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Mothering › Groups › February 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › The unbelievably AWFUL things this Congressman said about rape!

The unbelievably AWFUL things this Congressman said about rape!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Below is a story I cut and pasted from my local patch.com news:

Just when you think congressional reputation couldn’t get any lower, along comes Republican Congressman Todd Akin. This legislative ‘genius’ -- who has been sent to Washington six times by a segment of the electorate from Missouri, and is now running for Senator in that state -- made the following statement during an interview with a local FOX television news station:

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape is] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Where do we even begin?!

[Admin note: Edited to comply with copyright guidelines. Please adhere to the guidelines when sharing published articles and information] 

post #2 of 19

I'm confused as to why we're discussing politics on a pregnancy forum, but I'll bite. Akin said some unbelievably ignorant and insensitive things. The GOP has defunded his campaign and asked him to resign, and he appears unwilling to heed their call- which is also quite foolish of him, but in an election year where the choice of candidates will either be someone who supports things like traditional marriage + life and someone who supports homosexual marriage and choice, I'm sure he feels uneasy leaving the seat open for his opponent. (Note: I do believe he made his own political bed and should lie in it. I'm just saying, it's a big election year and there are more issues at stake than abortion rights.)

 

I don't want to get flamed here, but I am as pro-life as it comes. As I marvel at the new life inside of me RIGHT NOW, it boggles my mind that the law (and women) don't consider their embryo (later fetus) as a real "person" unless it's convenient for them. In the case of rape, I do sympathize immensely with women who find themselves pregnant by their attacker. I cannot imagine the pain, struggle, frustration, et al that they go through and I think every last effort should be made to stop men from raping, from becoming rapers, and from propagating rape culture. But the fact remains that I still consider these women's embryos/fetuses to be people. In fact, I know someone who is the product of rape and she is very glad to be alive, as you can imagine! There is special heartache and pain for both her and her mother, but both are alive and grateful to have each other.

 

For me, it's not politics. It's not "policy". It's not "choice". It's life and death. (By the way, I do know something about "unwanted" pregnancy. I had an abortion at age eighteen that I regret very much to this day. How I wish I'd had the courage to see my pregnancy through, to give my child life, and to choose adoption instead of death.)

 

That's my two cents, adding to a discussion that's probably inappropriate for this forum.

post #3 of 19

We can't debate abortion on MDC, it's against the user agreement.

 

 

While this post does belong in current events, not the feb ddc, sometimes people dont feel comfortable with the whole board reading their opinions, so I can see why it's here.

 

As someone who has been raped, by someone I knew, while intoxicated, I still feel like the term "illegitimate rape" is SO completely inappropriate. There was nothing illegitimate about my rape. Nothing. And while I didnt get pregnant, it had NOTHING to do with my body rejecting the sperm due to the fact that I really just didnt want to have his baby.

post #4 of 19

ok, yeah... i'm only responding here because I live in missouri and the whole issue is driving me insane..  i think it bothers me that the whole country is soooo up in arms over this .. i feel like its a missouri problem, we're the ones who have to vote/not vote for him and his democrat opponent supports partial birth abortion (and many other things that are so polar opposite of akin) so our choices are limited here and this election IS a big deal..  the missouri republic assembly has chosen to support akin .. as have other not-big name republicans in the state.. so having him drop out is not as clear cut as they are showing on the national news ..

 

I took his comments, giving him possibly more credit than is necessary, not as a woman's body rejecting rape-sperm, but as an extremely stressful situation delaying ovulation  - that DOES happen.  extreme stress can also cause miscarriage in some cases, depending on the victims recovery..  and i would assume rape is an extreme stress type of situtaion.. if the timing were just right, it would still cause pregnancy but if a woman was going to ovulate days later, the stress could very well delay ovulation .. even with out this, pregnancy results from one time sex 5% of the time - I can see where someone might consider that 'rare' ..  plus, he apologized, chances are while most women don't agree with men legislating what they can do with their bodies, i don't think he is really a bad guy..  AND i don't think his beliefs will ever be main stream enough for legislation to pass enforcing them.  though the fact that people are so defensive makes me wonder if it is really a threat..  that seems to be the case with a lot of things..  and for those who don't know, it is fairly difficult (as i understand it due mostly to lack of providers because of legislation that makes it hard to become a provider)  to get an aborition in missouri and the abortion rates here are well below national average ..  

