With 2012 winding down, it’s time for our annual review of what we heard from the far right over the past year. We’ll roll those out over the next week or so. Among the most outrageous quotes were those from politicians and activists who had some pretty outdated and incredibly offensive to say about rape — mostly bizarre justifications for draconian limits on access to abortion. That’s where we’ll start today. You can read quotes from previous years here.
“I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
— Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, suggesting that pregnancies occurring from rape are the result of God’s will
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
— Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri, attempting to justify his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape
“And thus that establishment savages him — violently and in unison. Call it a political gang rape — a legitimate one.”
— Joel McDurmon of American Vision, accusing Republicans of committing “political gang rape” against one of their own by not standing with Todd Akin
“I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.”
— California Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson, suggesting that a rape victim “didn’t put up a fight” during her assault and that if someone doesn’t want sexual intercourse, the body “will not permit that to happen”
“Those decisions for children who are conceived in rape or in incest will need to be made prior to the 20-week mark.”
— Elizabeth Graham, head of the far-right Texas Right to Life, discussing Gov. Rick Perry’s promotion of “fetal pain” legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks. The measure would include exceptions for women whose lives are in danger, but not for victims of rape or incest.
“Those are cases [involving rape and incest] we really have to stop and think about what’s best for the women and what’s best for the unborn child. And many times the abortion, we have been told, can be more traumatic to the woman emotionally than the actual rape.”
— Joe Pojman, Texas Alliance for Life executive director, explaining why anti-abortion activists might seek to revise Texas law to force women to carry to term pregnancies resulting from rape and incest. (Pojman apparently thinks having government dictate what a woman may do in such a case isn’t traumatic.)