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GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin: Victims Of “Legitimate Rape” Usually Don’t Get Pregnant

Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin is likely going to be taking a lot of fire for comments he made not to long ago regarding the reasons he doesn’t support allowing women who have been raped to get an abortion: 

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario — when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail — abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.

“Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Here’s the video of the portion of the interview in question, the full interview can be found here:

There’s really two issues here, of course. First, there’s Akin’s completely unsupported assertion that women’s bodies are somehow capable of preventing pregnancy in the event of a rape. That’s simply false. Second, though, is what I think is the more interesting part of Akin’s comment, the idea that there’s such a thing as “legitimate rape” as opposed, presumably to “illegitimate rape.” It’s reminiscent of the effort by House Republicans to limit taxpayer funding of abortions only to cases of “forcible rape,” as if there’s such as thing as unforced rape, an effort which they soon abandoned. It reminds one of the assertion that one often hears from abortion opponents that a rape exception to an abortion ban would mean that women would fake being raped in order to get an abortion. It’s stupid, offensive, and not at all in line with the evidence of how women who actually been raped respond to their trauma.

The most recent polls show Akin leading Senator Claire McCaskill. I would expect that McCaskill’s campaign will start hitting him on these comments relatively soon. It will be interesting to see how that impacts the race.

Update: Akin’s opponent, Senator Claire McCaskill has weighed in:

“It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape,” said McCaskill. “The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive.”

Indeed.

Update #2 Congressman Akin has just released this statement:

“As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.

“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.

“But I also believe that this election is about a wide range of very important issues, starting with the economy and the type of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. We’ve had 42 straight months of unacceptably high unemployment, trillion-dollar deficits, and Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government, instead of jobs. That is my primary focus in this campaign and while there are those who want to distract from that, knowing they cannot defend the Democrats’ failed economic record of the last four years, that will continue to be my focus in the months ahead.”

And that’s up to the voters of Missouri.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Quinn says:

    Just remember: both sides do it and both sides have crazy loons as nominees for a frickin Senate seat.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 14

  2. al-Ameda says:
  3. Console says:

    @Quinn:

    Well the vice president said “chains” and that’s racist against mitt romney or something.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  4. I think the attempt to draw a distinction between “legitimate rape” and illegitimate rape is loony, but IIRC, there was a study a few years ago that showed lower-than-expected conceptions from rape, indicating that women’s bodies might have some mechanism for shutting down unwanted conceptions. HOWEVER, even if I’m remembering right, it was one study, and it certainly didn’t show that no woman ever conceived after rape–just that they conceived at somewhat lower rates than you’d expect.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 78

  5. bill says:

    joe biden doesn’t need/want any competition todd….. try to practice “not falling into a trap question” before you go on the air again.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  6. labman57 says:

    Once again, a socially-regressive conservative politician demonstrates his unwillingness to do his homework before taking a stand on important policy positions affecting the American people. Lord knows we don’t want to be informed about the fundamentals of human biology and medical treatments when creating legislation that would impact the health of girls and women throughout America.

    And we certainly don’t want our national leaders to be eloquent, scientifically literate, and generally well-informed about the world in which we live. Much better to derive scientific theories based on the teachings of the Bible, and to form national public policy based on the rumors, gossip, and unverified anecdotal accounts taken from online blogs.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  7. @Megan McArdle:

    There may be any number of reasons for that, including the possibility that the perpetrator doesn’t necessarily, umm, finish the job. A friend who is an MD saw this today and told me there’s simple no medical evidence to support what he said notwithstanding the statistical oddity.

    And, then there’s the question of what the heck he means by “legitimate rape”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

  8. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis

    Well, yes, that is a good question. I strongly suspect he means rape by a stranger, and is saying that it's impossible for a woman to be raped by someone with whom she might have a passing acquaintance, such as a schoolmate, a colleague, an employer, or a neighbor.

    Akin could make it a bumper sticker: "If she knows him, she consented."

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  9. Fiona says:

    I hope this bit of nonsense keeps this idiot from beating McCaskill. I don’t see how any self-respecting woman could possibly vote for him.

