The recent outlandish statements made by Rep. Todd Akin R-Missouri, about the ability a woman’s body has to prevent a pregnancy from occurring during what he terms a “legitimate” rape, are not only preposterous but the very idea is emotionally traumatizing to rape victims.
Apparently, the source of his false information is a doctor by the name of John C. Willke , the author of a 1985 book entitled Abortion: Questions and Answers
. The fact that Dr. Willke has been discredited by all reputable doctors, should have been enough to dissuade Rep. Akin from espousing this ridiculous notion, but unfortunately it was not. There is no science to support the claim that a woman’s reproductive organs will somehow know that an unwelcome intruder is trying to plant a seed and therefore her body will create an infertile environment. I am not a medical doctor but I can certainly interpret the numbers and gather information from the actual experts to help reveal the facts. The pregnancy rate for rape victims is 5%, which is the very same rate for consensual, unprotected sex. The fertilization of an egg and a sperm is not as simple as Dr. Willke or Todd Akin seem to believe.
While the uproar has made Mr. Akin a household name, and one that is usually accompanied by eye rolls of disrespect, it has also stirred up emotions in women who have been victims of this awful crime. Despite the facts, and even with all evidence pointing to the contrary, many rape victims feel somehow responsible for what has happened to them. Old misogynistic ideas about a woman wearing the wrong clothes or being in the wrong place at the wrong time linger in the ether. While it is true that we have come a long way from these antiquated beliefs, these are still sentiments often expressed by women during therapy and struggling with Post Traumatic Stress.
To make a statement that in someway implies that if a woman becomes pregnant as a result of a rape she is somehow a willing participant (because her body didn’t enlist some miraculous and fictional defense mechanism) is irresponsible at best and in my opinion, downright cruel. Treatment for rape victims can be a long and painful process and always involves removing the blame from the victim.
This is clearly a religious and political argument hiding behind some bogus science. I can respect a difference of opinion, even when that opinion is vastly different from my own, but to back up your argument with false information that is designed to manipulate and causes emotional distress only makes you even less credible.
Shame on you Mr. Akin for using a public forum to spread lies in an attempt to persuade people to your way of thinking. Reasonable minds can differ on the very emotionally laden topic of abortion but critical thinkers are capable of an honest debate.
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