Target: Representative Todd Akin
Goal: Publicly apologize for claiming that women cannot become pregnant from “legitimate” acts of rape
While many right-wing politicians have publicly spoken out against a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, few examples of anti-choice rhetoric have been so blatantly incorrect and offensive as the recent statements from Rep. Todd Akin. When asked about his views on abortion in the case of rape, the Tea Party Republican simply replied that pregnancy resulting from rape was a biologically impossibility.
“From what I understand from doctors…if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” said Akin. The claim that a woman’s uterus somehow knows the difference between consensual sex and rape is not only absurd, but deeply offensive to rape survivors and women everywhere. Countless women have been impregnated by acts of sexual assault. Their stories are real and painful, and to write off their experiences as fiction degrades all women. Furthermore, Akin’s use of the phrase “legitimate rape” implies that he believes only violent rapes should be considered rape at all–a problematic stance that erases the experiences of women who are raped nonviolently by their partners and friends.
No doctor or scientist could possibly claim that all forcibly-created embryos are automatically rejected by the female body. And no male politician has the right to tell women that there’s a difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape. Tell Rep. Todd Akin to apologize for his incendiary statements and retract his comments at once.
Dear Rep. Todd Akin,
Recently, you told an interviewer that the question of abortion does not even enter the picture in instances of rape because women are not biologically capable of being impregnated by their rapists. Not only is such a statement blatantly untrue, but it erases the experiences of women who have been actually impregnated by real, legitimate rape.
The female body does not contain a mechanism for rejecting embryos that result from rape. Your recent comments imply that all women who become pregnant after being raped are lying about their situation in order to get an abortion. Your statements also suggested that there is a difference between a legitimate rape and an illegitimate one, referencing the problematic argument that nonviolent rapes do not “count” as real sexual assault.
I demand that you research your outrageous and enraging claims before speaking on the matter of abortion again. Retract these fallacious comments and apologize for spreading misinformation about serious issues of women’s health immediately.
[Your Name Here]