    I too find the whole notion of “legitimate rape” bedeviling. I’m assuming this knuckle-dragger believes it’s only rape if it’s committed by a gun- or knife-wielding stranger. Otherwise, it’s just consensual sex.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  10. rudderpedals says:

    @Megan McArdle:

    IIRC, there was a study

    Link please or I’m calling shenanigans on the study.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 1

  11. Gustopher says:

    For Akin, the only legitimate rapemis one he committed, and because of his own fertility problems, the victims of legitimate rape rarely get pregnant.

    This explains the statement, and is no more stupid than what Akins said, so it seems like a good enough explanation to me, at least until he can come up with an explanation that is less stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. Rick Almeida says:

    @Megan McArdle:

    Megan McArdle – on hiatus, but still making things up.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 3

  13. swbarnes2 says:

    @labman57:

    Once again, a socially-regressive conservative politician demonstrates his unwillingness to do his homework

    Homework? Why would they need that?

    Conservatives think that if something bad happens to you, its because either

    1) You are an awful immoral person

    2) An awful immoral person merely masquarading as a real American (a brown person, a gay person, a non-Christian, a woman) illegitimately took your rightful prosperity away from you.

    If you are a woman, your body is the legitimate property of your husband, whenever you get one. If you get raped, it’s because you are an awful person, but really, your vagina and womb are the property of some other man, so while he has cause to complain, you really don’t. So if you step out of your sphere and complain about wanting to control this body is if it were really yours to make decisions about, you deserve whatever you get.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  14. And another face palm for Megan McArdle!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 1

  15. DRS says:

    Please tell me this isn’t the “real” Atlantic Monthly Megan McArdle. That one is bad enough but she can’t be this bad, surely?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  16. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I think that the really sad thing for me is that, given the past decade or so of Republicanism, I am *in no way* surprised or shocked or even slightly flabbergasted that this idiot said this. There isn’t even a tiny piece of my brain that questioned momentarily whether or not this might be true.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  17. stonetools says:

    Claire Macgaskill may have done a Harry Reid and reached into the Republican primary to help the most unreasonable candidate win the Republican primary Now all she has to do is to hit Akin over the head with his own moronic statements until the voters understand that there is no way they could elect this idiot. Harry Reid was pretty ruthless about it and it worked. Claire will have to be this way too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  18. Commonist says:

    REPUBLICANS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. Commonist says:

    @Megan McArdle:

    HOW CAN YOUR BODY NOT REJECT YOUR SOUL THE WAY IT REJECTS FOREIGN OBJECTS.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  20. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And, then there’s the question of what the heck he means by “legitimate rape”

    Maybe he thinks that when a woman gets raped by her husband, the body knows that it’s her lawfully married husband doing the raping and shut downs these biological defenses…

    And maybe he also wants to decriminalize marital rape…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. Tano says:

    I don’t understand the reaction to McArdle’s comment. She is obviously “correct” on her political take on the matter – she just goes on to discuss a scientific article that shows some interesting results.

    Are we liberals supposed to run away from science if it shows things that might require an extra sentence or two of explanation when we have an argument?

    There is nothing biologically outlandish about the idea that there might be some statistical tendency for the products of rape to be less likely to survive (although I actually have a vague memory of a study that found the opposite). Throughout the animal kingdom there are examples of female “control” (not conscious control, of course) of pregnancy through mechanisms such as the biochemical reactions to physiological stress or trauma. If such things take place in humans, that would certainly be interesting, and certainly not something that should be denied merely for political reasons.

    I would join in gleefully to denounce anyone who tried to use things like this to mount the type of arguments that Akin makes, but Megan very obviously did nothing like that. So why the harsh reaction?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 13

  22. CSK says:

    @PJ:

    Guess what? He DID want to decriminalize it several years ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  23. Commonist says:

    @Tano:

    Because absolutely every single thing McMegan has ever written signals an absolutely fascinating contempt for facts, coupled with an unfailing disdain for the weak and admiration of the exploiters of the weak that is impressive even for a libertarian? She’s the urtype of the sort of bourgeois, self-compassionate, politically uncommitted yet consistently biased “commentator” that manages to be even worse than the republicans they refuse to call out for what they are. She is a nullity.

