I guess you shouldn’t always trust your doctor


Especially if that doctor is associated with Physicians For Life, an organization of ideologically warped doctors who abuse science to justify anti-abortion screeds. In one article, they carry out a set of weird calculations to trivialize pregnancies from rape. They go through a series of calculations to throw out most rapes (the woman is too old or too young to get pregnant, for instance…which should set off your alarms right there. Child rape is less of a problem simply because they won’t get pregnant?), and then comes to this weird excuse:

Finally, factor in what is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that’s psychic trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation.

Does that sound familiar? Missouri congressvermin Todd Akin recently echoed that sentiment, claiming that ‘legitimate rape’ rarely causes pregnancy (and it’s not just Akin — right-wingers everywhere parrot that claim).

Dr Jen Gunter speculates that Akin got his misinformation from Physicians for Life, and also takes apart their claim.

The Physicians for Life site quotes 3 sources, only one is original research. The one article was authored by Goth and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1977 (yes, 1977) and in NO WAY SUPPORTS THE NOTION THAT RAPES ARE RARE OR THAT THE STRESS RESPONSE LOWERS THE PREGNANCY RATE. It is an article about sexual dysfunction among rapists. Put another way, the Physicians for Life have not provided a single published article to support their claims. Interestingly, Physicians for Life also promote the long disproven claim that abortion causes breast cancer.

It’s based on nothing but air and lies, in other words.

Comments

  1. Onamission5 says

    The implications I see behind this line of reasoning (and I use that word loosely) from Akin and PFL are that A) any woman or girl who gets pregnant through rape must have actually not been traumatized and therefore really wanted it and B) this clears the consciences of those who’d deny abortion to rape victims, because see point A.

    Disgusting.

  2. dean says

    I’ve mentioned this at a couple other blogs. My 10th grade biology teacher told us this in 1972. It is apparently quite an old idea. From a news story this morning:

    The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:

    If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.

    The story also mentioned a similar comment in Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, written by Samuel Farr, in 1814.

  3. Beatrice says

    And the first thing I saw when I clicked to their page was some bullshit about a link between breast cancer and abortion.

  4. sambarge says

    A) any woman or girl who gets pregnant through rape must have actually not been traumatized and therefore really wanted it…

    The old canard used to be that you couldn’t get pregnant unless you had an orgasm, ergo pregnancy meant no rape.

    It’s nice to know that sort of bullshit still finds traffic in the 21st century.

  5. Beatrice says

    The old canard used to be that you couldn’t get pregnant unless you had an orgasm, ergo pregnancy meant no rape.

    One of many levels on which this is wrong is that it assumes that a woman can’t have an orgasm during rape.

    Which, when I think about it just gives another “get out free” card for rapists. If the victim has an orgasm, they can rationalize that she must have enjoyed it and that it wasn’t rape.

  6. Louis says

    I read about this comment from this Akin fellow….

    The rest of this comment has been censored to quite rightly protect people from the unpleasant imaginings that flittered briefly through my brain before I felt suitably ashamed of myself.

    Louis

  7. jacobfromlost says

    So much for the fundi argument that evolution is evil because rapists have a better chance of reproducing through raping women, thus making rape “ok” in the eyes of Evil Evolution Proponents.

    Good grief. It must be so hard for them to hold so many conflicting, irrational beliefs about objective facts in their heads at the same time.

    Their thinking process:

    If we’re talking about evolution…we must reject evolution because rape is immoral, and if we accept evolution then babies will be popping up everywhere as a result of immoral rapes.

    If we’re talking about rape…babies can’t result because REAL rape doesn’t result in babies. Why? Uh…uh…eh…god? Evolution? Maybe it’s just convenient to my talking point at the moment so I’ll just say whatever sounds good. If we go back to talking about evolution, I’ll be happy to switch my position back to believing rapes can and do cause pregnancy because that shows how accepting evolution is evil.

  8. says

    Sadly, Beatrice, that was, and possibly still is, used in court to get rapists off the hook. “Did you have an orgasm, Ms X? Yes? Then you enjoyed it, and so it was conseneual, and therefore my client is not guilty!”

