Bakin’ AkinBacon

This whole Akin thing is very frustrating to me, and not for all the usual reasons. I am very distressed by the attitudes toward him that conservatives have brought to the discussion, in pretty much every venue where I’ve heard or seen him discussed. Personally, I think he’s a funny-looking, dweeby, little nerd with a bad comb-over, and not that appealing even with his mouth shut. I think his staying in the race is more about him than it is winning the Senate for the conservative cause. If the votes were cast now, he’d lose decisively against a woman who shouldn’t have a chance to win. His recent troubles, according to Rasmussen, have not just changed MO from a safe Republican Senate win, but they have also put the winning of MO’s electoral votes at risk for the Romney/Ryan ticket. These are all bad things. We can agree on all of this.

However, let’s put that part aside for a few moments, after acknowledging that if a Democrat had said something like this, not only would it not still be front-page news, but most of us would never have heard anything about it because it wouldn’t have been reported in the first place! I want to talk about the special vitriol directed towards Akin for being so stupid as to even believe such idiocy, the ignorant fool! Why ARE conservatives so angry towards him? Why do you think he’s so INCREDIBLY S.T.U.P.I.D.? I contend that many think and feel the way they do because they have been manipulated to do so. Akin is stupid because we were told from the outset that he is stupid and we can know this because only stupid people would stupidly cling to such a stupid idea from their stupidly-ignorant, stupid heads…especially from a stupid state like stupid Missouri. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Because–politics aside–I think the media is tricking conservatives into furthering the leftist agenda, I want to present an opposing idea. Having presented it, I’ve got no further bull in this fight and won’t be out with my red cape, directing traffic. Feel free to argue it amongst yourselves, but this is my whole contribution. At least I HOPE it’s a contribution, because I am more disturbed by conservatives’ reactions to Akin’s remarks than I am by the remarks themselves. Here’s why:

I became a registered nurse in 1969. For the next 4 decades, except for maternity leaves (4), sick time, vacations, etc., I was continually employed in my chosen profession, mostly in-hospital. 30 of those years were spent in labor and delivery. At the time I became disabled, I had more working seniority than almost any other nurse in my department at the busy maternal/child tertiary center where I worked. I had professional medical experience coming out of my EARS, and during all that time, I believed the same thing Akin has just gotten in trouble for saying.

Somewhere, back in the mists of youth and time, I had heard (on more than one occasion) this issue discussed by medical people. I don’t remember when. I don’t remember who. I just know that it was presented as fact by experienced, educated people. I heard it, filed it away, and didn’t think a lot more about it. Let’s be fair–by the time ladies came to me for delivery, the question of conception had been pretty much resolved! So my line of work never required me to revisit my youthful “understanding” of this question. In fact, it was not until the Akin Bakin’ commenced, and I went online to find some documentation of this fact that he and I both KNEW, that I found out what I “knew” wasn’t really so. That was a big shock to me. I’m not sure I’ve recovered from it yet. But it’s left me with a lot of sympathy for a man whose public profile, and unfortunate conservative credentials, have caused him to be offered up as a human sacrifice on the Altar of Liberal Agendas…just for saying something that we both believed until just a few days ago. How thankful I am to be an insignificant peon!! When I make a mistake, nobody cares but me. Akin? A bipartisan lynch mob, over an honest error, and a VERY unfortunate turn-of-the-phrase in expressing it.

Personally, I like him less for what he’s done since his trouble began, than for the error that started this whole thing. But I will not attack him for getting a fact wrong…not when I’ve had the same misunderstanding, for at least 30 years, and acquired in my work in the health field,. You may object all you like to his stubbornness, his ego, his refusal to relinquish the pursuit for power, and many other legitimate concerns in this race. But to call him “stupid” is unfair. If you had had this idea (that a woman’s body has a mechanism that helps protect against pregnancy after rape), presented to you coherently, as it was to me, by sensible people you knew and trusted, and without the media–in full-throated rage–telling you upfront that it was “stupid” (and so was anyone who believed it), I think you would have made the same mistake Akin did in believing something that, when it counted, simply turned out to be NOT SO.

