Todd Akin’s empirical question

I don’t usually re-blog my own posts, but this week, like many other folks, I have been taken aback by Donal Trump’s ongoing war on women — in particular, his claim that women who have abortions should definitely *not* be not punished, or punished, or not.

It has been said that Trump has equally enraged both right-wing conservatives and left-wing liberals with his comments. This is because left-wing liberals are supposed to be pro-choice, and right-wing conservatives are not supposed to say they think women should be punished (it doesn’t poll well with, for example, women).

Instead, they are supposed to say things like what Todd Akin blurted out in 2012; namely, that nature (i.e. God) has ways of ensuring that abortion is never truly necessary.

Hence, the following re-blog. The view Trump was trying to express has a very long history, and is unlikely to go away any time soon. Especially if he becomes President…

The Science Bit

So, as you may have heard, Mr Akin, the Republican Party Senate candidate in Missouri (hi, Missouri!) has some weird views on rape, conception, and abortion. Basically, this is what the Todd Akin t-shirts are going to be saying this November:

It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that [conception following rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Ha! “That whole thing!” Lovely. Now, much of the controversy surrounding these views stemmed from his use of the term “legitimate rape“, but really that was (it seems) just a temporary bout of word salad. He misspoke. You know, like when (Warning: old joke ahead) you want to say “Please pass the salt” but end up instead shouting “YOU RUINED MY LIFE!

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