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.”