A Republican Congressman has come to the defense of former Senator Todd Akin who was criticized for his comments this summer that 'legitimate rape' rarely causes pregnancy.
The Congressman, Rep. Phil Gringey, a Republican from Georgia, said Akin was "partially right" when he said that women rarely become pregnant when raped, reports the New York Times.
Akin originally said that pregnancy usually doesn't occur because the "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Akin lost his Senate race to Democrat Claire McCaskill partially because of anger over his comments.
Rep. Gringey, who is also an OBGYN, told the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce that Akin was treated unfairly by the media.
“I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things,” Gingrey said, according to The Marietta Daily News.
“It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right, wasn’t he?”
He continued, “But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”
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Akin later apologized and said he got the facts wrong. Studies show that rape and consensual sex have the same pregnancy rate, reports the Huffington Post.
Rep. Gingrey also defended Akin's use of the term 'legitimate rape', saying, "what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped," Gingrey said.
"That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”
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Gingrey also threw a bone to Indiana Richard Mourdock, who also lost an election due to comments about rape. Mourdock said that pregnancies caused by rape were “something God intended.”
“Part of the reason the Dems still control the Senate is because of comments made in Missouri by Todd Akin and Indiana by Mourdock were considered a little bit over the top ... Mourdock basically said ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election," Gingrey said.