    Whatever you do, don’t assume she is showing good faith or actually have read up on what she’s talking about.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 5

  24. Tano says:

    @Commonist:

    Sorry, but that is just a lot of insults and namecalling. Even if all that is true about her, there is nothing at all wrong with what she actually wrote in that comment.

    You seem to have some personal issues with her and want to just demonize her and dismiss everything that she might say. That is your trip, I don’t see why it should be ours…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 16

  25. Okay guys,

    I’m not going to let this thread turn into personal attacks on one person who commented here. Please review the comment policy and act accordingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  26. KansasMom says:

    Missouri: Making Kansas look a little bit better since 1854.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  27. M. Bouffant says:

    @Tano:

    she just goes on to discuss a scientific article that shows some interesting results
    No she doesn’t. She mentions that she may recall a study or article, or something, w/o citing it or otherwise referring to it. That’s not discussion.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 0

  28. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Okay guys,

    I’m not going to let this thread turn into personal attacks on one person who commented here. Please review the comment policy and act accordingly.

    Just wondering, in what way do the comments made about Megan McArdle in this thread differ from comments made about, for instance, Eric Florack or Jan?
    Is this a special case, since I can’t recall any writer on this blog ever telling people to review the comment policy and act accordingly regarding comments made about those two.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  29. Tano says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    She mentions that she may recall a study or article, or something, w/o citing it or otherwise referring to it. That’s not discussion

    .

    Oh c’mon. That is ridiculous. Then 95% of what goes on here is not legitimate discussion. Hey, I mentioned in my comment that I vaguely remember a study that found the opposite. Is there something wrong with me having written that? Or is it OK, because such an article would be a tad more convenient to the theme of this thread?

    I just don’t like seeing people ganged up on when they have done nothing wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  30. @PJ:

    We police the comments here as best we can. Given the volume of comments some posts get, it’s not always possible to address every comment directed at every person..

    I am merely saying that there’s a difference between addressing the merits of Megan’s comment and attacking her personally. I trust the regular crowd here will know the difference and proceed accordingly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. Tsar Nicholas says:

    What’s really ironic is that Aiken is expressing a viewpoint that’s held by a very large plurality of those on the right side and putative right side of the spectrum plus a material percentage of Reagan Democrats too. And here’s the area in which they truly jump the shark, which often gets lost amidst the emotional tit-for-tat recriminations on the abortion angle itself: Not only would they want abortion to be illegal in cases of rape (by itself clearly an extreme position) they would want a Constitutional Amendment making that a national mandate.

    As far as the MO Senate contest goes, however, the problem for McCaskill is that her negatives are so overwhelming it’s unlikely that Aiken will be able to shoot himself in the foot often enough to close the gap. But that said there still are a couple months to go and Aiken obviously is not the smoothest shot of booze in the bar. So time will tell.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  32. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Oops, Akin. Time for more coffee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. Tano says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    One poll (SUSA) has Akin way ahead, by 11, and in that poll it seems he is especially strong amongst women (14% ahead vs. a lead of 9 amonst men). I don’t quite understand why that is, given the usual breakdown of gender voting. But if true, I suspect that might be in danger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    We police the comments here as best we can. Given the volume of comments some posts get, it’s not always possible to address every comment directed at every person..

    While I agree with the issue about volume and not being able to address every comment directed at every person, my point was that I can’t remember _ever_ having seen any writer addressing _any comment_ like these in this thread made about, for instance, Erick Florack and Jan.

    I am merely saying that there’s a difference between addressing the merits of Megan’s comment and attacking her personally. I trust the regular crowd here will know the difference and proceed accordingly.

    People, familiar with how Erick Florack and Jan write, use that to attack them, some times personally, much like how a lot of people are familiar with McArdle’s previous work at Atlantic and use that knowledge in their responses to her comment.

    So, honestly, I can’t see the difference here, but obviously to some there is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  35. More from his quote:

    “Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

    Some punishment? How.about punished to the full extent of the law? He makes it sound like rapists should at LEAST get a small fine. Idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  36. MM says:

    Megan McArdle is wrong. In fact it is more likely that a woman will get pregnant from a rape than from consensual sex.

