Remember Todd Akin? He is the Republican candidate for the Senate from Missouri who two years ago tanked his candidacy when he said that pregnancy from a rape is rare because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Of course it was no surprise to the rest of the nation when that comment went over like a lead balloon and Akin issued an apology soon after saying that he had “used the wrong words in the wrong way” insisting that he had not meant it in the way it was received.
Akin is back now, about to release a book titled “Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom” due in bookstores on July 15. In the book which Politico has received an advance copy of Akin retracts his apology claiming that he was right all along.
“My comment about a woman’s body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject.”
Akin defends his statement in the book, writing:
“Taking my comments in order: When a woman claims to have been raped, the police determine if the evidence supports the legal definition of ‘rape.’ Is it a legitimate claim of rape or an excuse to avoid an unwanted pregnancy?”
This is a willful distortion of the methods employed by the police and the reasons they use these methods, the police have to consider evidence that will be admissible and effective in a courtroom, they are not, as Akin suggests doubting the woman’s word or thinking that she is trying to avoid an unwanted pregnancy which she can do without alleging rape.
The stress that doctors discuss is the stress often experienced by women who are trying to get pregnant, not the stress of being assaulted, in fact a study conducted in 2001 of 405 rape victims between the ages of 12 and 45 found that 6.4 percent became pregnant slightly more than twice the rate of other women who became pregnant as the result of a consensual one night stand, while doctors caution that this is not indicative of a higher likelihood of pregnancy from rape it certainly suggests that it is at least as likely in the case of rape as it is in the case of consensual relations.
With the mid-term elections mere months away and the party leadership scrambling to find ways to lure women and minorities who have all but deserted the party to vote for their candidates they cannot be very thrilled with the timing of Akin’s defiant stance.
h/t: Think Progress.