’s will entertain you as well as the first chapter of her book waiting for a publisher. Can’t wait to see Katrina, Dave and the boys next week.

  6. The idiot is still running his race even though everyone in GOP said, “Get out you fool!” I hope he loses. He is bad for the GOP and does not represent our views at all. He is thoughtless, stupid and no one even knows what “legitimate rape” means. No one cares. Rape is rape. Every woman and her family can decide what to do about this situation. Abortion is legal. People who are 18 and over can decide. For minors they have parents. Everyone needs to butt out of everyone else’s business about it. Rape is a family issue because when a woman/girl is raped the FAMILY has to deal with it. It’s a private matter and a legal matter. It’s not open for discussion and families usually have enough to deal with without all these comments.

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