    Linky

    Linky

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  37. legion says:

    Well, when I go to all the trouble of typing “rapist pregnancy study” into the finely-honed journalistic tool known as “The Google”, the first result is now about Akin, but the very next result is a 1996 study on rape-related pregnancies, which ends with this:

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.

    rather directly contradicting Akin’s disgraceful idiocy. Although I suspect Megan is thinking specifically of a study I too recall from maybe a year ago (which I have had more trouble searching for) that specifically studied rapists and found that some significant percentage of them, when actually engaging in “the act” became physically unable to continue to orgasm; hypothetically because the reality of the rape was rather less satisfying than the fantasy in the rapist’s head. However, this has exactly nothing to do with the victim’s desires in the matter of rape and/or pregnancy…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  38. legion says:

    @PJ:

    And maybe he also wants to decriminalize marital rape…

    I bet you seventy hojillion dollars that this is _exactly_ the purpose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  39. legion says:

    @MM: Bingo!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. rudderpedals says:

    @Neil Hudelson: And he made punishment contingent upon the victim getting knocked up. No pregnancy? No harm, no foul.

    I wrote it off at first as a gaffe but then I vaguely recalled a, uh, study of kids on the street and the kids say a girl can’t get pregnant unless she climaxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  41. CSK says:

    @legion:

    As I said, he did make an effort several years ago to have marital rape decriminalized on the grounds that false accusations would be used against men in divorce cases. He got shot down then. But maybe he wants to resurrect it.

    It occurs to me that Rick Santorum won the symbolic Missouri primary by a huge margin running on a platform that birth control is bad for Christians (no word on whether it’s bad for Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, atheists, etc.), so Akin’s idiotic pronouncement may turn out to be a vote-getter for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  42. Tano says:

    @MM:

    Thanks for the links, The first one was the one I remembered.

    On the other hand, I have no idea what article McArdle was remembering, but I did find one that discussed preeclampsia, leading to spontaneous abortion, as an adaptation allowing the female to reject the fetus in cases where male investment was unlikely (rape being an obvious example). There seems to be a lot of evidence for an association between preeclampsia and exposure to unfamiliar sperm. The article goes into some detail of the evolutionary rationale involved. Interesting stuff. PDF

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  43. Septimius says:

    It reminds one of the assertion that one often hears from abortion opponents that a rape exception to an abortion ban would mean that women would fake being raped in order to get an abortion. It’s stupid, offensive, and not at all in line with the evidence of how women who actually been raped respond to their trauma.

    It may be stupid and offensive, but it’s exactly what Norma McCorvey did. She lied about being raped and became the lead plaintiff in a little lawsuit called Roe v. Wade. Maybe you’ve heard of it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18

  44. KansasMom says:

    McMegan spews the stupid wherever she goes but at OTB stupid is protected speech if uttered by a semi-famous person. Got it.
    Jan, you need to get yourself a gig at The Atlantic or maybe some wingnut welfare shop asap.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  45. Lynda says:

    @KansasMom:

    Missouri: Making Kansas look a little bit better since 1854.

    Were you referring to Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) skinning dipping in the Sea of Galilee on a fact finding mission to the Holy Land last summer?
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79865.html?hp=t1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  46. KansasMom says:

    @Lynda: Haha. I missed that story at the time. I don’t live in Yoder’s district but sorta-kinda knew him in college. This seems exactly like the frat boy crap he was known for at the time.
    But yeah, I’ll take skinny dipping at a “holy” site over misogynistic comments about rape any day.
    My own rep, Lynn Jenkins, seems to be right there with Akin though. Sweet Baby Jeebus, lets hope she keeps her mouth shit about biology!
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CEoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.ljworld.com%2Fnews%2F2011%2Ffeb%2F02%2Fabortion-bill-co-sponsored-jenkins-draws-fire-chan%2F&ei=CJExUOSmGsfLqgG40IHYBg&usg=AFQjCNF1f9nAGkyevZ1MCMafuCpbIShLzg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Akin is now saying he misspoke. He meant to say that sinful witches sink whereas innocent women sink. Glad we cleared that up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  48. Lynda says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:

    Did he confirm that with Sharron Angle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  49. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Lynda:

