Akin’s Claims Not New in Texas

You might want to sit down for this one: Todd Akin’s claim that a raped woman’s body will somehow shut down a pregnancy before it even happens is not supported by science. (I know, you’re shocked.) And, ironically, one of the most prominent elected officials now calling for Akin to step aside is endorsed by a group that peddles such nonsense in Texas.

The New York Times explains that the claims have floated around in the anti-abortion movement for years, and other media outlets cite as its source a 1972 article from Dr. Fred Mecklenburg of the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Leading experts dispute the article, but that hasn’t stopped the anti-abortion movement from running with it.

That includes Dr. John Willke, past president of the anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee. Among other things, Dr. Willke claims — get this — that a raped woman is under such stress that her fallopian tubes tighten.

Dr. Willke explains it this way:

“This is a traumatic thing — she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight. She is frightened, tight and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.”

To which, Dr. Michael Greene of Harvard Medical School responded like this:

“There are no words for this — it is just nuts.”

In Texas, one of the groups promoting Akin’s claim is Texas Right to Life. On its website in a section titled “The Hard Cases,” the group tries to make the case against laws that allow abortion under some exceptions. In the case of rape, the group claims pregnancy is not common. However, pregnancy from rape occurs at about the same rate as pregnancy from unprotected consensual sex, no matter what the group tries to claim with this cherry-picked stat:

Many individuals believe that pregnancy resulting from rape is a common occurrence. However, there are many sound medical reasons and statistical data that refute this presumption. A 1988 study conducted by The Alan Guttmacher Institute concluded that, of 1,900 U.S. women surveyed who had undergone abortions, only 1% listed rape or incest as their reason for choosing abortion.

Which brings us to Texas Sen. John Cornyn. Cornyn is also the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the outfit tasked with electing Republican senators and which would have financially supported Akin in his bid against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill had Akin not become radioactive. Texas Right to Life has endorsed Cornyn in the past, and according to its website, the senator has met with the group and attended at least one town hall event.

Sen. Cornyn had this to say about Akin’s remarks:

“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible.”

How does he feel about Texas Right to Life, which has essentially said the same thing?

10 thoughts on “Akin’s Claims Not New in Texas

  1. The liberal press is trying to keep this Aiken story alive. That’s because they want to get Obama re-elected and in furtherance of that goal they’re promoting the mythical GOP war on women. How do we know it’s mythical? Because several months ago Fox News put together a panel to decide that very thing. And the panel concluded unanimously there is no GOP war on women. They report, you decide. Or maybe they report, you throw up.

    Speaking of throwing up the Chuck Colson Ministries is the latest evangelical outfit to spew massive chunks all over David Barton. It seems like the well deserved Barton bashing has been held back for some time, has been brewing, and now the lid has blown off. I guess nobody wanted to rock the boat and now it’s like there’s a catharsis going on. Long may it run.

    My uncle was buddies with Chuck Colson, up in DC, back in the day. They used to get together on Sunday mornings and drink Bloody Mary’s. That was before Chuck got Waterboarded, er I mean Watergated, sent off to prison and found religion. Once he’d been born-again Chuck decided it was his place to tell everyone else how to live their lives.


    WANTED: Someone to legislate
    How Americans procreate.
    Must not know how reproduction works;
    That info’s just for liberal jerks.
    We prefer “facts” of our own making.
    We support our candidate, Todd Akin.

  3. It needs to be pointed out that Akin’s ninsense is shared by Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, the guys who just wrote the GOP’s platform plank on “personhood at conception”, and the fundamentalists who have taken over the once centrist Republican Party.

  4. Akin is pure stupidity and anyone who supports him has not done his homework. I said “his” because the women who support him or any of the anti-rape-abortionists are scarce. How incredible that the State of Missouri has had such an ignorant person representing it in the Congress of the United States!

  5. Junk science, such as that surrounding AGW, would also include the idea that life does not begin at conception.

    It does, everybody knows it does, women who go through the trauma of abortion know it does, It is truly an inconvenient truth.

    Fact: Abortion ends a life.

    Legitimate rape would not include those who claim rape but were not: Jane Roe (aka Norma McCorvey), Tawana Brawley (of Sharpton fame) or Crystal Magnum (of Duke Lacrosse fame).

    There are women who claim rape, after 180 days, solely because it is the only way they can still get an abortion. Fact.

    1. Dear Ben-

      Didn’t bother to follow your link.

      Nor does anything you say, including attacking the messenger, change the fact that life begins at conception.

      You are just another of the UIs.