Republican Congressman Todd Akin drew a lot of attention to the GOP stance on rape and abortion on Sunday when he said that women who are legitimately raped can’t get pregnant because their bodies won’t allow it. Many Republicans have since called for Akin to withdraw from the race. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, however, agrees with Akin and defended him on his radio show on Monday.
The right-wing host claimed that Akin is correct and went even farther than the Missouri Republican.
“What Todd Akin is talking about is when you’ve got a real, genuine rape. A case of forcible rape, a case of assault, where a woman has been violated against her will through the use of physical force where it is physically traumatic for her, under those circumstances, the woman’s body — because of the trauma that has been inflicted on her — it may interfere with the normal function processes of her body that lead to conception and pregnancy.”
Here’s the video:
Fischer’s remarks are only the latest in what has become mainstream pseudo-science in the Republican Party. The claim that women’s bodies shut down the reproductive process during rape is utter nonsense. But many anti-abortion fanatics have made this dubious and detestable claim as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her Monday night show on MSNBC.
Jame Leon Holmes, as the president of the Arkansas Right To Life group, wrote a letter in 1980 to the Moline Daily Dispatch claiming that “concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.” Holmes is now a federal judge.
According to a March 23, 1988 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Stephen Friend once claimed during a radio interview that women who are raped can’t get pregnant because women “secrete a certain secretion, which has a tendency to kill sperm.”
Yet another Republican, this time from North Carolina, made the claim in 1995. State Rep. Henry Aldridge said that “the facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. To get pregnant, it takes a little cooperation.”
But allow me to include more examples of right-wing attitudes toward rape.
Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News has said that women who dress in short skirts are “asking” to be raped.
Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin introduced a bill that would redefine rape victims as mere “accusers.”
The Republicans of the US House of Representatives introduced H.R. 3 to redefine rape as being just a forcible action. In other words, if there’s no physical force, Republicans don’t think it’s rape. Under this definition, date rape would be perfectly acceptable to the GOP.
Mike Huckabee has also chimed in on Akin’s behalf, claiming that forcible rapes have created “extraordinary” people. “I know it happens,” Huckabee stated. “And yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
So in Huckabee’s sick mind, while rape is bad, it’s also a good thing. This reminds me of another sick statement made by a Republican named Rick Santorum, who once said that women who get pregnant through rape should accept it as a gift from God. His statement implies that God sanctioned the rape to give the victim a baby.
In short, these deranged Republicans believe that women don’t get pregnant if the violation of their bodies is traumatic and that the women who do get pregnant must have wanted to be raped. Some even think it’s a good thing or a gift from God. It’s become a standard Republican claim used to somehow justify banning abortion and forcing raped women to carry their rapist’s baby.
Clearly, Republicans have unacceptable views about rape. Todd Akin has ignited a firestorm of controversy that Republicans had hoped would not see the light of day. But now that Akin has made his terrible comments, we should all take a good hard look at all the past remarks made by Republicans on this topic and discover just how sick, twisted and anti-women the Republican Party has become.