Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GOP IQ is Soaring

The GOP’s Ignorance Quotient, that is.

On August 19th, Representative Todd Akin, the GOP Senate nominee from Missouri answered a question about abortion. He avowed that he was nearly absolute on the topic…no abortion ever for any reason, not even rape. Akin said,"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

As ignorant as this sounds, it’s not the first time such an off-the-wall idea about a woman’s body and its secretions has been presented as fact by a Republican Congressman.

In 1988, the Repub Representative from Pennsylvania Stephen Friend said that the odds that a raped woman will become pregnant are “one in millions and millons and millions” Friend backed his assertion up with his belief that rape causes a woman “to secrete a certain secretion” and this certain secretion kills bad sperm. 

In 1995, the Republican state Representative from North Carolina Henry Aldridge reported to the House Appropriations Committee that, "The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."

In 1998, during his Senate campaign in Arkansas, Republican candidate Dr. Fay Boozman said that hormones generated by fear prevented rape victims from getting pregnant. Dr. Boozman was an ophthalmologist. He said he had picked this information up about women’s bodies while he was a resident at the University of the Arkansas Medical Center in the 1970’s. 

In 1999, a physician and former president of the “National Right to Life Committee” John C. Wilke wrote an article in “Christian Life Resources. Wilke said: “Finally, the factor in what is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that's physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman's body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There's no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.”

On Monday, Vanessa Heggie posted a blog in UK’s “The Guardian”. Ms Heggie said a legal text written about the year 1290 included a clause based on an old-old-old wives’ tale. Miss Heggie reported that part of the text said, “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”

One would have assumed that fanciful lore from the year 1290 might have been discounted and finally disproved in the United States by 2012. One would have assumed this, except in the antediluvian, troglodyte, nonsense-spewing, myth-loving, ignorant Republican Party, that is.

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