Todd Akin Says His Staffers Were "Conceived By Rape." Isn't the Body Supposed to Shut That Down?

What Women Really Think
July 17 2014 12:15 PM

Todd Akin: "Legitimate Rape" Doesn't Result in Conception, Unless You're One of My Staffers

Todd Akin doesn't think women get pregnant from "legitimate rape" except when they do.

Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Todd Akin continues to expand on his critical contributions to the discourse of rape and abortion rights while he promotes his book. While reiterating that he was not wrong to say, as he did in 2012, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he’s adding a new twist: On MSNBC’s Daily Rundown, Akin told Chuck Todd that a “number of people” on his staff were “conceived by rape.”

So which is it, Todd? Do female bodies magically prevent pregnancy from rape, or is rape so efficient at people production that it’s provided a significant number of staff members for you?


Akin’s explanation leaves much to be desired: “I never said that a woman can't get pregnant who is raped," he said. "I was simply talking about the fact that stress affects the statistics of people becoming pregnant.”

It is true that he didn’t say that it never happens. The exact quote, in response to a question about exceptions for rape to his proposed ban on abortion: “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 maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

Piecing it together, I think we get the full picture. Akin believes that “the female body” often prevents women from getting pregnant when raped, if these women are even telling the truth about getting raped to begin with. If you are one of those unlucky enough to be legitimately raped and impregnated, well, no legal abortion for you. But take comfort, legitimate rape victims: That baby you were forced to bear might get to work for a failed Senate candidate one day! So it all works out in the end.  

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.