Mythic Mondays – Legitimate Rape

You know, this is one post I never thought I’d have to write. The level of stupid involved in rape culture and the forced-birth movement is pretty bad, but this comment takes the cake.

Todd Akin, a United states congressman AND a member of the House Science and Technology Committee, stated this weekend that rape rarely causes pregnancy because:

“It seems to me 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 maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

Apparently, according to Akin, a woman’s uterus knows the difference between rape and consensual sex, somehow, and magically destroys sperm that doesn’t have its paperwork in order. I want to meet the incompetent doctors that he said gave him this information.

Was it Galen of Pergamon? He taught that a woman could only conceive if she’d had an orgasm. He taught this is 150 CE, mind you. While he was ahead of his time in cutting edge anatomy…this was also almost 2,000 years ago. He also was a staunch supporter of blood letting, and of fixing ‘bad humours’, which has been thoroughly discredited by modern medicine. As has the idea that a woman needs to orgasm/consent in order to get pregnant.

Todd Akin, a man who has the power to legislate laws that limit a woman’s reproductive choice, while following advice from a 2,000 year old medical book. Not to mention the fact that this man is on the House Science and Technology Committee. Let that roll around in your head for awhile. I’m not even going to debunk this one, because if you believe that a woman’s uterus knows about consent and can decide whether it should get pregnant or not, then you are an idiot. Todd is an idiot.

The really scary thing? Todd is not an isolated case. There’s plenty of documented occurrences of Republican politicians stating this very thing. These are university educated men in positions of power. Jezebel has a recent timeline of some these incidences. Not to mention that this is one of the core beliefs of the anti-choice movement.

‘Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, on Sunday called Akin’s remarks “flat-out astonishing.”

“That kind of rhetoric re-traumatizes sexual assault victims …That kind of talk, I believe, is intended to shame women,” she told AP Radio.’
The Toronto Star

There’s also the not-so-subtle undercurrent of what he’s saying: Real rapes don’t get women pregnant. Most rapes are just made up by loose women who can’t keep their legs closed and regret it after the fact. So the estimated 32,000 women a year who get pregnant each year from rape? Lying sluts who are just trying to put an innocent man in prison. Stay classy, Todd.

There’s a petition to get Todd taken off the House Science and Technology Committee. ‘Someone who believes nonsense like this has no part overseeing science policy.’ Says the poster of the petition. Seeing as the man is still living in the dark ages, it might not be a bad idea.

Here’s some good posts on the subject of Legitimate Rape, Todd, and Rape apologists:

The myth that women can’t get pregnant from rape stems from basic assumptions anti-choicers make about women.

The Offical Guide to Legitimate Rape.

Akin’s eager apologists

What Todd Akin Said

Secrecy Is Not a Valid Counter to Fear, Lies, and Shame.

Apparently Ontario is no longer allowing the whack-job forced-birthers access to abortion statistics. I have mixed feelings about this. You see, Ontario is no longer allowing access to abortion statistics for anyone. The Ministry of Health stated that “Records relating to abortion services are highly sensitive and that is why a decision was made to exempt these records.” when interviewed by the National Post.

The decision to keep Ontario abortion statistics from the public is not without precedent. B.C. has a similar law in effect and has had it since 2001, according to an article in the CBC:

Section 22.1 of B.C.’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act makes abortions the only medical procedures taking place in hospitals that are subject to secrecy.

The law was brought in back in 2001 after staff at some abortion facilities were targeted in violent attacks by anti-abortion groups in the 1990s.

Ah, yes. Those violent pro-lifers. The ones who are willing to murder people in order to make their point about how pro-life they are. Life is sacred, let’s go bomb a clinic! Way to stay true to your message, guys.

Kelly McParland, a dude with a serious case of ‘what about teh menz‘ syndrome, poor understanding of feminism, and a bone to pick with women having choice, wrote a commentary of the Ontario situation today in the National Post. With typically inflammatory and dishonest language, McParland compares abortion to incest, rape, and honour killings. Compares the murder of doctors to the ‘violence against the unborn’. False equivalencies all. And not a new tactic for McParland. Because integrity and truth are not something that anti-choicers appear to value. Shocking. A white middle aged dude with a high sense of entitlement and not much apparent respect for women deciding he knows best how we should make decisions about our bodies. I’m sure that’s never happened before. But it’s easy to dismiss his article because, well, it’s not very well written. I mean it’s a great test piece if you’re looking for logical fallacies and hyperbole, but that’s about it.

Getting back on the topic of secrecy in health statistics, I do, as I said at the beginning of this post, have mixed feelings about this. While I can see the very real threat to the safety of health care providers, I also have to wonder how you can keep statistics about a publicly funded medical procedure away from the tax paying public. Shrouding this one legitimate medical procedure in secrecy is only adding fuel to the arguments of the very people you consider dangerous in the first place. Face it, people are much more likely to protest if they think there’s a government conspiracy at hand. By making an exception in transparency only for abortions we’re lending credence to the ‘conspiracy theory’.

“It’s not an ideological issue… It’s health care provided by OHIP, so I fail to see why highly sensitive applies so drastically and dramatically in this one regard,” says Andrea Mrozek who is a spokesperson for the anti-abortion Institute of Marriage and Family. It irks me to have to agree with someone who works for a cause that uses lies, fear, and shame to make their point. It especially irks me to know that a group working with such a cesspool of morality may actually have the moral high ground in this one small instance. In fact, it makes me feel very unclean indeed.

Personally, I’m thinking the stats should be out there for all who request them. Just like any other healthcare stat. Secrecy puts us on the same moral level as the anti-choicers and that’s not something I’m comfortable with. Those who prefer choice don’t need to use lies and fear and shame. We have science and we have truth. Let’s stick to that and not stoop, please.

As for the safety of the healthcare providers, that’s a serious issue. Threats and incidents of violence against women’s clinics need to be taken much more seriously. Don’t let this shit escalate. Stricter laws and stronger enforcement against the criminals who would use terrorism and violence would go a long way to protecting those who work in clinics. Whereas secrecy is just provoking the protesters and making the terrorists feel even more righteous in their violence.

Speaking of Gun Control…

In the wake of the theatre shootings in Aurora, Colorado there are been a revival of the heated debated for or against gun control. Being an evil-godless-socialist-left-leaning-hippie-feminazi I’m sure you can guess where I stand on the issue. But that’s neither here nor there.

This morning the National Post had an interesting article that didn’t lean one way or the other but had this nifty graph that shows the correlation (or lack thereof) between gun ownership and shooting homicides. I myself am a very visual person so I like when things are laid out for me visually. Click the link below to see, because I’m not stealing their copyrighted graphic.

Graphic: Gun Ownership Around The World

It’s a good source of information for those of you planning to jump into internet arguments about gun control on this fine Sunday afternoon.

Interestingly, it doesn’t really show a correlation between number of guns and gun killings. Some of the highest number/per capita killings are in Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala. The countries we ignorant folk in more privileged countries tend to think of as ‘Cartel Countries’. Yet those countries have very few guns per capita. While the countries with the highest number of guns per capita were the U.S., Switzerland, and Finland in that order.