When God prevents pregnancy

August 19, 2012 | By | 6 Replies More

Representative Todd Akin made it clear he has been legislating on the topic of abortion in almost total ignorance. He doesn’t believe that there are many pregnancies caused by rape. The well-respected Guttmacher Institute disagrees, reporting that 1% of all abortions are the result of rape. Guttmacher further reports that almost 14,000 abortions occur each year as a result of rape or incest.  That is a huge number of pregnancies.

Here’s what Akin recently said about abortion and rape:

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” said Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

Let’s set aside for the moment that if Akin one day magically found himself carrying his rapist’s baby, he would immediately do whatever would be necessary to “shut the whole thing down.”  That is the nature of modern conservative hypocrisy when it comes to reproductive rights. But his quote also raises an issue the media is overlooking. Who is it that “shuts the whole thing down” (according to Akin) when a woman is raped?  Once again, it’s OK for “God” to do what humans (according to Akin) should never do.  Akin’s approach is consistent with God’s treatment of infants reported in the Bible.

There is more to this story about Akin, of course, most of it centering on his lack of concern for rape victims.  I would be the last person to tell a rape victim that she must carry the baby of her rapist.  Amazingly, there are more than a few members of the GOP who would disagree, including the current presumptive nominee for VP, Paul Ryan.   “Ryan’s longtime position has been to permit abortion only when a woman’s life is endangered by a pregnancy.”


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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    “Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    From Huffpo:

    Draft language for the 2012 Republican Party platform includes support for a constitutional ban on abortion without specifying exclusions in the cases of rape or incest, according to CNN.

    As I was saying in the above article, Akin’s position is nothing unusual. The entire GOP believes that the government should require women who become pregnant through rape to carry the babies of their rapists.

    This would be bad enough except for the fact that most members of the GOP (and most human beings), upon learning that their daughters or wives had been impregnated by a rapist, would quietly sneak off and take care of the problem. But in the meantime, the government knows best with regard to all those other women out there.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    I keep shaking my head with regard to the Todd Akin “incident.” He was merely repeating a policy that has long been embraced by the entire Republican Party. No abortion, no exceptions. This policy is consistent with the belief of many conservatives that conception is the point where the organism is endowed with the same full panoply of legal rights that we give to most adults (there are end of life situations that need to be considered). So now, most of the Republican party is piling on Akin, making him the whipping boy–how DARE he be so calloused as to force raped women to carry their rapist’s babies. I agree with that sentiment–women who become pregnant as a result of rape should not be compelled by the government to carry their rapists’ babies.

    The problem is that in making this exception in reaction to the Akin interview, the Republicans have no muddied their previously straight-forward position that embryos have the same legal right as human adults. Based on the chatter we are now hearing from Republicans, that is not always the case–apparently (according to some Republicans)it should not be the case where a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape.

    I’m not convinced that the Republican reaction is well thought out. I suspect that they are pummeling Akin to try to make it look like they are sensitive to women’s needs. It will now be interesting to see what they do about the Republican Platform proposal to ban all abortion, no exceptions. That Platform has the same meaning as Akin’s recent comment.

    I just spotted this article, which makes many of the same points I’ve made in this comment: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/todd-akin-gop-platform-rape_n_1818532.html

  4. M says:

    My “explanation” of why Todd Akin and others are saying these things: http://meaningofstrife.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/yin-yang-war-and-peace/

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