I’m a far cry from being a news junkie, but you’d probably have to be living under a rock to have missed Akin’s dialogue about “legitimate rape.” But, just in case you have decided to reside under the aforementioned boulder, I’ll update you:
On Sunday, August 19th, Todd Akin, Missouri’s Republican nominee for Senate, said this:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “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 of the rapist, and not attacking the child.” Mr. Akin goes on to say that he simply is trying to protect all life.
Okay, I understand that Mr. Akin feels strongly about his anti-abortion stance. And while I agree that terminating an embryo is a horrible thing, I have to think that there are worse things. Things such as creating an unwanted life. A life that the mother may not be physically, financially, or emotionally able to support.
And what is this noise about legitimate rape? As apposed to what? Illegitimate rape? Is he saying that if a woman didn’t fight hard enough to have bruises that she therefore condoned intercourse? If she didn’t have those bruises photographed and recorded by the authorities, she must, therefore have welcomed the assault?
And then we get to the part about the female body having mysterious ways of ‘shutting the whole thing down.’ What? I’m no scientist, but I do know that an egg’s an egg. And a sperm’s a sperm. Women who have been raped have a lower probability of using any form of birth control since they would not necessarily have been planning on sexual intercourse. Maybe that’s why rape victims have a whopping 5-7 percent probability of becoming pregnant. Maybe that’s why there is an excess of 32,000 women in this county alone who become pregnant annually because of rape. And that’s not even considering the thousands of Middle Eastern and African women who are forced to carry the children of their attackers as a way of perpetrating the rapist’s line.
If Mr. Akin is so set on preserving life, perhaps he could concentrate on building a lasting peace in the Middle East, or reducing our dependence on foreign oil or even cleaning up the environment so that future generations won’t be poisoned by our polluted air and toxic drinking water.
Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Mr. Akin has a ‘legitimate’ point that I’m just not understanding. Any thoughts?