Our completely incorrect biology lesson today comes not from Chateau Heartiste or The Spearhead or EvoPsychBullshitBeliever997 on Reddit but from an actual elected official with influence in the real world: Republican Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri, currently his party’s nominee for Senate.
In a recent interview with KTVI-TV, the Fox affiliate in St. Louis, he explained that the ladies just don’t get pregnant from rape — well, “legitimate rape” anyway. As he put it:
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.
As The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake notes, this whole “rape as birth control” thing is not actually, you know, true:
Akin’s claim is one that pops up occasionally in social conservative circles. A federal judge nominated by President Bush in the early 2000s had said similar things, as have state lawmakers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. …
According to a 1996 study, approximately 32,000 pregnancies result from rape annually in the United States, and about 5 percent of rape victims are impregnated.
Talking Points Memo notes that this isn’t the first time Akin has suggested that
some types of rape are more worthy of protections than others. As a state legislator, Akin voted in 1991 for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it might be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,” according to … the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Akin: making up shit to deny rape victims their rights since 1991!
Currently, Akin has a big lead in the polls over his Democratic rival, sitting Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Here’s the relevant portion of Akin’s interview; you can find the whole thing at the Talking Points Memo link above.