Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.Ok, is what he said true? Well...no:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
A 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency” and is “a cause of many unwanted pregnancies” — an estimated “32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.”Now, yes, Rep. Akin had a lead on Senator McCaskill by about 8.5 points (roughly 49.5 to 41 percent; they are running for the US Senate seat in Missouri) but this reminds me of the 1990 race for the Governor of Texas between Clayton Williams and Ann Richards.
More below the fold...
At the start of the Texas governor's race, Mr. Williams had a 20 point lead on Ms. Richards, but committed a series of huge gaffes. Among them:
1. On an outdoor ranch weekend with reporters, he quipped: "bad weather is like rape. If it is inevitable, relax and enjoy it."
2. He talked about his days at Texas A&M; he pointed out that he would take trips to the border to "get serviced".
3. He mentioned that he didn't know how he voted on a ballot measure that affected how the governor conducted business.
4. He then refused to shake Ann Richard's hand when they met.
Eventually the lead withered and she won with 52 percent of the vote.
I wonder if there is a parallel here.
I remember the night before the election; I took a poll of my office mates and then of my friends; only one of my friends thought that Richards would win; we all agreed that an "in the bag" election had become very interesting.