Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin: Nothing New

In the wake of Republican Rep. Todd Akin's reprehensible comments about rape and pregnancy, it's important to know that this isn't the first time that a Republican (yes it's a Republican thing) has made such a comment during the GOP's decades long war on women.

A few examples, trom The Atlantic...
  • In 1995, 71-year-old North Carolina state Rep. Henry Aldridge gained national notoriety after telling the N.C. 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. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."
  • In 1980, attorney James Leon Holmes wrote, in a letter arguing for a constitutional ban on abortion, "Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami." He later apologized for his comment and was successfully nominated to a federal judgeship by George W. Bush in 2004. Today he serves as the chief judge of the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  • The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are "one in millions and millions and millions," said state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, the Legislature's leading abortion foe. The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to "secrete a certain secretion" that tends to kill sperm.
To slam the door on this Republican canard...
According to a 1996 article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, "among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year."

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