Todd Akin Apologizes To Rape Survivors, And Then Says Some Of Them Are Faking It
I’m sure that it’s been a whirlwind couple of days for Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin. He enraged the world by claiming that women can not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” His opinion was based on a questionable medical theory that women’s bodies have a type of super-secret “secretion” that kills sperm if the woman really doesn’t want to be having sex. The underlying implication that angered men and women everywhere was that if you did get pregnant, you somehow really wanted to raped.
After justifiable backlash and outrage that included responses from both President Obama and Mitt Romney, Akin began the process of apologizing for and withdrawing his comments. First, he claimed that he had “misspoke” in his original statement, and that he really feels sympathy for rape victims. Then, he appeared on Mike Huckabee‘s radio program where he clarified that he meant to say “forcible” rape, as opposed to “legitimate rape.” Earlier in his career, Todd Akin proposed a bill, co-sponsored by none other than Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, that looked to redefine the meaning of rape to only include “forcible rape.” The apology tour concluded with Akin’s apology ad that claimed he misspoke and now fully understands women’s anatomies.
However, now that the dust has settled and Akin’s troublesome original statement has garnered support from the extremely far right, Akin seems to be having a change of heart on that whole “apology” business. Immediately after showing his concern and sympathy for rape victims multiple times, Todd Akin is going back to his original “legitimate claim.” [tagbox tag=”rape”]
During a follow-up interview with CNN’s Dana Loesch, Akin made this statement:
You know, Dr. Willkie has just released a statement and part of his letter, I think he just stated it very clearly. He said, of courseÂ Akin never used the word legitimate to refer to the rapist, but to false claims like those made in Roe v. WadeÂ and I think that simplifies itâ€¦.. There isnâ€™t any legitimate rapistâ€¦. [I was] making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those that basically created Roe v. Wade.
Akin completely ignored that he had already said “legitimate” was meant to be “forcible.” Now, he was merely excluding all those fakers, who weren’t really raped. And by citing Dr. Wilke,Â Akin is actually sticking to his original idea of a super-secret lady-mechanism that shuts down pregnancy in the form of rape. Dr. Wilkie is the controversial author of a much-cited article from 1999 titled “Rape Pregnancies Are Rare,” where he explains,
“One of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that’s physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle.Â To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy.”
As the New York Times explained, most medical professionals completely disagree with Dr. Wilkie and refer to his views as “nonsense.”
So, Todd Akin has gone from “legitimate rape” to “forcible rape” and on to “false rape.” It’s interesting to see how he’ll explain his view that raped women should be forced to carry pregnancies they had no choice in to term next. One thing is for sure, for a man who supposedly has a lot of sympathy for rape victims, he doesn’t seem to trust them or understand the difficulty they go through at all.