    I think these days the question still occurs just to throw the victim into confusion, rather than being considered proof of anything.

  9. KG says

    It must be so hard for them to hold so many conflicting, irrational beliefs about objective facts in their heads at the same time. – jacobfromlost

    Unfortunately not. See Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, available free online, particularly Ch. 3 “how Authoritarians Think” (starts at p.75).

  10. thewhollynone says

    No Republican war on women, none at all, nothing here to see, move along now, folks, move along!

  11. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    You shouldn’t trust your doctor absolutely anyway. A medical degree and a shingle is no shield against being egregiously wrong.

  12. raven says

    They say the same thing about incest.

    Which must be a comforting thought for them since the rate of incest and child sexual abuse is high in fundie xian cults.

  13. Pteryxx says

    argh argh argh…. no wonder all those women who killed themselves attempting home abortions were just irrational and didn’t know their own minds. The men declared them consenting to pregnancy, dammit!

  14. raven says

    ipt-forensics.com:

    The suppression of sexuality by Christians continues even though it is known that it causes sexual dysfunction among adults and actually contributes to the commission of child sexual abuse.

    Significant correlations have long been found to exist with regards to Christian fundamentalism and child sexual abuse (Gebhard et al, 1965; Justice and Justice, 1979; Frude, 1982). More recently,

    Holderread Heggen (1993) reports that, after alcohol/drug addiction,

    the second best predictor for child sexual abuse appears to be that the parents belong to a conservative Christian religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes.

    (A variable that seems often ignored by other studies).

    Akin is a product of a dysfunctional cult. No surprise.

  15. says

    The latest wunderkind of the right wing, Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan, apparently agrees with Todd Akin.

    Remember the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”?

    In January 2011, one of the very first bills pushed by House Republicans, launched almost immediately after they took the majority, was something called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” While existing law already restricts public funding for abortions, the law makes exceptions for impregnated rape victims — and GOP lawmakers decided it was time to limit what can legally be considered “rape.”

    Specifically, Republican proponents said the exception would only apply to “forcible” rape. If the law had passed, for example, a 13-year-old girl who was impregnated by a 24-year-old man would not be able to use Medicaid funds to terminate the pregnancy, unless she could prove she’d been “forcibly” raped.

    The idea that Republicans would try to redefine rape became so controversial that the effort was quietly scuttled. But who were among the original cosponsors of the legislation? Todd Akin and his good pal, Paul Ryan….

    Sow this info far and wide so that the seeds of Paul Ryan’s anti-woman idiocy are well-known. May he wither in the spotlight.

    Quote above is from here.

  16. raven says

    And the first thing I saw when I clicked to their page was some bullshit about a link between breast cancer and abortion.

    Which is a lie.

    The other common lies of the forced birthers/female slavers are:

    1. Abortion makes you go crazy.

    2. Abortion reduces future fertility.

    I’m sure they have others and make up new ones all the time.

  17. says

    Republicans need to find a way to disenfranchise all women. That’s their only chance of winning this election.

    In other news, Todd Akin sits on the House committee on Science, Space and Technology.

  18. Socio-gen, something something... says

    There simply aren’t words strong enough to describe how much I loathe these people.

    sambarge:

    The old canard used to be that you couldn’t get pregnant unless you had an orgasm, ergo pregnancy meant no rape.

    I had a family member use this exact nonsense to explain why women who “claim rape” shouldn’t be allowed to have abortions.

  19. raven says

    Republicans need to find a way to disenfranchise all women. That’s their only chance of winning this election.

    That sounds eminently reasonable. Too reasonable to be true.

    The astonishing reality is that many women will vote for Akin. He is after all, a representative from Missouri and they already have.

    In the past, there was marked gender disparity in voting patterns. Women elected Bill Clinton twice.

    We will have to see if this continues to hold true. In a sane world it should but there is little evidence that this is our world.

  20. ChasCPeterson says

    I guess you shouldn’t always trust your doctor

    You mean ‘physician’.
    But yeah, like I always say, the best way to lose respect for the medical profession is to spend a couple years teaching pre-meds.