 

Akin is being consistent if nothing else, he has always been pro-life no matter what..  people can get upset about it, but its not new information .. plus there are TONS of other things about him that people are upset about (if you're here in missouri watching the constant political adds....) and last week before all this, he was ahead in the polls so missourians must agree with him on a lot of things..

 

and while i agree this is not a topic for this forum, i would never respond to a thread like this on all of mothering.. but i will talk to you ladies about it , i needed to vent a bit anyway..  :)

post #5 of 19

But, the point isnt that he suggests that a woman's body may not get pregnant, the super offensive part saying "legitimate rape", which suggests that some rapes are not legitimate, meaning what? That date rape isnt "real rape" or that if someone "really wanted it" then it's not rape? What exactly does he mean by "legitimate rape" vs. rapes that aren't legitimate? Was my rape "not legitimate" because I was drunk, or because I said yes to date, therefore I was opening myself up to letting some dude make me drinks that were way stronger than I thought they were so that he could have sex with me after I passed out? Are "legitimate rapes" only rapes where some guy drags a girl into an alley and rapes her in an extremely traumatic way that leaves her curled up in a corner fearful of the outside world somewhere, movie-style?

 

Because, let's face it, that is not how most rape happens.
 

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

But, the point isnt that he suggests that a woman's body may not get pregnant, the super offensive part saying "legitimate rape", which suggests that some rapes are not legitimate, meaning what? That date rape isnt "real rape" or that if someone "really wanted it" then it's not rape? What exactly does he mean by "legitimate rape" vs. rapes that aren't legitimate? Was my rape "not legitimate" because I was drunk, or because I said yes to date, therefore I was opening myself up to letting some dude make me drinks that were way stronger than I thought they were so that he could have sex with me after I passed out? Are "legitimate rapes" only rapes where some guy drags a girl into an alley and rapes her in an extremely traumatic way that leaves her curled up in a corner fearful of the outside world somewhere, movie-style?

 

Because, let's face it, that is not how most rape happens.
 


yeah, I don't know what he was thinking there, i would like to think he meant rape vs not rape  - plain and simple, or possibly rape vs statutory rape with a minor .. ? i don't know - i had a similar experience with a date rape and the very first time i heard his comments i didn't take it to mean that what happened to me was not legitimate rape, of course, now that EVERYONE is saying that, its something to think about.. but i don't know what he really meant and he didn't really explain in his 'apology' ..  i will admit i tend to give people the benefit of the doubt nearly all the time so maybe i'm giving him too much credit for not being an a-hole.. but that is just what i do ..     

post #7 of 19

yeahthat.gif to Holly.

post #8 of 19

I hope he meant it that way, but as it is written as "forcible rape" in the Human Life Inititave under H.R. 3 which is a bill that he sponsered. The language was changed in that bill after public outcry of that language. Rape is rape. It does not need violence to justify it- Im glad the other republican politicians are coming to that understanding, but before this public outcry of this language surrounding rape, it was completely okay to say thing like "forcible rape" or "legitimate rape," which makes it okay to have varying degrees of severity of rape. IMO, this supports and promotes rape culture, because what it means for women is that if they arent beaten down and traumatically raped then their rape doesnt really count.

 

 

Quote:
"Under H.R. 3, the only victims of “forcible rape” would qualify for federally funded abortions.  And while “forcible rape” isn’t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that don’t involve overt violence—say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity."
post #9 of 19

Also agree with Holly. The issue here isn't really about a pro-life / pro-choice debate. 

 

I dunno, this topic of discussion may or may not belong in a DDC. I do feel like as a pregnant mama stuff like this is especially relevant to me and especially upsetting. 

 

(I also have found that, being pregnant for the first time has given me a tremendous amount of deepend compassion and understanding for women on both sides of the abortion debate. But that is definetly a different thread). 

post #10 of 19

I edited the OP to comply with copyright guidelines. Please review the guidelines (linked in my edit note above). Thanks. :)

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you for editing the post! I wholeheartedly apologize if I offended anyone, please believe that was not my intention at all! I did NOT want to start an abortion debate among a group of happily-pregnant women! I wish I could delete the whole thread!

