The GOP?s Ignorance Quotient, that is.
On August 19th, Representative Todd Akin, the GOP Senate nominee fromMissouri answered a question about abortion. He avowed that he was nearlyabsolute on the topic?no abortion ever for any reason, not even rape. Akin said,"It seems to me, from what I understand fromdoctors, that?s really rare. If it?s a legitimate rape, the female body hasways to try to shut that whole thing down.?
As ignorant as this sounds, it?s not thefirst time such an off-the-wall idea about a woman?s body and its secretionshas been presented as fact by a Republican Congressman.
In 1988, the Repub Representative from PennsylvaniaStephen Friend said that the odds that a raped woman will become pregnant are?one in millions and millons and millions? Friend backed his assertion up with hisbelief that rape causes a woman ?to secrete a certain secretion? and thiscertain secretion kills bad sperm.
In 1995, the Republican state Representativefrom North Carolina Henry Aldridge reported to the House AppropriationsCommittee that, "The facts show that people who are raped ? who are trulyraped ? the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't getpregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."
In 1998, during his Senate campaign inArkansas, Republican candidate Dr. Fay Boozman said that hormones generated byfear prevented rape victims from getting pregnant. Dr. Boozman was an ophthalmologist.He said he had picked this information up about women?s bodies while he was aresident at the University of the Arkansas Medical Center in the 1970?s.
In 1999, a physician and former president ofthe ?National Right to Life Committee? John C. Wilke wrote an article in ?ChristianLife Resources. Wilke said: ?Finally, the factor in what is certainly one ofthe most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that'sphysical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors canalter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman's body must producea very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by apart of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There's no greateremotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. Thiscan radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantationand even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction inpregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts thislast figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.?
On Monday, Vanessa Heggie posted a blog in UK?s ?The Guardian?. MsHeggie said a legal text written about the year 1290 included a clause based onan old-old-old wives? tale. Miss Heggie reported that part of the text said, ?If,however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, itabates, for without a woman?s consent she could not conceive.?
One would have assumed that fancifullore from the year 1290 might have been discounted and finally disproved in theUnited States by 2012. One would have assumed this, except in the antediluvian,troglodyte, nonsense-spewing, myth-loving, ignorant Republican Party, that is.
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