    I think he called Christine O’Donnell first, hence, the confusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  50. C. Clavin says:

    How a thinking human being can call themselves a Republican is beyond me.
    This is just an extreme example of a party that exists only to cut taxes on the wealthy and control the reproductive rights of women.
    Climate change is a lie.
    Evolution is a hoax.
    Tax cuts pay for themselves.
    Now this.
    The things y’all believe is astounding.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  51. Nikki says:

    that specifically studied rapists and found that some significant percentage of them, when actually engaging in “the act” became physically unable to continue to orgasm; hypothetically because the reality of the rape was rather less satisfying than the fantasy in the rapist’s head

    Which make Akin, Loesh, and McCardle look even more foolish because, as everyone who has ever taken a sex ed class knows, a man doesn’t need to “shoot his wad” to get a woman pregnant; sperm can leak out at any time during coitus and, if a condom is not used, cause impregnation. That is why it is always recommended that at least two forms of birth control be used to prevent pregnancy.

    Idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  52. Dazedandconfused says:

    Well, if that race was about religion, pretty sure McCaskill will swear she believes not only in God, but in divine intervention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  53. Lynda says:

    @Latino_in_Boston:
    Oops, I am always forgetting the names of the crazy candidates – Angle, O’Donnell….I know there is a third……..

    Teach me to drink and post. Stepping slowly away from the keyboard now to get a pot of coffee……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @Tano:

    One poll (SUSA) has Akin way ahead, by 11, and in that poll it seems he is especially strong amongst women (14% ahead vs. a lead of 9 amonst men). I don’t quite understand why that is, given the usual breakdown of gender voting. But if true, I suspect that might be in danger.

    This is just more evidence that the voters are clueless. Akin will very likely be elected, and he will accomplish nothing except to disclose frequently to the American people just how stupid he is, and then the same voters who elected him will complain about idiots like Akin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  55. anjin-san says:

    “Legitimate Rape”

    That all by itself tells us a lot about the right…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @ Anjin-San….
    There’s nothing right about them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Tano says:

    @Nikki:

    Which make Akin, Loesh, and McCardle look even more foolish because, as everyone who has ever taken a sex ed class knows, a man doesn’t need to “shoot his wad” to get a woman pregnant;

    I don’t know why you think that applies to McCardle – she was merely recalling a scientific paper – not expressing a belief of her own. And the paper merely reported a lower-than-expected rate of conception, not the impossibility of conception – i.e. exactly what you would expect if some percentage of perps only delivered partial loads…

    You lose credibility if you cannot distinguish between the outrageous and the inconvenient.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  58. Jay Dubbs says:

    But how smart does McCaskill look now. She ran ads in the GOP primary talking about how he was the most conservative and begging the voters to nominate him.

    This seat probably went from a Lean R to a Lean D. And could be the reason that the GOP can’t take control of the Senate, even with a Romney victory.

    Plus there is the added bonus that every GOP candidate running from dog catcher to President in every state will have to answer this question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay Dubbs:

    This seat probably went from a Lean R to a Lean D.

    You, sir, greatly overestimate the average Missery voter.

    As to Achin’, what can I say? “I am so proud…..”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  60. J-Dub says:

    I love the “off the cuff” excuse! Oops, I accidentally let my true opinion/ignorance slip out rather than my pre-written political view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Great article in the Guardian. Money Quotes:

    The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:

    “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”

    Also:

    Medical theories of sex, reproduction and conception changed gradually through the 18th century, so that by the 19th century the female orgasm was considered much less important for conception, and the female “seed” – if it even existed – was of less significance to the foetus. In popular culture the idea of the essential female orgasm lingered, and seems to still exist in a mutated form today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  62. PogueMahone says:

    For conservatives, the human female reproductive system is a mysterious place.

    Much like they view climate change science, even thought the science is in, and has been in for a long time, the female reproductive system is a place for only God knows. And we don’t know anything about it, nor can we do anything about, nor should we.

    And all it takes is one crackpot to suggest that the vagina has some kind of magic on/off switch that activates when legitimately raped to throw some kind of doubt.