 

I was posting this because I was stunned by the totally BIZARRE statements he made re: conception, like being told by "doctors" that "the female body has a way of shutting these things down" Huh??? Not sure what planet he's from, but here on EARTH, the female body can't distinguish forced sex from consensual sex and women cannot simply "will" their bodies to not get pregnant. Scary that this is an elected official!

 

Again, to anyone who found this offensive or upsetting at all, please accept my sincerest apology! heartbeat.gif

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dia View Post

(I also have found that, being pregnant for the first time has given me a tremendous amount of deepend compassion and understanding for women on both sides of the abortion debate. But that is definetly a different thread). 

yeahthat.gif  100%. 

post #13 of 19

I just have to say.. man... if only ignorance from a politician was a crime.  Like really..did he not take a basic health class?  

I have a lot to say and Im trying to keep with the polite MDC guidelines.   If Romney can not encourage that guy to step down and run away with his tail between his legs... than IMO he has no business being a leader of a country.  

 

I am actually ashamed ..like my husband is Canadian and we are 30 minutes from the border and well... ya. I am completely  disgusted.

post #14 of 19

Hello, Ladies. I am not due in February 2013, but came across this thread from a google search. From a couple of the comments, I am wondering if you all think this is a private board. I wanted to let you all know that it's not private to read, but I did have to ask to join. I may be misunderstanding the way the boards work, though, so please forgive me if I have.

 

My google search was "delayed ovulation rape" and this was one of the top hits. Then I read your thoughts and realized that I simply must correct the record.

 

Akin's use of "legitimate rape" is cause for offense. I can understand why people still use such terms, but they really shouldn't.


As for Akin's comments about women's bodies being able to delay ovulation, that is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. It really is.


It doesn't always happen and a woman can't actually will it to happen, but the human body is an amazing thing and it can, indeed, delay ovulation (and labor/birth) when it comes under stress or trauma.


People who use Fertility Awareness Methods can look at their charts and actually see the documentation of delayed ovulation due to stress.

 

To the lady who was raped while unconscious, your body probably wouldn't have delayed ovulation because your body was not aware of what was happening. A violent, terror-filled rape, however, could most certainly delay ovulation. While both situations are real rape, they are still different situations.

 

So, hate Akin for using "legitimate rape", but don't hate him for bringing up scientific facts about biology. I suspect he doesn't understand exactly how it works, but he was correct when he said that docs have said that "women's bodies can shut that down".

 

/stepping down off my soapbox now. I just really want people to understand how the human body actually works.
 

post #15 of 19

sure, it CAN happen, but tell that to the 32,000+ women who get pregnant from rape every year. Let alone the ones that arent reported.

post #16 of 19

yeahthat.gif X 100000000000000

 

Also it's pretty obvious he wasn't just trying to educate the public about "how the human body actually works". His remarks were very much meant to undermine reproductive choice.

post #17 of 19

i wish there was a way to block an entire thread. this is completely wearing me out just seeing the title when i log into the ddc group. greensad.gif

post #18 of 19
Sandyone, of course the members here know this is a public forum.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

My God - how I regret EVER starting this stupid thread! Can't we just delete the whole damn thing?? Ugh...I sincerely apologize to all of you for opening this pandora's box. However, I must say - in reference to Sandyone's "how the human actual body works" statement - yes, it IS true that stress can delay ovulation. And, if you are such an expert, I'm sure that you must know that there is a 5-6 day window, ending on the day of ovulation, in which contraception occurs. The probability of conception ranges from 10% when intercourse occurs five days before ovulation to 33% when it occurs on the day of ovulation itself. So for 1/3 of all pregnancies, intercourse results in conception after the woman has already ovulated. So that would leave 10,600+ women whose rape resulted in pregnancy SOL (and of course, that number does not include the unreported, and "unconscious" victims). Here is a link to one of many actual scientific research studies that substantiate my claims of "how the human body actually works." 

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