Todd Akin, there is no legitimate rape; only a moron thinks there is!by Don Lacey on Aug. 21, 2012, under Abortion, Campaign 2012, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Education, Environment, Ethics, Freethought, God & Bible, Government, Nature, Question of the Day!, Reason, Religion, Responsible Government, Sanity, Science, Separation of Church & State, Skepticism, That's Life!, Willful Ignorance
Jim Wilson rushed this right out to get his thoughts on the record as Todd Akin seeks to impose his “right-to-life” will on rape victims. There is so much wrong in what he said in the interview on the Jaco Report . In the interview, he exposed his uncompromising anti-abortion stance and his willingness to legislate to force women to carry a rapist’s child to full term. As bad as that is, he went one notch further stating that not all rape victims are legitimate…Here’s Jim’s take on the Todd Akin situation:
Why does this country feel the need to elect people like Todd Akin? For those unfamiliar, with the story, Congressman Todd Akin the representative of Missouri’s second district in an interview earlier this week discussed his desire to ban abortion even in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape. He said such a ban was justified because pregnancies from rape are “extremely rare”. He goes on to say:
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin is wrong. Pregnancy is caused by the uniting of male sperm with the female egg. These cells do not know or care if their union was the result of a forced sexual encounter. A 1996 study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248) estimated that some 5% of rapes result in pregnancy amounting to 32,101 pregnancies per year. Akin’s notion that the female body has some sort of mysterious anti-rape-pregnancy mechanism is bizarre even if we lacked statistics proving otherwise. It is completely unsupported by evidence. Ignorance of this type in the fields of biology, human sexuality, and medicine should be unheard of in our elected officials and especially true of elected officials who were elected, in part, on their positions regarding reproductive health. Unfortunately, Todd Akin is now running for a seat in the U.S. Senate!
Congressman Akin uses a bizarre choice of words. What is his definition of “legitimate rape?” This may betray his belief that many of the rape cases in this country are fraudulent where women commonly bring forth false accusations of rape. Perhaps he was speaking under the belief that any rape involving pregnancy must be fraudulent, because if the rape really happened it would have set off the woman’s magical pregnancy prevention mechanism. This may sound cynical but it is an attitude similar to the whole “you dressed like a slut, so you are asking for it” attitude. Blaming the victims of rape or giving blanket dismissals of the experiences of rape victims should be utterly unacceptable in politics.
Unfortunately, the conservative movement in this country thrives on biological and sexual ignorance. Their emphasis on abstinence-only education indicates that they want a nation of married people and sexually frustrated virgins, ignorant of contraception and basic biology. Unsurprisingly, American conservatives have increasingly politicized issues like contraception. Consequence-free sex is seen as the enemy by much of the conservative movement. There are people with huge amounts of political power, in this country, who want to keep your kids sexually ignorant, make it more difficult to get contraception, and then force women to carry the pregnancies resulting from the policies to term. It’s insane, and it is antithetical to a healthy attitude towards sexuality.
“But let’s assume that maybe that [the magic anti-pregnancy mechanism] didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Of course Akin has no problem punishing the woman involved as well, by making her carry her rapist’s child. This is like raping the woman a second time in the sense that it forces the woman to use her body in a way that is against her will. I see the intuitive appeal of the pro-life position, but seriously, the woman should not be forced to go through a 9 month pregnancy and raise a kid just because Todd Akin does not want to punish a cluster of cells. Keep in mind that is what the embryo is. It’s just a cluster of cells like any other and still has a long way to go before it develops anything resembling a central nervous system or sentience. I reject the notion that fertilized eggs or embryos have a right to life. I hold the same view even for more developed fetuses. No one should have the right to use someone else’s body against their will, especially if the one using the other’s body was forcibly imposed on them through rape!