Rachel Maddow delved into the Todd Akin “rape victims can’t get pregnant” kerfuffle on her show this week pointing out that the Missouri Rep is not alone in his magical thinking about women’s bodies, that antiabortionists have long taken Akin’s tack in order to feel okay with forcing impregnated rape victims to carry a baby to term. But what maybe worse than Akin's beliefs are Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan's.
“Todd Akin is not alone in believing that lady parts have a specific magic that can tell the difference between a rapist’s sperm and happy to have you here sperm,” Maddow said, pointing out that George W. Bush once appointed a judge who held the same belief and that the antiabortion movement continues to cite Dr. John Willke, the former president of the Right to Life Committee, in its arguments. In an interview with the New York Times this week, Willke reaffirmed his position that rape victims can’t get pregnant. And here’s why according to the NYT.
“This is a traumatic thing – she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight,” Dr. Willke, a Mitt Romney supporter in 2008, said of a woman being raped, adding, “She is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina are less likely to be able to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.”
Maddow points out that both Romney and Ryan do not share Akin’s views and that they have asked Akin to end his bid for the Missouri Senate.
However, Maddow also points out Ryan’s stance on abortion, which is that the only exception to the abortion rule is in cases in which it is necessary to save the mother’s life. She points out that Ryan said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1998 that he has “never advocated jailing women who have abortions or doctors who perform them,” but added, “If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”
Maddow suggests that in light of Akin’s statements Ryan appears to have changed his policy but also points out that no official statement about a policy change has been made.
She posits, “Which is worse?” Akin for believing in fake science? or Ryan for knowingly forcing impregnated rape victims to carry a baby to term or jailing them?
The segment is about 18 minutes long but fascinating and disturbing all at once: