Todd Akin is Not Smarter than a Fifth Grader

Romney Ryan Plan Birth ControlLegitimate rape. The first time I heard this phrase I had no idea what Todd Akin could have possibly meant. In fact, I thought I must have misread the quote. But after reading it again, and hearing about it all over the media, I had to find out what Todd Akin could have possibly meant by such a contradictory phrase. Did Akin mean to suggest that there is such a thing as a legitimate or  illegitimate rape?  Is the illegitimate rape the one where the woman said no but really meant yes?  

According to Akin, yes.  As I read the entire context of what Akin stated, I was disturbed. Akin is under the belief that a woman that is “legitimately” or really raped, will not get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Hmm… really? Because in 5th grade health class, I learned that sexual intercourse can result in conception and therefore pregnancy. So why the discrepancy? 


In high school, college, in doctor's offices around the world, women are taught that you can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex.   Never once have I heard that my body could "shut that whole thing down" if I really did not want to have sex.  

Fortunately for all women, Akin is not teaching reproductive health to 5th graders.  His statement suggests he's not qualified to any how.  But what is scary is that Akin, like many other Republicans, seeks to have input in what a woman can or can't do with her own body.  Why should Akin, Republicans, or any public official have a  deciding opinion on a woman's options when it comes to her body and her reproductive health?  Backwards thinking public officials, whether Republicans or Democrats, have no business in the business of deciding the reproductive rights of a woman.    

Before we blame Akin for giving the Republican party a bad name, let's keep in mind that he is not alone when it comes to confusing science with science fiction. There are a few other Republicans that have attempted to use science fiction to support their ideology when it comes to women's reproductive rights. It wasn't too long ago when Republican Foster Friess stated that all women need to do to keep from getting pregnant is to put aspirin between their knees.  

Will Akin’s statements hurt the rest of the Republican party and ultimately the Romney/Ryan agenda? Maybe.  It can't help the Romney/Ryan team.  I think what Akin's statement does is further support the idea that there remains a fundamental issue with a political party deciding what a woman can or can't do with her body.  

Image via Donkeyhotey/Flickr

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