Them's Akin words

By now, you've probably heard about Missouri Senatorial candidate Todd Akin talking about abortion and rape, saying
if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that down

It's really disturbing, on several levels, not least of which is failing to even have a high school-level understanding of biology.

But really, what disturbs me most is that he put together an apology.  And it was a pretty good apology.  But he was apologizing for the wrong thing.  He still thinks, despite the furor, and demands that he step down from the race, that the only thing wrong with what he said is that he said "legitimate rape", rather than "forcible rape".

Leaving aside that 'legitimate' should never, ever be used to modify 'rape', is there anything fundamentally different between rape at knife- or gun-point and date rape?  Can a woman's body tell the difference, so that it knows to "shut... that down"?

He said that pregnancies from rape are rare, and I certainly believed that, but I can't see how that would matter.  Rare or not, do you really want a woman to be forced to carry a reminder in her body, for nine months, of what was, quite likely, her worst experience?  Plus, of course, I now know that it's a lot less rare than I though (over 30k annually).  I assume that number includes a lot of cases of statutory rape and incest.

And that's ignoring that a woman's only ways of "shutting that down" are the morning after pill or abortion (clue for you, Mr Akin: neither of those are built into a woman's body).

I wonder if Mr Akin would be willing to answer one question:  what is the mechanism behind the woman "shutting that down"?  Or, to put it another way, how does it happen?

He's had a lot of time to think about it, so it's an easy question, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment