By Ripun Chhabra:
Earlier this August, the Missouri Senate Candidate, Todd Akin passed controversial comments about “legitimate rape”. In the discussion about abortion and rape, he mentioned that there must not be abortion in all cases because he believed that in legitimate rape, the female body had the ability to shut down the whole process of fertilization by itself. His comments are blatantly outrageous and inappropriate. How can one dare to classify such an inhumane act of rape? Rape is simply rape. Parsing, qualifying and slicing the types of rape, makes no sense whatsoever. There is no splitting of hair over rape. Akin commented that the pregnancy cases amongst rape victims are very rare. In response to this statement of his, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) slapped on his face this particular statement that said, “Each year in the U.S., 10,000 — 15,000 abortions occur among women whose pregnancies were a result of reported rape or incest.” I am sure about the fact that apart from the aforementioned statistics there must be numerous women who go for abortions because their pregnancies were a result of unreported rape and incest. His comments about rape victims were absolutely offensive and insulting — an utter disregard and disrespect to women.
As per his comments — a female body after being legitimately raped is capable enough to shut the whole thing down. Firstly, rape can never be legitimate. Rape is a violation of a woman’s rights and is always committed against her consent. Secondly, this statement of his, vividly defines his naivety as far as science is concerned. A bold answer to his statement was by a certain Dr Streicher, who said: “You let me know if you find the doctor who knows how a uterus knows which sperm to ward off.” Akin’s comments only portray him as someone who is completely uninformed about the emotional and physical trauma that rape victims have to undergo. He even suggested banning the morning-after pills. Why? Because Mr. Akin thinks these are equivalent to abortion. He says that he believes in the protection of life and not harming another innocent victim. His statement itself is contradictory and questionable. What about the protection of the mother and her condition? All he seems to be worried about is the life of the unborn, which is not even a developed foetus which therefore cannot technically be termed as life.
Mr Akin is forgetting the fact that the victim did not ask for rape or pregnancy. It was forced onto her. It is her body and she is the one who went through physical and psychological trauma. It should be her right to decide whether she wants to abort the foetus or not. He has no authority whatsoever to decide that. An eminent person like Mr. Akin, as mocked by President Obama, seems to have missed his science classes in school and I would say that he is not even up-to-date with statistics. There are numerous studies regarding rape and pregnancy and some data shows that rape cannot only result in pregnancy, but it may even lead to higher rates of pregnancy than consensual sex. As per my perspective, his comments were wrong, offensive, inexcusable and inappropriate. Ignorance is very evidently his best friend.
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