By now we’ve all heard Representative Akin’s comment a thousand times, but for completeness:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
He has since clarified that he meant “forcible” rape. I’m not really going to comment on the rape aspect here other than to say that I assume he means physically violent rape because otherwise I am left scratching my head wondering about the circumstances of all those voluntary rapes that must be occurring.
What get’s me is that this guy has served in Congress for twelve years now and shows a shocking lack of what can be a high school education-level knowledge about the workings of the reproductive system. I mean we covered this stuff in our freshman year in health class, and we all pretty much knew how things worked well before that…
…but for the benefit of the Rep, it’s goes something like this:
- Sperm enters the female reproductive pathway (see, I avoided the ‘V’ words as I know that they are offensive to Congresspeople).
- An egg is present in that pathway.
- Sperm and egg meet.
- Sperm fertilizes egg.
- If woman is in reasonably good health, the fertilized egg has passed the fallopian tubes and the uterus is in good shape (no damage, biologically capable of pregnancy), the egg implants and pregnancy occurs.
That’s it. End of story. No moral gatekeeper separating the noble sperm from the “bad” sperm. No way to wish away a fertilization. It just happens.
In one aspect, he is right, though. A woman does have a way of shutting that whole thing down. It’s called the morning after pill or, if necessary, an abortion… I’m just saying…
Representative Akin went on to say that, in the case of rape, there should be punishment, but that it shouldn’t be the child that is punished. I guess it is okay for the woman to be punished though?
You know, I don’t even see why rape is brought into the abortion argument at all. The argument is over. What we need is for a conservative politician to say something like this to the base:
My friends, it is time for a change. Abortion has been part of our society for decades, and its benefits far exceed its drawbacks. To stand here and rail on about it is, frankly, a waste our time. So, I accept abortion for what it is. Instead of wasting millions of dollars year after year fighting against it, I’m going to ask that we redirect those dollars and that effort. I’m going to ask that we invest those dollars in education efforts so that everyone, including United States Congressmen, know how the human reproductive system works. Sex education in our high schools isn’t a question or a controversy, it is a responsible action. I’m going to ask that we invest in family planning, so that no one, no matter their economic condition, need deal with a pregnancy before they are ready, physically, emotionally and financially, to bring a child into this world and raise it in a loving home. I’m not talking about legislating when people can become pregnant or how many children they can have, but rather making sure that anyone,anyone, who needs birth control can get access to it. Finally, I’m going to ask that we make Women’s Health a priority in this country,a priority, so that when a healthy woman does decide to become pregnant, she can have a safe pregnancy and an equally healthy child.
If you truly want to reduce the number of abortions in this country, than I ask that you stand with me and fight for these ideals, so that we build a society where men and women are educated and able to make responsible decisions. Where men and women have ready access to birth control, where it’s use is not stigmatized, and where we put value on the lives and health of all of our citizens equally. When we have this, we will need to resort to abortions far less often, and we can do so, as a society, knowing that we are doing our best, every day, to make this a better world for everyone.
Meh… something like that… there’s a reason I’m not in politics… me no talk pretty…