What did we learn this week, boys and girls? We learned that apparently if a woman is "legitmately raped," she need not fear becoming impregnated. Oh no. Because, you see, according to "doctors" who have spoken to Rep. Todd Akin, "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Obviously, we know this doofus is highly offensive and utterly wrong.
Akin is basically saying that women don't get pregnant when they get raped; therefore, we need not fear that anti-abortion laws are affecting anyone other than women who chose to get pregnant. In other words, rape doesn't exist. And if it does, you certainly don't get pregnant from it. But one woman who did become pregnant after being raped has a few things to say to Todd Akin.
Shauna Prewitt was raped at 21 years old. Was it a "legitimate rape" according to the bizarro laws of Todd Akin? Apparently NOT. Because a month after her rape -- through which Prewitt says she "cried hysterically" and "fought until my body ached" -- Prewitt found out she was pregnant.
Prewitt, who had tried to deal with her rape by blocking it out of her mind as a "fictitious nightmare," realized she couldn't pretend it didn't happen anymore. She now had a life growing inside of her -- one she didn't ask for, one that was forced upon her, one she had no choice in.
Shauna Prewitt ultimately decided to have the baby. She writes:
I did not altogether hate the life growing inside of me. Instead, I felt a sort of kinship, a partnership -- perhaps the kind that only develops between those who have suffered together -- but, nevertheless, I felt a bond.
She has raised her daughter, now 7, and loves her. Here is where I imagine Akin and his crew would feel justified in their anti-abortion and rape-doesn't-make-you-pregnant stances. After all, if Prewitt learned to love her baby, then what's the problem?
First of all, not every woman is Prewitt. Prewitt doesn't say if she had the resources or family or support system to help her raise a child, but many women do not. At 21, Prewitt was young. But she wasn't 14. But even Prewitt herself -- though she eventually came to love the result of her rape, her beautiful daughter -- does not condone what Akin is saying. In fact, she despises it. She writes:
My rape did not end my life and, in a profound way, I have become a stronger person after my rape. I will fight to extinguish your inflammatory statements just as ardently as I fought to reclaim a vibrant life. I hope you will find my concerns "legitimate."
Rape is still rape no matter the eventual outcome. That Prewitt now has a daughter she loves doesn't take away the horror of her rape. Her love doesn't make her rape "illegitimate" or excuse it. Prewitt loves her daughter, yes. But she still hates her rape. And Akin shouldn't try to take that away from her.
What do you think about Shauna Prewitt's story?