While the term “Legitimate Rape” wass only recently introduced into the common lexicon due to the interview by Senate hopeful Todd Akin, its origins actually stretch back far further than most people realize. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch went into detail behind the origins of his claim. The origin for the rape-pregnancy-free argument comes from a single source, the 1972 article “The Indications for Induced Abortion: A Physician’s Perspective,” by Dr. Fred Mecklenburg. This two page piece was one of 19 included in the 1972 anthology “Abortion and Social Justice” compiled by Dr. Thomas W. Hilger. Dr. Mecklenburg formerly was the chairman of obstetrics at Inova Women’s Hospital in Fall’s Church, Va.
In Dr. Mecklenburg’s piece, he posted several statistics, from a woman’s menstrual cycle to a rapists masturbation to theorize that pregnancies from rape are incredibly improbable. But, buried within the piece is one line, one bit of insight into the origin of this tale. It states that a woman exposed to rape, “will not ovulate even if she is ‘scheduled’ to.” The source of his claims, however, is where the story falls apart.
Since the paper’s release in 1972, there has been leaps and bounds in the field of obstetrics. Taken from the Post-Dispatch is this gem from Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president for health policy at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
“From a scientific standpoint, what’s legitimate and fair to say is that a woman who is raped has the same chances of getting pregnant as a woman who engaged in consensual intercourse during the same time in her menstrual cycle.”
So where then did Dr. Mecklenburg originate his hypothesis?
According to RawStory, the papers which he cited for his own article originated from the concentration camps and the sadistic medical experiments done by Nazi doctors such as Josef Mengele, Herta Oberheuser and Karl Brandt. Quoting from Dr Mecklenburg’s article, the doctors tested their hypothesis “by selecting women who were about to ovulate and sending them to the gas chambers, only to bring them back after their realistic mock-killing, to see what the effect this had on their ovulatory patterns. An extremely high percentage of these women did not ovulate.” To confirm his hypothesis, he cites the work by the most inhumane and evil of men.
Of course, medical science invalidated his theory decades ago. The original Nazi experiments were on people malnourished and abused, both of which by themselves have been found to cause infertility. This is not new knowledge, but why then was this source cited by Dr. Mecklenburg?
It turns out his wife, Marjory, was the chairwoman of the National Right to Life Committee. She also served under both Presidents Ford and Reagan. To back their anti-choice positions, they needed scientific papers. And here is her husband providing just what they needed in a publication paid for by Americans United for Life, run by William Buckley’s brother-in-law. A very tight-knit group. To gain the academic credibility needed, he needed to give sources, and the only ones available came right out of the mass murders of the Holocaust.
Since the publication of his paper, it is often cited by a number of other anti-choice studies for validation of their figures. This is how the cycle is perpetuated, in this case political advocacy through fake science. No different than Intelligent Design or Divine Mathematics. The “science” behind the anti-choice movement is a fraud, built upon the theories of mad men who were out to create the Master Race.
The ultimate Godwin’s Law indeed, when your own proof is nothing but a reconstituted Third Reich lie.
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