A Congressman bestowed upon my laptop keyboard the gift of procrastination.
I have to talk about what he said, because it has to be talked about.
It has to be addressed.
It has to be viewed as a part of what is fundamentally wrong with the way decisions about health care are made in this country.
It has to be exposed for what it is. Ignorance.
Todd Akin, a Republican Congressman from Missouri who is running for the Senate seat, just made a complete ass out of himself.
In an interview, he said the following:
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 said that even in the worst-case scenario—when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail—abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
"Let's assume that maybe that didn't work, or something," Akin said. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
Almost immediately, he tried to amend his statement though he's firm on his point. And almost immediately, the Romney/Ryan campaign publicly stated they were not of the same opinions as the gentleman from Missouri. If the Mormon/Catholic ticket is jumping ship on an abortion issue, you know you've screwed something up pretty significantly.
There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don't even know where to begin.
First, who the hell gets to decide what is and is not "legitimate" rape? Is there a series of secret cameras to film all non-consensual sexual acts where someone gets to be judge and jury and determine whether that particular rape was legit? If a woman (or man, or child for that matter) is forced against their will to engage in a sexual act, IT IS RAPE. No discussion necessary.
I don't care if someone is wearing a short skirt. I don't care if they went on a date. I don't care if he bought her a few drinks or a $100 lobster dinner. I don't care if they are even married. Rape is rape. To suggest otherwise is a blatant insult to any past, present or future victim.
I know women who have been raped. I know men too. I know women who became pregnant through rape. I once found myself pinned down by someone who wanted to do the same to me. How dare this man act as though there are rapes which are legitimate and those that are not?
Mr. Akin, with all due respect, I'm assuming that you've never been victimized. You have never been forced into a dark corner and violated. You do not have a right to an opinion on this issue. Shut your mouth.
Second, there is absolutely no proof that a woman's body has protective mechanisms that kick in during rape to protect against pregnancy. We don't have voodoo vaginas. There isn't a gatekeeper in my uterus that opens the door only to sperm with an invitation. I lack the ability to shoot laser beams out of my hooha at intruders. I have a hard time with those who actually believe in magic instead of science.
I have no clue where these men gets these asinine ideas. Sadly, Akin isn't alone here. Rep. Friend said something quite similar back in March. What is shocking and appalling is that these men are elected officials. People actually voted for leaders this ignorant and uneducated. People will continue to vote for them.
Over 30,000 women become pregnant every year as the result of rape. I guess their lasers must have misfired. Either that, or they weren't legitimately raped. They must have wanted it. Obviously.
Third, your statement about punishing the rapist and not the child ignores the victim here - the woman! You know, the one who was raped. The one who is now pregnant completely against her will, with a child fathered by a violent sexual predator.
For now, I'll ignore the fact that mental illnesses and such that lead to the development of rapists can indeed be the result of genetics. Genetics that you would willingly pass down to these babies.
Mr. Akin, let's pretend your daughter is legitimately raped and finds herself pregnant. (I don't even know if he has a daughter, this is purely to play devil's advocate). You'd honestly force your own daughter to go through an entire pregnancy for this? To be a captive for nine months, reminded daily of the violation of her body? Then, you'd expect her to either raise this child born of hate and violence or give it up for adoption to a willing family who has no idea that their new child's father may have passed down his violent sexual predatory tendencies to that baby?
Extend the logic on this, and it doesn't get better. You are willingly punishing the victim here even more, taking away her right to do as she wishes with her body just as the rapist did. You are victimizing her.
In this day and age, I am occasionally rendered speechless by the idiocy of others. Yesterday was literally one of those times when I watched and I questioned, did he really just say that???
Yes, he did.
Men like this must be forced from office. For the sake of the victims, for the sake of all women, for the sake of their own daughters who might someday find themselves one of the 30,000.
This cannot be allowed to continue.