I mostly took the weekend off so I didn’t really see the Todd Akin “legitimate rape” controversy unfold. I was actually confused because people seem to be treating this as an outrageous gaffe. It is not. This is what Akin, and the far right pro-”life” movement, actually believe. They believe this, not because it is true or they have evidence for it, but because it gives them an excuse to ban all abortion with a clear conscience.
Here is the conundrum radical pro-”lifers” face: They want women to suffer for having sex. This is not in question. But women who are raped obviously were not voluntarily having sex. While some extremists will say it is “God’s plan” or that women impregnated should “turn lemons into lemonade,” they come off as cruel and callous. Remember, these are the people who spent 40 years opposing abortion when their real target was contraception. They’re used to hiding their true belief that pregnant women are whores behind “compassion” for the innocent.
What to do with rape victims then?
Make them active participants instead of victims, of course. This is where the move to redefine rape comes from. If it’s not rape then there’s no reason to give
whores sluts women an exemption from abortion bans. The unspoken contention of “a woman’s biology does not allow for pregnancy during rape” is “If they got pregnant, then obviously they must have enjoyed it enough for their bodies to allow the pregnancy.” Therefor, they deserve what they got. Like so many other deeply buried right wing beliefs, this idea of “legitimate rape” has been percolating for years and now that the GOP has been hijacked by extremists, it’s bubbling up to the surface for all to see.