Todd Akin – Rape Expert?

What is Senate candidate Todd Akin’s stance on abortion in the case of rape?

“If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

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The context comes from an interview that Akin gave last week with KTVI-TV when he proceeded to further dig himself into a hole by addressing the topic of abortion in saying that women don't tend to get pregnant when they are “legitimately raped.” This is his rationale for supporting a ban on abortion by explaining that when a woman is raped her body magically loses its ability to become pregnant and, therefore, problem solved! There is no need for abortion to be legal in cases of rape or incest because it apparently never happens!

In an attempt to sugarcoat the situation Akin later admitted that he misspoke, which in my opinion is laughable considering most politicians are no dummies when it comes to carefully answering questions about hot button topics. Of course, this may be wishful thinking on my behalf, but it seems to me he back peddled his ignorant statement knowing all too well that his opposition (and women around the world) would be damned if he didn’t proceed to eat his words.

How can this man go home every night and look at his wife, mother or daughters and still hold such a misinformed view towards rape? Not only that, but an apparent misunderstanding of biology. One might also wonder if Akin’s opinion would change in if a loved one was a rape victim. The line needs to be drawn between religious views and political posturing. Todd Akin has no right to pose his religious views on the bodies of women.

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An article in the Huffington Post titled “Jimmy Carter Warns Religion and Politics Are Getting Too Cozy” discusses just that. “There are pastors openly calling for members to vote a certain way," the 86-year-old ex-President said. "That's a serious breakdown in the principle of separation of church and state." Akin is evidently unable to remove himself from his religious beliefs about abortion when discussing the legal definition of rape.

He seems to be saying that only those who are “legitimately raped” should be protected by laws allowing for abortion in cases of rape or incest and only those criminals who are guilty of committing “legitimate rape” should then face punishment. I am very curious as to what exactly Akin’s differentiation is between rape and “legitimate rape,” but am not interested in his apparent rape/abortion expertise stemming from his religious viewpoint. Plus, isn’t all rape illegal and, therefore, not legitimate by definition?

Photo originally published by the Toronto Star.

To make matters worse, Akin concludes his groundbreaking take on rape by stating, "But let's assume maybe that didn't work (referring to the female body shutting down) or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."

Thank you for not only stating the obvious, but for using the phrase "some punishment" so loosely. You’ve justified your opposition to abortion in an attempt to distinguish between different kinds of rape by making it clear that you don’t understand that all rape IS rape.


What about the health and well-being of the mother and where does that come into play? Sorry Todd Akin. Shift your focus back where it belongs and leave your religious convictions out of the picture. Not to mention, for someone with a spot on the House Science Committee your basic misunderstanding of human biology is pretty scary.