Our View: No excuse for Akin’s comments
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Politicians should know what they are talking about before they address an issue on television.
Of course, we’re talking about Rep. Todd Akin’s comment on a St. Louis television station that victims of “legitimate rape” were unlikely to get pregnant as a result of rape.
Akin’s first mistake was claiming only some cases of rape are “legitimate.” What kind of rape isn’t legitimate? The emotional and physical trauma of any kind of rape can haunt victims for the rest of their lives. To imply that any of these cases are illegitimate discredits the suffering of these victims. As President Obama said: “Rape is rape.”
Akin’s second mistake was a glaring error of fact. He said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Frankly, that’s just not true. According to a study done by Jonathan and Tiffani Gottschall and published in the social science journal Human Nature in 2003, rape victims are actually more likely to conceive a child than women having only one act of consensual intercourse.
The study showed about 3.1 percent of women became pregnant after one act of consensual sex, however the pregnancy rate for women who were raped only once was 6.42 percent. While the study showed women have an increased risk of becoming pregnant as a result of rape, the reason for this is unknown.
As a result of his comment, Akin was asked to step out of the senate race by several Republicans, including Mitt Romney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and John McCain. Romney even called Akin’s comment “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.”
Despite these calls for him to step out of the race, Akin said Friday he will still continue to pursue the Senate race saying “This is an election, not a selection.”
Akin seemed to get one thing right: This is an election, and voters will get the final word.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.