For those of you who missed it over the weekend, Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for Senate against the incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, was asked whether or not he believed abortion should be legal in the case of rape or incest. He said:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. 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.
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.
So here’s a roundup of comments about Republican Voodoo Vaginomics from around the blogosphere:
That said, it’s taking all my self-control to say, “Thank you,” to Missouri Representative Todd Akin. Thank you, not fuck you… I want to thank him for demonstrating that the anti-choice movement is so often divorced from scientific facts, like when they claim that the uterus contains a magical anti-rapist semen force field, or when they claim that there’s a causal relationship between abortion and breast cancer. It is not, in fact, “really rare” for rape to result in pregnancy, unless you think that something that happens 32, 000 times every year is “really rare.” Read More from Chloe at Feministing.
What’s the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape? We’ve compiled this helpful guide from what we assume Todd Akin (B.S. in Management Engineering and member of the House Science and Technology Committee, just to recap) believes.
Scenario 1: A white virgin female wearing modest clothing is returning to her home after her Wednesday Bible study class. She is accosted at knife point by a large, unkempt black man wearing an “Obama 2012” hat, who drags her into an alley and rapes her.
Determination: Legitimate rape. Her uterus shuts down immediately, expelling the rapist’s semen as she prays to God for forgiveness.
Scenario 2: At a party where alcoholic beverages are being consumed, a young woman passes out in a private bedroom. A man of the same age and race finds her and proceeds to have sexual relations as she sleeps peacefully.
Determination: Illegitimate rape. Because the woman’s own moral turpitude is entirely to blame for the situation she was placed in, her uterus is unable to resist her beau’s sperm. It is quite likely that God will bless her with a pregnancy. Jesse Berney at Wonkette
And the Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes To Todd Akin! The Republican Party doesn’t feel that they’ve spent enough time in women’s vaginas, so now comes some startling new information on the exact same scientific level as witch dunking. Check out Juanita Jean at the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon
No means no–exceptions: What’s really important about the Todd Akin controversy isn’t his moronic belief that women who get raped can’t get pregnant. It’s so stupid that even the wingnuts are disavowing him. And the “legitimate” rape comment (or “honest rape” as Ron Paul called it) is horrible, but it doesn’t get to the underlying principle. The real problem is that his “no exceptions” belief has become mainstream in the Republican party. Digby at Hullabaloo
And from Joan Walsh at Salon: Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, joined Akin in co-sponsoring HR3, a bill designed to redefine rape, to limit access to public abortion funding only to cases of “forcible rape” (exactly who would be making the distinction between “forcible rape” and, I don’t know, “illegitimate rape,” was never defined).
Regardless of his future, Akin himself has made clear that he is in his party’s mainstream. He didn’t mean to use the term “legitimate rape,” he told Mike Huckabee during a radio interview. “I was talking about forcible rape. I used the wrong word.”
Will Akin drop out of the Senatorial race? Akin is emblematic of the GOP, not aberrant. Even if he does drop out and let his party choose a replacement, Senator McCaskill and pro-choice activists and basically anyone who realizes rape is bad shouldn’t let anyone forget his comments. Sarah Jaffe at Alternet
Contact info for Rep. Akin here. He wants to talk “Timeless Principles” with you!
Sign any one of a number of petitions taking a stand against Rep. Akin: