The GOP is inching closer towards the extreme in each election cycle. Missouri’s own Todd Akin, who recently got the party’s nod to take on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the general election, somehow believes a woman’s mysterious body can tell the difference between legit rape and consensual sex.
How so? Well, he actually believes our body can somehow distinguish between the two types of sperm, thus automatically rejecting a potential pregnancy brought on by a legit rape.
Rep. Todd Akin, a tea party candidate who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri’s closely watched race, was asked in a local television interview about whether he supported access to abortion in the case of rape.
“If abortion could be considered in the case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother's life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI-TV host Charles Jaco, in a clip disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a 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.”
According to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, an estimated 32,101 pregnancies resulted from rape each year. The journal put the national rape-related pregnancy rate at 5% among victims ages 12 to 45.
In a comment later posted on Facebook, Akin did not explicitly retract his view that rape would rarely result in pregnancy.
“It’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” he said. “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.”
Later, he added a more explicit tweet: “To be clear, all of us understand that rape can result in pregnancy & I have great empathy for all victims. I regret misspeaking.”
It’s all fine and dandy if he regrets misspeaking, but why no apology for offending the thousands of women who become pregnant after rape?
Also, in other words, if our mysterious female organs and hormones don’t work succeed in rejecting conception from a rape, then we should be forced to carry the aftermath of a rape? We should not be allowed to follow through with having an abortion? You know, that right to privacy that was granted to us in 1973? Hm, okay…
It nonetheless blows my mind that Republicans of this nature are able to ascend to popularity and power within their ranks. It makes one wonder if the Grand Old Party’s base is either that extreme in their views on abortion and rape. Or, are the party’s base, activists and politicians really that hypocritical when it comes to preserving the privacy and warding off government intrusion on the rights and liberties of some, but no for others? Are the rights of women and sexual, racial and religious minorities not as worthy to protect from government invasion than the rights of white men and fetuses?
The rise in and popularity of this brand of extremism in the Republican Party can not and should not be taken lightly. These mostly crotchety old men are hell-bent on controlling a woman’s uterus from their state legislatures and are pretty much game to do anything–including forcing us to carry a fetus from a rape–to shove their reactionary, anti-woman agenda down the throats of their constituents.
What do you think these new crop of anti-woman, Tea Party-backed politicians say about the current atmosphere in the Republican Party?