Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey said that Todd Aikin was “partly right” in his analysis of why women can’t conceive after a rape.
After reading this, you will understand why the GOP deserves to be a minority party.
“[In] Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say, ‘I was raped’: A scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus nonlegitimate rape,” Gingrey said.
Gingrey, a co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus, continued: “I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”
No, no, and no. In any state of the union, a 15-year old girl who gets pregnant has been “legitimately” raped. By law, the girl cannot consent. Perhaps Gingrey would feel a little differently about it being not so horrible if it was his 15 year old daughter?
It hardly matters. Aikin wasn’t referring to a 15 year old girl, he was referring to any woman and whether her rape was “legitimate” or not. And the fallacy that pregnancies from rape is rare is belied by the statistics. One study showed that more than 32,000 pregnancies occur in the US every year as a result of rape. There is no magical biological mechanism that prevents a woman who has been raped from conceiving. It is generally accepted that there is no statistical difference between women who conceive naturally or as a result of rape.
To say that Aikin — and Gingrey’s — views about a woman’s inability to become pregnant after rape have been discredited is an understatement. Gingrey is spreading an old wives tale — a misogynistic myth that pro-life advocates shamelessly keep spreading despite clear evidence that they are badly mistaken.
Gingrey backtracked on those comments, saying they were “misconstrued:”
“At a breakfast yesterday morning, I was asked why Democrats made abortion a central theme of the presidential campaign. I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. [Richard] Mourdock. In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued,” he said in the statement.
Gingrey noted he is an OB-GYN, then discussed what he tells infertile couples.
“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate,’” Gingrey said, according to the paper.
He continued: “So he was partially right wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak.’
So, Gingrey “does not defend” Aikin but says he’s “partially right?” Sounds like he’s defending him to me. And then showing why Aikin was completely wrong after saying he was partially right? You wonder when Gingrey’s head stops spinning where he is going to end up.
This confused, rambling explanation is why the Republican party ought to have a mandatory seminar for every member of congress and candidate on what to say when confronted with this question about rape. The reason the media keeps asking Republicans about this is because many of them believe in fairy tales. It makes good copy and reveals some Republicans to be idiots.
It may be unfair they don’t ask Democrats the same questions, but who expects fairness from the media? Little children and some pro-life Republicans who believe in magic.