NEWSFLASH: Rep. Todd Akin’s Immaculate Non-Conception

In a stunning display of misinformation, sexism and chutzpah, anti-choice Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said yesterday that, from what he understands, “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy, because women’s bodies can somehow stop it from happening.

In an interview with The Jaco Report, aired on the news station KTVI-TV (a FOX affiliate), Akin justified his no-exceptions view against abortion, even in cases of rape, by saying,

First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. … If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Akin, who just two weeks ago won the Republican nomination in Missouri’s Senate race, now faces a party turned against him. Minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) condemned Akin’s comments, urging him to consider his options, and the national GOP pulled his funding. The Romney campaign also is trying distance itself from Akin, releasing a statement late last night claiming Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), believe abortion should be allowed in cases of rape.

President Obama addressed Akin’s comments in a surprise press conference this morning, deeming them “offensive” and “way out there:”

Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and doesn’t make sense to me. What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians–the majority of whom are men–making decisions [about women’s health].

Akin’s views are not unlike those long espoused by other hardline conservatives, reports The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta. Women, some of them say, might be crying rape in order to deceitfully obtain abortions. Idaho state Sen. Chuck Winder, who earlier this year sponsored a mandatory ultrasound bill,  went so far as to suggest women might not really understand if they’ve actually been raped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdisTOKom5I&feature=player_embedded

As if we needed them, statistics back up the obvious: Womens’ bodies don’t have some magical antidote to rapist sperm, and rape can result in pregnancy. A 1996 medical study found that more than 32,000 pregnancies result from rape every year in the U.S. Akin, Winder and other extreme anti-choicers should know the facts before espousing their ludicrous ideology.

Photo of Rep. Todd Akin via Wikimedia Commons

Comments

  1. Great post. Eve Ensler suggests this event is a “window into the psyche of the GOP.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html

  2. “In a stunning display of misinformation, sexism and chutzpah…” And to think, those are just his good points!

    According to the GOP, illegitimate rape occurs when the rapist is a bastard.

  3. I am a rape survivor since 1981. I was kidnaped walking home, beaten to lose my hearing, repeatedly raped, and given a pill to prevent a pregnancy in the emergency room. Rape stays with you for life. I think if Adkin continues stating his thoughts that “Rape is Evil” and “I pray for victims,” that perhaps Adkins and other politicians should be putting all there energy in making rape better for victims and harder on perpetrators. Over 32,000 women become pregnant a year from rape I say we have a problem with men raping woman. There has not been to many laws for rape victims passed for victims since 1981. Why? As a survivor I got a law passed and a amendment for victims in 2010. Why are politicians not working for rape victims but stating how horrible it is. Do something about it! I forgive what Adkins said but forgetting by victims and trust issues will not be forgotten. We all make mistakes in our Public Speaking and daily conversations sometimes even have the chance to correct our statement. I think politicians should talk with victims to get the inside story of rape before giving out some important facts. Another way of stating that is, if there is a problem go to the source and get real facts.

  4. What a dumbass….no words. AND he is staying in the race!?!? Haha I’m just happy other GOP players have condemned this position so we can move forward towards November on a more centrist platform

  5. Ignorance like Atkin’s persists when religion tries to superimpose wacky values on biological science. Atkin needs to get educated.

  6. Kris Emly says:

    Every person with at least average intelligence should be offended by Akin’s remarks. How does someone this ignorant get elected? Missouri voters ought to be ashamed to have him represent their state. Talk is cheap. He needs to be voted out!

  7. Truly absurd. But telling, both the original statement and the qualifier. Better they speak and get it out, so we know what they are thinking…If such a view qualifies as thinking that is….

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