In an address to the Cobb County, GA Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) told the assembled group that Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)’s remarks on rape were “partly right” and unfairly maligned by the U.S. media. According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the congressman believes that adrenaline can prevent pregnancies, and that women who are frightened during sex will not ovulate.
In his remarks, which largely centered around gun control, Gingrey veered into questions of the female reproductive system and its attendant mysteries, the magical power of women’s bodies to block conception in cases of rape.
“Part of the reason the Dems still control the Senate is because of comments made in Missouri by Todd Akin and Indiana by Mourdock were considered a little bit over the top,” he said. “Mourdock basically said ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election.”
He went on, “And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”
He said that he has been an OB-GYN physician since 1975, and that what he has seen in his work supports his views.
“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.