My grandmother had nine children –5 girls, 4 boys. One of her children was a product of rape: my aunt. Now, at 51, my aunt has been married for more than 25 years, has three children (all married) and three grandsons. I love my aunt and cousins and couldn’t imagine my family without them.
I don’t know why my grandmother decided to keep her unborn child after being raped, but I am grateful she did. She experienced something no woman should ever have to face, but, unfortunately, countless women are forced to battle this ugly act each year. She was assaulted, wound up pregnant and had to make a decision. Yet, according to Representative Todd Akin, a Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, my grandmother should’ve never been forced to choose whether or not to give birth to a child from rape. According to Akin, my grandmother had a decision to make while she was being raped and she made the wrong one. According to him, my grandmother chose to become pregnant.
Last week, during an interview with St. Louis’ KTVI-TV station, Akin shared his views on abortion in the case of rape victims. Beware, what you are about to read is ignorance at its finest:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said (about pregnancies resulting from rape). “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
A legitimate rape? I’m sorry, I was unaware such a thing as an illegitimate rape exists. And because doctors may have claimed a woman can prevent becoming pregnant while being raped, makes it so? Oh forgive me; I thought that’s why they called it the practice of medicine.
Then Akin backpedaled saying he “misspoke” during the interview. You know what? I am about tired of all these men trying to speak on behalf of women.
For years, men in science, men in the government…shoot, men everywhere having been saying this and that when it comes to women and our bodies. I am enraged and disgusted by Akin’s comments and his weak apology. I am sick of studies and reports, conducted by men, trying to explain how this and that works when it comes to us. I am done with men attempting to control things like abortions and birth control dictating what we are and are not permitted to do with our bodies.
Akin said from what he understands from doctors, pregnancy from rape is rare and women have ways to “shut that whole thing down.” Well from what I understand Akin, you are not and will never be a woman. You will never know what it feels like to be a woman who was raped and had something so precious taken from her. You will never have to fight yourself internally as you weigh whether or not to keep a child produced from such a painful experience.
How dare you and anyone else even try to speak on behalf of my grandmother and millions of other women who have been raped? They each have a voice and they are ones that don’t need science or doctors to provide them with an “understanding” of what they’ve been through.