The thoroughly badass Lindsay Beyerstein has a review of some of the more recent batshit crazy things said about women, sex and reproduction by religious right politicians, from masturbating fetuses to the female body being able to secrete its own birth control in case of rape. I didn’t know some of this about Todd Akin’s bizarre beliefs about rape:
The notion that rape never results in conception was used to unfairly discredit rape allegations for hundreds of years before science discredited the idea, but the modern anti-choice movement revived this dud in a disingenuous bid to convince the public that abortion bans don’t need rape exemptions. One paper in particular, contained in a 1972 volume funded by Americans United for Life, has been, uh, seminal in reviving the myth in anti-choice circles. The author’s evidence for this claim ranges from a pseudoscientific “experiment” from a Nazi concentration camp to his assertion that rapists masturbate too much to get their victims pregnant.
But this was not just some inadvertent misstatement by Akin, it’s a commonly held belief among the American Christian right. This is a perfect example of what I referred to as “virulent ignorance” in my C-SPAN talk in 2008. It isn’t just that they don’t understand the basic facts about reproduction, it’s that they have a large number of patently false ideas that they have absorbed and presume to be true and which they use to justify their policy positions.