Another Monday, another US politician saying something completely ridiculous and untrue about women's bodies. What a great way to start the week!
Representative Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Missouri who is running against Senator Claire McCaskill, is against abortion, even in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape.
He's defended his stance on this by explaining that:
“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.
“Let’s assume that maybe that didn't work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Oh yes, the natural Anti-Rape mechanism in a woman's vagina that she can activate while she's being legitimately raped. Not the alleged kind of rape because everyone knows that's when the real pregnancies happen.
Obviously, Akin's comments were not only scientifically incorrect according to a study in 1996 which says that “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency", but they enraged anyone and everyone with half a brain.
Last night, Twitter exploded with comments about #Akin and #LegitimateRape, and the @LegitimateRape account was swiftly created:
Akin has since released a statement explaining that he "misspoke":
"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."
Akin does not apologise in his statement. He does not say that he is sorry if he offended anyone.
He simply states that victims of sexual assault with have "no stronger advocate" then he in the senate if he's elected, and he would give them the "justice they deserve". But he quickly reminds everyone that while he finds rapists to be the "lowest of the low" in society, women should be forced to bear their children if they're raped, as abortion would be "harming another innocent victim".
In other words, Akin thinks being denied an abortion after being impregnated against their will by a rapist is the justice victims of sexual assault deserve.
And if that's not disturbing enough, the New York Times has reported that some in Missouri actually believe this view will actually help him win the election.
Image via DonkeyHotey's Flickr