The Fallacy and Humor of ‘Legitimate Rape’
It is unbelievable but true. The denial of rape as a causal factor in pregnancy.
The latest proponent of this train of thought is 2012 GOP Senate Candidate for Missouri Todd Akin:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy after rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in defense of his stand that rape victims should not be allowed to access abortions. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
However, the truth about rape and pregnancy is very clear. A study in the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that rapes result in more than 32,000 pregnancies each year.
However, men who think of ‘legitimate rape’ have a long history. There is a well written Reuters story on the history of the attitude that says if a woman has a ‘legitimate rape’ her body would ‘shut down’ the possibility of her becoming pregnant.
This story is just so symptomatic of the Republican and Christian Right approach to women and their bodies.
Some women have gotten so pissed off they even start to sing about Legitimate Rape!