GOP Senate Candidate is Confused About Lady Parts

Rep. Todd Akin, who’s running for Senate in Missouri, has some interesting theories about rape and pregnancy. He recently claimed that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy.

While discussing why he opposes abortion in any circumstance, including rape, Akin said that, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Wow. Just … wow. That statement literally makes no sense. First of all, a 1996 study estimated that 32,101 pregnancies occur from rape each year. Secondly, ‘legitimate rape’? What is that? No, seriously, what makes one rape legitimate and another one, um, illegitimate? And who decides what qualifies? Not to mention, in what ways does Akin think a woman’s body has to shut down becoming pregnant through rape? Does he think that women’s reproductive systems are capable of some sort of magical sorcery by which the vagina, or maybe the uterus or fallopian tubes, excrete some amazing sperm-killing fluid? Or maybe little spikes shoot out of the cervix, impaling thousands of sperm in one fell swoop? Or maybe he thinks the entire system just plays dead, like a well-trained dog performing a party trick.

Akin has since released a statement, saying that he misspoke and that he has “deep empathy” for women that are raped and abused. No word yet on where – or if – he learned the basics of biology and anatomy.

About Sarah:
Sarah's first book, Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement, will be out March 2013. For more information, follow her on Twitter @saraherdreich, or check out saraherdreich.com.

Comments

  1. Ok, this guy obviously has no idea of anything that concerns the female body. So what is legitimite rape, like you said? The article is great but Todd Akin is more than clueless.

  2. Gotta say I like the idea of spikes shooting out! But it blows my mind that such ignorance has the chutzpah (or chitzpah) to say such nonsense out loud.

  3. Akin’s argument is similar to the views people held around the 17th century (and after that) where women could not get pregnant unless they had a orgasm. Therefore, women who were raped and became pregnant were blamed, because the assumption was that these women did not “mind”, or even liked the rape.

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