Op-Ed: Congressman Todd Akin makes claims about rape pregnancies
Today during the Jaco Report Republican Congressman Todd Akin stated that it is his understanding that a woman's body will block pregnancy during a 'legitimate rape'.
When it comes to abortion American politicians often throw out facts and trivia to defend their positions. That happened on today's Jaco Report
when Rep. Todd Akin said, “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin believes that abortion should not be a legal option for rape victims adding that if a woman did get pregnant the rapist should be the one being punished and not the child.
When a person in authority makes statements like Akin did today it is a slap in the face to the over 32,000 women a year
in the United States alone that deal with an unwanted pregnancy because of rape. Victims of rape already deal with psychological issues from their attacks like self-blame, shame and isolation. Victims of rape are also more likely to attempt or commit suicide.
In 2006 a study by Pandora's Project
found that 4.7 percent of rapes result in pregnancy. Most of these pregnancies resulted in rapes from a known and related attacker. The study found that a third of women continue with these pregnancies and keep the infant. A small number also have the child and put it up for adoption.
Many victims of rape do not discover the pregnancy until after they are 12 weeks pregnant. This can happen because of denial that the attack took place. Often rape victims do not tell anyone, including their partners about the attack.
who have consenting partners may not know who the father of their fetus is. If a woman has had sex with their consenting partner near the time of their attack it is difficult to determine this but DNA samplings can be done on an unborn child and a consenting partner.
Christian Life Resources
, a pro-life group, claims that studies that show rape pregnancies in the 5 to 10 percent range are wrong. Claiming that some women will falsely say that they have been raped when they find out they are pregnant, women not admitting to be raped and the other spectrum of possibilities skewer the results of these studies. When they break down the factors Christian Life Resources say that such pregnancies are very rare.
Akin is not the only political figure to make claims about rape pregnancies. Federal Judge James Leon Holmes said in 1979 that “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”
The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are "one in millions and millions and millions," said state Rep. Stephen Freind
, R-Delaware County, the Legislature's leading abortion foe.
The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to "secrete a certain secretion" that tends to kill sperm.
Don't forget Rick Santorum
who stated that if a woman gets pregnant from a rape it's a gift from God.
There are four things that link the above statements;
1. The speaker was a man.
2. The speaker was a Christian.
3. The speaker was a Republican.
4. The speaker was wrong.
There is no magic internal conception that comes into play when a woman is raped. The cervix does not form a steel door to the invading sperm.
Pregnancy can happen just a few days a month. Rapists don't have a special radar to know if a woman is fertile when they attack. If sperm meets egg a pregnancy can take place. Simple biology not divine intervention.
Not every woman who becomes pregnant because of rape will opt for an abortion but for those who do not want to carry a fetus they should have the option to have a choice. A victim of rape has enough emotional baggage to deal with from their assault to have to worry about if they live in a state that only caters to one belief system. It's not a religion thing, it's not a Roe vs. Wade thing, it's personal. Each victim who faces such an unwanted pregnancy has to deal with how they will respond, not the politicians, who will never have to personally go through that decision themselves. If they do then it is divine intervention- men can't get pregnant without it.