  21. hexidecima says

    what disgusting lies these people tell. It’s a shame that they feel they must lie to people in order to get their way and to intentionally take away the ability to make an informed decision based on the facts. They are no better than Nazi propagandists.

    But you can’t expect better from people who would also remove any kind of sexual education and who want to return to some delusional “good ol’ days” where things weren’t very good at all. I wonder, do these “doctors” also advocate for not using anesthesia, antibiotics, chemotherapy, etc, since Christians also used to think that God *wants* us to suffer? Hypocrites, all of them.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Good grief. It must be so hard for them to hold so many conflicting, irrational beliefs about objective facts in their heads at the same time.

    nope, actually authoritarian personalities appear to have great abilities to compartmentalize entirely disparate ideas.

    if you haven’t read it, and since I haven’t posted the link… today…

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    it’s free.

    if you want to understand what is happening in America, you NEED TO READ THIS.

  23. Ichthyic says

    In a sane world it should but there is little evidence that this is our world.

    things are much saner over here on the opposite side of the world.

  24. says

    According to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency” and is “a cause of many unwanted pregnancies” — an estimated “32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.”

    That’s 32,101 vaginas yearly whose magical anti-rape-conception powers just fail to kick in, I guess.

    Akin and Physicians for Life apparently do not have the slightest clue about human biology and reproduction (to say nothing of rape). I feel very sorry for their wives, since clearly the basic workings of a vagina completely mystify them. I hope at least some of them divorce their dumb misogynist asses, and finally gets themselves laid good-and-proper.

  25. says

    Salon covered the Todd Akin definition of “legitimate rape.”

    Excerpt:

    When Todd Akin (the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri) went on television Sunday and explained his opposition to abortion — even in the case of rape — by stating, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” it was a highly illuminating moment in American discourse. For one thing, it proved that a man with six children can still have absolutely no idea how the female reproductive system works.

    Do you think you’ve been raped but you’re just not sure, and you don’t have a 65-year-old conservative man around to assess the circumstances for you? Have you recently sexually violated someone and are now asking yourself, “Hey, does that count?” Confused about the differences between date rape, acquaintance rape, marital rape and real rape that actually matters? We’re here to help.

    [discourse on various laws in various states, including definitions that show it make no difference if the victim is male or female. Graphic descriptions from Bureau of Justice Statistics.]

    So in case you’re wondering if “legitimate,” “forcible” rape is something that straight white men who don’t want ladies to get abortions get to define, the answer is no, they don’t. We actually have a whole justice system that does that. Rape is not just a thug in a dark alleyway violating a virgin. It happens to men and women, young and old, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. It happens in prisons and schoolyards and the bedrooms of people who invited the rapist in. It’s an act of domination and violence, a crime that defies tidy, tiny definitions by politicians wholly lacking in empathy or understanding. And there isn’t a goddamn thing that’s legitimate about any of it.

  26. David Marjanović says

    Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions.

    Much of it isn’t controlled by the brain at all.

    There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape.

    Ah, so that’s what “legitimate rape” is, right?

    Christ, what assholes.

    Besides, the trauma would come too late anyway to interfere with the production of a fertile oocyte. I don’t know why that isn’t obvious…

  27. mythbri says

    I wish I could trust my doctor – and I do trust the one I have currently.

    But when laws are passed (like in Arizona) that make it legal for doctors to lie to you about your health, when that health happens to include a pregnancy, who the hell can you trust anymore?

  28. David Marjanović says

    FFS, he has 6 children!?! Perhaps that’s precisely because he doesn’t know better, eh?

    an estimated “32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.”

    That’s… 1 of every 10,000 women (of all ages) in the US, right??? That’s a scarily high number.

  29. says

    Talking Points Memo covered the story of “God’s Little Shield.” Their take includes a short history of other Republican politicians offering the biological-defense-provided-by-god argument for banning abortion, and for humiliating female rape victims.

    Excerpts:

    In 1988, Stephen Freind, a state representative in Pennsylvania, defended his no-exceptions anti-abortion stance … by claiming that it was virtually impossible for a woman who is raped to become pregnant.

    “The odds are one in millions and millions and millions,” Freind said in a debate in March of that year. “And there is a physical reason for that.” Freind said that women possess a “certain secretion” that kills sperm….