14 Comments

Filed under Abortion, Democrats, Elections, Republicans

14 responses to “Bakin’ AkinBacon

  1. Pistol Pete

    To me,his mistake was not in what he said but rather his lack of preparation for the interview.He’s held elective office for 24 years and should know enough to choose his words carefully.As conservatives we are not afforded the luxury of speaking extemporaneously,as liberals are,since the media has been covering up their mistakes forever.To compound the problem,Huckabee got in his ear and told him to stand on principle,even if it meant the whole party is made to suffer.Recall how the democrats withheld information about Mark Foley’s suggestive e-mail to a teenage page until the day after the deadline to replace him on the ballot to make it public.Even though he resigned and disappeared the next day,the damage had been done.Democrats are very good at distraction as a defense mechanism.There is a Minnesota lawmaker who admitted last week to orally copulating a 17 year old male at a highway rest stop.The media never breathed a word of it and he quietly resigned.
    We are constrained by a moral and ethical set of standards that are of no consequence to liberals.Its not right that one side has to play by the rules and the other does not,but thats the way it is.We would not,could not be anything other than what we are.Akin is too prideful to admit his mistake has consequences and insists he can still win.While I can repect his values,I have serious doubts about his pragmatism.

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  2. Auntie Lib

    You make an interesting point, FTN. I hadn’t really heard that “theory” from medical people. Many, many years ago after being mugged, beaten and raped, I remember the doctor at the ER commenting that there was very little chance that I would become pregnant. Being in a less than receptive frame of mind, my reaction was more along the lines of, “No, you jerk, because I’m on the pill!” But, upon reflection, perhaps he was referencing this medical proposition. I don’t know for sure, but maybe.

    I do know that the percentage of rapes that result in pregnancy is small, as is the real percentage of pregnancies that result from one-time encounters (despite the claims of so many “practically virgins”).

    Bottom line, I’m disgusted with his refusal to get out of the race. It’s even having repercussions in our races up here!

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  3. What A Hoot

    Wow. Thank you for your honesty, Frankly.

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  4. The reason I knew differently on the question of whether rape can result in pregnancy is that I’ve been involved in right-to-life work for three decades, and so have heard and read the testimonies of many women whose pregnancies resulted from rape. It’s true that upwards of 98% of abortions involve babies who were conceived through consensual intercourse — although the pro-abortion crowd likes to count things like “date rape” (roughly defined as any act of intercourse that the woman regrets afterward, especially if alcohol was involved) and “statutory rape” (which is usually consensual, albeit with an underage girl) in the total to make the number of rapist-induced pregnancies seem larger than it is.

    The odds are against conception in any act of rape, not because a woman’s body somehow “shuts down,” but because conception is only possible for a few days each month — and that’s assuming the victim is not on the pill, using an IUD, Norplant, or some other method of contraception, has not had her tubes tied, is not too young or too old, etc. Still, it does happen. The problem conservatives have when arguing about this issue with liberals is that they tend to accept the liberals’ premise: i.e., that abortion is somehow beneficial to women who have been raped. Although this may seem intuitive, the facts don’t support it. The majority of women who conceive as a result of rape choose not to abort, and of those who do choose to abort, many end up regretting their decision, and say that if they had it to do over, they would carry the baby to term. More information on this can be found here: http://www.lifenews.com/2010/04/05/nat-6223/

    I agree with Pete there is no excuse for a pro-life politician who has held elective office for so many years to have been unprepared for that question. When one of our guys bungles a question like that, it just provides a truckload of free ammunition for the pro-death crowd, who are always claiming that pro-lifers are stupid, ignorant, uninformed, etc. Akin is just the sort of pro-lifer that pro-abortionists love.

    Yes, it’s true that liberals, democrats, pro-abortionists and other menaces to society can say stupid things from dawn till dusk and the media will ignore it. Yes, that’s unfair, absolutely. But we have to deal with the world as it is, not as it would be if life were fair. Our goal is to stop the killing, and anything or anyone that postpones the day when the killing stops just means more innocent lives will be lost. More than fifty million children have already been sacrificed in America’s abortion mills. No politician, no matter how hard he has worked to get where he is, is more important than putting a stop to the killing. Why does Mr. Akin not realize this?

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  5. Frankly, thank you for this post. I really appreciate your sharing your perspective.

    Here’s what was said in that interview:

    Charles Jaco: “If abortion can be considered in the case of a duct-tubal pregnancy or something like that, what about the case of rape, should it be legal or not?”

    Todd Akin: “Well you know, people always wanta try and make that one of those things, well, how do ya, how do ya, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. It seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors that’s really rare, if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that may that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be in the rapist and not attacking the child.”

    I had never heard the medical opinion that in the aftermath of forcible rape a woman’s body might react in a way that would make conception more difficult. So, to me, Akin’s claim that, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” struck me as a very ignorant thing to say. But it is very illuminating for me to learn from you, a Registered Nurse with 30 years of labor and delivery experience, that this claim was at one time accepted as truth by the OB community.

    I think Akin’s heart is in the right place, but he got himself in trouble by:

    1) Using the word “legitimate” in place of the word “forcible”. I think he was trying to differentiate between statutory rape and forcible rape. But some people took “legitimate” the wrong way and thought he was trying to “legitimize” rape. That was not his point at all. He wasn’t saying that some rape is “legitimate”. He meant “forcible”.

