Everyone Thinks Rep. Todd Akin Is A Moron, Except For Those Who Don’t

Amelia is still down on the floor of her bathroom with her hand mirror, trying to find that anti-pregnancy rape mechanism thingamajig [APRMT] inside that will keep her from getting pregnant if she’s raped. I keep telling her that no such body part actually exists in a woman’s body and Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is just a dumbass, but she is all, like, “No, Jessica! Our elected officials would not lie to us. I will find this thing!” Hmm. I don’t think she’ll get much editing done today.

The good news is that a lot of people have come out to say Rep. Akin’s comments were medically inaccurate — a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that approximately 32,000 pregnancies each year are the result of rape— and that casting doubt on whether rape is “legitimate” or not is horrible. The bad news is that other people have come out to defend him.

  • Rep. Todd Akin has “whoopsies”-ed on his remarks, issuing a statement saying he “misspoke.” They always “misspeak,” don’t they? “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’s statement read. “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.” Yes, when our elected officials make up unscientific nonsense about biology and spout it on TV as if it is fact, people do get emotionally charged. In fact, I feel pretty emotional about Rep. Akin sitting on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology right about now. [Washington Post]
  • Mitt Romney’s campaign issued a statement on Sunday night saying Romney and Paul Ryan “disagree” with Akin’s statement and that “a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.” So, to be clear, they only oppose abortion if your birth control fails, or you did not realize you were ovulating, or some other reason. Then these two white Republican dudes think they can force you to have a baby. [Talking Points Memo]
  • Also, now would be an excellent time to remind you that Mitt Romney ran as pro-choice as Massachusetts governor and attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.
  • But fret not, Rep. Akin! Someone will stand up for you. Politico.com reporter Dave Catanese tweeted in his defense on Sunday night under the guise of “argument’s sake” and further propelled the idea that women lie about rape. Catanese wrote, “Okay, I’m gonna (ask for it) and defend Todd Akin for argument’s sake. We all know what he was trying to say … Poor phrasing, but if you watch the interview Todd Akin meant to convey that there’s less of a chance of getting pregnant if raped. So perhaps some can agree that all rapes that are reported are not actually rapes? Or are we gonna really deny that for PC sake? So looks like he meant to say ‘If a woman was REALLY raped, it’s statistically less likely for her to get pregnant.’ What’s the science? So maybe, just maybe, Todd Akin didn’t really mean ‘legitimate.’ Perhaps he meant if ‘someone IS really raped’ or ‘a rape really occurs.'” Maybe, just maybe, Dave Catanese should stop contributing to rape culture by furthering the idea that women lying about rape is a thing moreso than people lying about any other crime and go read a biology textbook instead. [Storify]
  • Conservative radio host and CNN contributor Dana Loesch (she’s a lady, FYI) also tweeted in defense of Rep Akin, writing, “Seems to me like Akin was trying to fit medical explanation into a soundbite. Not the best statement, but some are stretching it majorly.” Again I ask, what medical explanation is that? [Twitter.com/DanaLoesch]
  • In less WTF-ier news, Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, has called for Rep. Akin to drop out of his current Senate race. “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking,” Brown wrote. “Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.” [Talking Points Memo]
  • Journalist Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic has a fantastic piece on TheAtlantic.com looking back on the recent history of bullshit spouted by anti-abortion folks about how a woman’s body supposedly cannot get pregnant from a rape and it’s quite terrifying. Like, the group Physicians For Life even spouts that medically unsound nonsense. Franke-Ruta quotes a piece by the former president of the National Right To Life Committee who claims, “Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle … There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape.” That horseshit then got spouted from a shameful amount of politicians. (Also, what is this ‘assault rape’ of which you speak? Is there a non-assault rape? Gentle happy rape, perhaps? Rape is assault.) [The Atlantic]
We’ll keep you posted on what happens with Rep. Akin and his defenders. Now if you will excuse me, I should go see about Amelia. She’s still down there.

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