By Todd Atkins
I am the legitimate Todd Atkins. I AM NOT TODD AKIN. I have no relation to Akin nor want anything to do with the man. Please stop sending me resignation requests. Be constructive and go donate to Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign. I dislike financial entanglements in politics, but you sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.
Apparently, I’m turning up in Google search for “Todd Akin”. I also show up for “Todd Atkins”, which of course makes sense, but but apparently many many many right wingers are too stupid to notice that we spell our names completely differently. He is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 2nd congressional district. He recently made some absurd and offense comments claiming that female rape victims could somehow prevent pregnancy if it was “legitimate rape”. His statements don’t make the slightest logical sense.
Since you’re here, I’ll weigh in. On a scientific premise, pregnancy from rape may, in fact, be statistically rare. I don’t know. I’ve never looked at the data and “rare” is a very subjective term. I’m not sure what threshold scientists would use to classify a effect as “rare”. For the record, pregnancy from rape is certainly possible. Also for the record, rape victims have about as much chance of “shutting that whole thing down” as my daughter has of curing cancer before she turns 10 months old later this week.
[Edit: I just found out, according to the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecoogy, 32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape occur every year. That is a stat from 1996 and there is no way to spin that as “rare”]
On the ethical implications of this statement… Even if women had this magical ability to avoid pregnancy, would she then be performing an abortion or is this some sort of contraception method? What did these “doctors” tell you? If women had such an ability, this is bad news for Trojan and Durex. Or do you consider such corporations as people? If corporations are people, do they have gender? Can they be raped? (These of course are all absurd notions.)
Social implications of his remarks… The word “legitimate” (or “honest” as Rand Paul prefers) just doesn’t make any sense in this context. Rape is never legitimate, it is never honest. It is a horrible, violent crime that can have lasting effects for the remainder of the victim’s life. I’m reminded of the line from the Princess Bride, “This word, you use it all the time, but I do not think it means what you think it means.” The definition of legitimate when used as an adjective is “Conforming to the law or to rules”. So what he said doesn’t make any sense unless he’s implying that there are situations where rape (a crime) is legal. There is no such thing as “legal rape”. Is Mr. Akin implying that there are situations where rape is justified or ok? Is he implying that women usually lie about being raped?
Mr. Akin says he misspoke, but has not taken back the remarks, clarified, or apologized (as of writing). That is typical of politicians from his party.
Oh one last note, President Obama made a comment that made no sense as well. “I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape…I think those are broader issues and I think that’s a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.” Mr. President, what the hell is “non-forcible rape”? This, like “honest rape” or “legitimate rape” is a contradiction in terms.