    2) Suggesting that “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down”. Many people had never heard that claim before, and even those (like you) who had heard it before have since learned that it’s not 100% true. Even if the female body can react in ways that reduce conception after a forcible rape, it does not prevent it 100% of the time. There absolutely are children conceived as a result of forcible rapes. Akin has since admitted that he has learned he was incorrect on this point.

    3) In the blow-up following his statements, Akin make the mistake of thinking that all of the criticism coming at him was from the left. And when he realized that even people like Mitt Romney were wanting him to drop out, Akin had less than positive things to say about the top of our ticket (a huge political mistake).

    If I had been in Akin’s shoes, and said what he said based on incorrect information received from the medical community in the past, here’s how I would have responded when things blew up…

    In that interview, I made two mistakes. When I used the phrase “legitimate rape”, I meant “forcible rape”, and I did not intend in any way to legitimize rape. Rape is never legitimate. The reason I used that word is that advocates of abortion, most notably in the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, illegitimately inflated the numbers of conceptions due to forcible rape, in their attempts to influence the court.

    My second mistake was that I repeated an outdated medical belief that in cases of forcible rape, the female body has ways to try to “shut down”, i.e. prevent, conception. I am not a doctor, and my statement was based on what doctors had told me years ago. I have since learned that that is not the prevailing belief of the medical community today, and I acknowledge that children ARE sometimes conceived as the result of a forcible rape. In the interview, I explained that even when you assume that a child was conceived as the result of rape, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be for the rapist and not the child.

    I stand by that statement in the interview. I think there should be some punishment in cases of forcible rape, but the punishment ought to be upon the rapist and not the child. In this country, we do not sentence a child to death for the crime of their father. If that is true outside the womb, it should also be true inside the womb.

    A conceived child, regardless of gestational age, has its own DNA, unique from that of its mother. It is residing within its mother’s body, but it is not a part of her body. Every cell in her body has her unique DNA, and every cell in that baby’s body has its own separate DNA, unique from that of its mother. People are failing to recognize that scientific truth when they say, “My body, my choice.” That baby has its own body, which is only temporarily residing inside its mother’s body. It’s not “her body”; it’s the baby’s body. And I believe that a human being does not have a “right” to end the life of another, 100% innocent, human being.

    I understand that forcible rapes occur, and that some pregnancies occur as a result of those rapes. The biological father should be tried in a court of law, and if found guilty by his own admission or by the judgment of a jury of his peers, punished to the full extent of the law.

    But I do not believe that a 100% innocent baby should receive the death penalty for the father’s crime.

    There are millions of people in this country who want to adopt, but are forced to adopt from other countries because of a lack of children to adopt here in the USA.

    I think that women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy would find that carrying a child to term, and giving it up for adoption, would be a blessing to their child, to the adoptive parents, and to themselves. I think that they would find that adoption is a much better alternative to abortion, and that women today are not fully informed of the common physical and psychological consequences of abortion. Women who are currently considering abortion may want to read some of the personal testimonies at:
    http://SilentNoMoreAwareness.org/

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    • I think the use of the word “legitimate” was intended to differentiate between forcible rape and “rapes” that are called that by women making false accusations for their own varying motives. That was my initial interpretation. I also don’t know if this belief was common in the medical community. I lived, at the time, in smaller communities. We weren’t exactly cutting-edge. But it was promulgated, to a or lesser degree, by at least some in the health care industry at that time. When the idea fell into general disfavor, I have no idea. I never had occasion to revisit the idea until this week.

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      • Thanks again for your input. I think we are generally in agreement…

        …“legitimate rape” was not intended to be offensive, but some women were offended by that phrase.

        And “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” was neither as “out there” as many (including myself) originally thought, nor was it intended to be offensive, but some women were offended by that, thinking that it was “blaming the victim” if she became pregnant as a result of a forcible rape.

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  6. Really excellent and courageous post, FtN. I was thinking along the same lines, but was too chicken to write anything about it. Well done.

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    • I don’t think it would actually qualify as courageous unless I posted it on FB under my real name, for all and sundry to read. I haven’t done that! Still, there are enough people here that know who I am that the fact that I waited several days to post it was not ENTIRELY due to the fact that I spilled soda on the keyboard awhile back and the keys stick so much I hate to type long posts! 😎

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      • See, this is why I only drink Bourbon when I blog. When I spill it, the keyboard usually ends up cleaner than before. 🙂

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      • chrissythehyphenated

        So when our niece gave her cousins her old puter way back when we were broke and any puter was better than nothing … it wasn’t just the solidified globs of grape jelly that made the keys so sticky? It might also have been soda? Hmmmm. 🙂

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