August 22, 2012 — Some rape survivors are speaking out about recent comments by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) that pregnancy resulting from "legitimate rape" is rare, the Huffington Post reports (Bassett, Huffington Post, 8/20).
Akin, who is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) for her seat, was asked in a television interview on Sunday whether he supports abortion in cases of rape. "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said about pregnancies resulting from rape. He added, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of trying to shut that whole thing down" (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/21).
Anita Law, who became pregnant after being raped by an acquaintance when she was in college, said the comment was "a perfect example of why male politicians shouldn't be legislating women's bodies." She added, "First of all, what is legitimate rape? ... Having to deliver the baby of a rapist -- that's torture" (Huffington Post, 8/20).
Diana Meyer, a rape survivor who lives in Missouri, said Akin's comments have been traumatizing. "Every single time I see his name on a billboard or I turn on a TV, it is going to do nothing but trigger me," she said, adding, "I will feel victimized all over again" (KMBC-TV/NBC News, 8/20).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership