MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md., August 21, 2012 – The news is full of Todd Akin’s comments on his theory that forceful rape rarely results in pregnancy. Many politicians, including his fellow Republicans, are asking him to resign his candidacy to become a U.S. Senator for Missouri.
Was Akin’s comment just a gaffe? Did he say the wrong thing, but not mean it?
Definitely not. There is enough evidence in past reports that a fairly large number of Republican anti-abortion politicians have used the same or similar arguments when trying to negate exemptions to anti-abortion policies. The statements are usually in the form of “pregnancy rarely results from forcible rape,” or “women have internal defenses that prevent conception in the case of forcible rape.” The obvious conclusion is that in many cases, rape didn’t really occur. It’s kind of reminiscent of Limbaugh’s calling a student that testified for inclusion of birth control in health insurance plans a slut. In both cases women are seen as sluts that do not want to be responsible for their actions.
Whether they say it out loud or not, many anti-abortion militants either believe or use (hypocritically) these unscientific statements. It might surprise you how many hits you’ll get when you search for this subject
While Akin is not alone in his statements, they are wrong or malicious at several levels. Probably the most heinous are those related to the victims of rape. Since 2000, at least one judge in Maryland has made similar statements related to rape. The phrase “it takes two…” was used in a case of rape of a minor.
Where do many of these rape revisionists get their ideas? Apparently many get them from Dr. Jack C. Wilke, one of the fathers of the anti-abortion movement. He claimed that somehow women are capable of preventing conception in cases of trauma. His unscientific statements were apparently made to support his philosophical stand on abortion. Fortunately there have been many other medical doctors and scientists who have argued the falseness of Wilke’s statements.
Mitt Romney publicly praised Wilke in his 2008 campaign. His statements about Akin resigning appear to say that he has changed his mind. Do we believe him?
Abortion is a very delicate moral quandary. Many of us who are culturally Catholic were taught from childhood that it was wrong to have an abortion or to agree to one as a male. Most religious people have been told the same.
(We were also told that life is sacred, which made many of us completely against the death penalty.)
What would you do if you were asked to counsel a young woman on whether she should have an abortion? I would tell her that I think it’s wrong to abort a healthy baby just for the convenience of the mother or couple. It would be better, if she did not want the baby, to put it up for adoption. However, if she wanted to keep the baby, I would explain the difficulty of raising a child when the parents are very young and not economically stable. But in the end, under our system of laws, it comes down to a decision of the mother.
It seems contradictory that the same people who clamor to stop abortions are the same ones who propose budget cuts that would reduce the ability of parents to take care of their babies. Many of them also want to take away the option of a woman to use birth control. Furthermore, they want to stop funding Planned Parenthood.
If everyone who has a deep seated revulsion of abortion would agree to take financial care of the mother and the child that she is debating whether to abort, abortion would be reduced to a mere statistical anomaly. Of course to many this would be pandering.
Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, is a bleeding heart liberal, agnostic, exercise fanatic, Redskin fan, technophile, civil engineer, combat infantry veteran, jewelry maker, amateur computer programmer, Environmental engineer, Colombian-born, free thinker, and, not surprisingly, pacifist. You can find his articles - ranging from politics to cooking a mean brisket - in 21st Century Pacifist at The Washington Times Communities. Follow Mario on Twitter @chibcharus #TWTC and Facebook at Mario Salazar.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.