Today, we’re going to talk about three things that I hate with an extreme, burning passion: Rape, those who marginalize or make excuses for rape, and people who tell infertile women to “just relax” if they want to get pregnant. That might seem like an odd combination, but a single Republican congressman has managed to roll them all into one big ball of awfulness.
Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey is coming to the defense of Todd Akin. You all remember Todd Akin, right? Yes, Gingrey, who happens to be a member of the GOP Doctors Caucus, wanted to explain why all of us were wrong to get so angry about Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments. He told the Marrietta Daily Journal:
“What he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that.”
So here’s part one. He’s the guy who focuses on the extremely small percentage of rapes that are falsely reported. And I’d like to point out that if that “scared-to-death 15-year-old” was dating a guy 18 years or older, then her impregnation was a rape. Statutory rape. Because 15-year-olds are not legally of age to give consent.
What’s more, Gingrey wasn’t just defending Akin’s use of the word “legitimate.” He was defending the original argument that women who were raped can’t get pregnant. He explained,
“I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he?”
If my infertility doctor ever told me not to be so “tense and uptight,” it’s possible that I would cause him bodily harm. I’d just like to have that on the record. What’s more, women’s bodies are all different. Some have problems getting pregnant under the best of circumstances. Some can get pregnant even while dealing with really horrible and traumatic events. This is proven by the thousands and thousands of women who have gotten pregnant through rape.
I find it extremely interesting that Gingrey decided to come out with his enthusiastic support of Akin’s ignorant views after the elections were held and the new session of Congress began. I suppose he didn’t want to be one of the wave of Republican men who was turned down by voters because of archaic and insensitive comments about women. Turns out, ladies don’t particularly enjoy having men tell us what our bodies can or can’t do, what we should or shouldn’t do with out reproductive systems.
Call me an optimist, but I thing Gingrey should have kept these opinions to himself indefinitely. The next election isn’t that far away.