By Gaetana Drake
We’ve all heard the outrageous comments by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri), claiming that women don’t get pregnant as a result of a legitimate rape because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.” First of all, I wonder what a “legitimate” rape is….it seems to exclude statutory rape and incest. Did Mr. Akin skip science and health ed class? Here are some other ridiculous comments by republicans:
Representative Steve King (R) has not spoken out against Mr. Akin because he seems to agree with him. He recently told an Iowa reporter that “I’ve never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest”. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found that “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.” That would be the statutory rape that Mr. King doesn’t believe causes pregnancies.
Federal Judge James Leon Holmes, a Bush appointee, said in an article published circa 1997: “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”
Dr. Richard Dobbins, who works in the emergency department at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch in 2006, “I think that life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm and egg line up”. Dobbins also questioned the need for emergency contraception in rape cases, saying that most women “are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.” I wonder….do rapists only rape women who are not in their “fertile period”?
In 1995, Republican Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee: “The facts show that people who are raped – who are truly raped – the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant”.
Representative Stephen Freind, (R-Delaware County) said “the odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are ‘one in millions and millions’. The reason, he said, “is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion’ that tends to kill sperm.”
Texas oilman Clayton Williams once ran against Ann Richards for Governor of Texas. During the campaign he said “Rape is like the weather, if it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”
Idaho Senator Chuck Winder (R) has made this unusual comment. “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that the physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.” Apparently in his mind, it’s part of “normal relations in a marriage” for a husband to rape his wife.
The GOP has finalized it’s party platform for this election. It includes NO exception for federal funding for abortions for victims of rape or incest. They are finally being honest enough to tell us that their goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade. Mitt Romney has said he would sign a “personhood amendment” which would effectively ban the birth control pill and the IUD. These are the most commonly used and most effective forms of birth control.
Paul Ryan along with Todd Akin (women can shut down that function) co-sponsored a nation-wide personhood amendment that tried to outline the differences in types of rape. Statutory rape, incest and forcible rape are all different categories in their minds. Forcible rape is the only kind where they would allow the woman to have an abortion. The wording in their proposal also required a woman to be able to “prove the rape was against her will.” Will America soon be like Pakistan where it isn’t rape unless it’s witnessed by four other men?
Women still earn .77 to every 1.00 a man earns for doing the same job. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are against the Fair Pay Act. Imagine what women’s earnings will be if they are forced to give birth every year or two….how can a woman hold down a job when she is constantly bearing children? I know, I know…the simple answer is “don’t have sex.” How many relationships will survive that? Sex is a natural part of being a human being.
If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins in November, it won’t be long before women are forced out of their jobs by constant child-bearing, and they and their children live in severe poverty. Oh yeah..don’t forget..they would like to eliminate federal funding to help low-income women and children, too.
Many of these men claim that it is immoral of us to force conscientious taxpayers to fund abortions in these cases. They have no concern about conscientious taxpayers who object to war but are forced to pay for it.
Is this really the kind of America we want?