    “You see,” they would want to say, “there’s no consensus. You don’t know what you’re talking about…. whore!”

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  63. DRS says:

    Nah, it’s more to do with fear of what’s “down there”. Like vaginas have teeth that repel unfriendly, uh, invasions.

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  64. I really don’t expect this level of idiocy to rise above the House. The Senate, and of course the Presidency, are supposed to be better filtered.

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  65. C. Clavin says:

    Everyone needs to know that Ryan and Akin are of like minds when it comes to this stuff.
    They were co-sponsors of the “Sanctity of Human Life Act” and “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” which included language (eventually removed) that would limit the use of federal money to pay for abortions even in cases of “forcible” rape.
    The “Sanctity of Life Act” establishes “personhood” at the first sideways glance exchanged between a man and a woman.
    These people, including Ryan, are radicals, extremeists, nutcases. The idea, put forward in may articles on OTB, that nothing much is going to change because of this election is total bunk.
    Republicans now more than ever are intent on controlling the reproductive organs of women. One only need look at the record of the House since 2010. Give them the keys to the SCOTUS…and you can say goodbye to women’s rights.

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  66. Barry says:

    @Megan McArdle: “I think the attempt to draw a distinction between “legitimate rape” and illegitimate rape is loony, but IIRC, there was a study a few years ago that showed lower-than-expected conceptions from rape, indicating that women’s bodies might have some mechanism for shutting down unwanted conceptions. HOWEVER, even if I’m remembering right, it was one study, and it certainly didn’t show that no woman ever conceived after rape–just that they conceived at somewhat lower rates than you’d expect. ”

    Here’s the dilemma – is this too evil and dumb for even the real Megan McArdle to say?

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  67. nvwikiwiki says:

    @Console:

    Those words would only seem racist if you are a racist. Romney called Obama “foreign” same thing.

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  68. dedc79 says:

    @Megan McArdle: So let me get this straight – your response to a guy running for the U.S. Senate spreading misinformation about rape and pregnancy is to summarize what you think you remembert about a study that you can’t identify? How very responsible of you.

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  69. Mark says:

    @Megan McArdle:
    “HOWEVER, even if I’m remembering right, it was one study, and it certainly didn’t show that no woman ever conceived after rape–just that they conceived at somewhat lower rates than you’d expect.”

    Excuse me?

    If you’re “remembering right”?

    Provide either the:

    A. Damn link to the damn study; or,

    B. Damn name of the damn study and the findings of the damn study.

    In more direct terms, get off of your lazy, Silver Spoon, Daddy’s Little Girl, Born-On-Third-Base-And-Believe-I-Smacked-A-Mama-Rand-Triple ass and provide the bleeping factual material to support your bleeping contention.

    Otherwise, run back to Big Tina and smack Niall upside the head when you get there, you impudent, overpriced-food-processor, arrogant, worthless sack of compost.

    Or do I stutter?

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  70. Mark says:

    Mac,

    Yes the above is very blunt and direct. Sorry if it violates your standards.

    But sloppiness, especially overpaid sloppiness, just pisses me off.

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  71. Bob2 says:

    But it would be irresponsible not to speculate Mark!

    I bet over 80% of the rapes were faked and not legitimate!
    and 87% of them were made up on the spot!
    and beaten with a 2×4 because preemptive violence A-OK
    but hey you get perfect bechamel every time and it’ll even pay for itself!
    using a calculator that doesn’t go that high
    Hey Megan, we’re still waiting on Pt 2 of that Elizabeth Warren takedown too.

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  72. Esther Joan Glowa says:

    I volunteer for Todd Aiken–he is a wonderful Christian Congressman & leader (Conservative) running against Clare McCaskel (Liberal. ) He apologized that he misspoke, but he is against abortion even in rape–he said one wrong doesn’t justify another wrong. I feel the same way as a Christian conservative. I appreciate someone staying with their principles instead of switching for whatever is politically correct. He doesn’t want the taxpayers to pay for women’s abortions, let them pay for their own if they prefer to murder their offspring; I agree. The Republican National Committee, Romney, Ryan, Fox TV commentators need to stay out of Missourians’ business–let MO choose who they want. Aiken much outshines McCaskell.

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