    Seven years later, a state legislator in North Carolina championed the same theory. Henry Aldridge, a Republican state representative, argued for the elimination of a public fund to help poor women pay for abortions by using a similar argument.

    “The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant,” Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee. “Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”

    Aldridge was addressing the committee to apologize for “earlier remarks implying that victims of rape or incest are sexually promiscuous,” according to an Associated Press report at the time….

    In 1998, Republican Arkansas state Rep. Fay Boozman botched his own Senate bid against Sen. Blanche Lincoln when he said at a rally that pregnancy resulting from rape was rare. He denied having used the phrase “God’s little shield,” according to the Washington Post….

    [Mike} Huckabee, who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, endorsed Akin in the Missouri primary….”

  30. ChasCPeterson says

    “Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions.”

    Much of it isn’t controlled by the brain at all.

    well. The reproductive ones are. And the stress-reactive ones too.
    I don’t consider it impossible for physical and/or psychological trauma to slam the hypothalamus hard enough for ovulation to be inhibited. Seems like something that could happen, probably within a small time window of a woman’s cycle.

    But of course that’s extremely different from arguing that it always must happen. Fuckin stupid jackasses.

    Hey, almost everybody gets shit wrong on physiology exams in med school. Fifty percent of physicians graduated in the bottom half of their med-school classes. They have medical schools in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

  31. chrisv says

    @KG (#12)

    thanks for the referral. Reminds me of Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” with scientific grounding. Again, thanks.

  32. says

    The point that everyone seems to be missing is that whether or not rape pregnancies are common or not is irrelevant. And if they are uncommon, that is less reason to make abortions because of rape illegal. Why make it illegal if it is so rare?

  33. says

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ 13

    I have this feeling very, very often. Idiots proliferate, the morons march. These ideas abound, it seems in every culture, no matter how liberal they seem externally.

    Why are we here? Because we realize that religious propagandist, and politicians, spread their influence by conflating the ideas and appealing to the weakest.

    We are not called Freethinkers for no good reason.

  34. chrisv says

    @KG (#12)

    thanks for the referral. Reminds me of Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” with scientific grounding. Again, thanks.

    @27

    “I wonder, do these “doctors” also advocate for not using anesthesia, antibiotics, chemotherapy, etc, since Christians also used to think that God *wants* us to suffer?”

    If you look into it, that was exactly Mother Teresa’s medical philosophy.

  35. says

    Documenting Ryan’s flip-flopping lying ass on this issue of rape, abortion, forced ultrasounds etc. is instructive. He may be worse than Romney. Or he may be less adept than Romney at obscuring his true agenda.

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were quick to flee Rep. Todd Akin’s drowning ship after he said that victims of “legitimate rape” magically don’t get pregnant, but a closer inspection reveals that Ryan’s views on abortion are not that different from Akin’s. “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” a Romney spokesperson said in a statement late last night.

    … the spokesperson’s statement represents a flip-flop for Ryan, who has proposed and supported legislation that would outlaw abortion with no exception for rape. Ryan has earned a “100 percent pro-life voting record” from the National Right to Life Committee during his 14 years in Congress. NARAL, the pro-choice group, looked at 59 key votes on abortion, and found that Ryan voted the anti-choice position on every single one.

    He co-sponsored “personhood” legislation that would give fetuses “all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges.”…

    In a 2010 speech called “The Cause of Life Can’t be Severed From the Cause of Freedom,” Ryan compared the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade abortion decision to its Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which sanctioned slavery. “Twice in the past the U.S. Supreme Court — charged with being the guardian of rights — has failed so drastically in making this crucial determination that it ‘disqualified’ a whole category of human beings, with profoundly tragic results,” Ryan said. The first, he said, was Scott, and the second was Roe, “when the Supreme Court made virtually the identical mistake” it had made in the slavery case.

    He also co-sponsored a measure that would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before she can receive an abortion, even if her doctor doesn’t recommend it or she doesn’t want to….Ryan also voted against letting U.S. troops get abortions at military health centers….

    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/20/paul_ryans_rape_reversal/

  36. says

    Two people have beaten me to bringing up The Authoritarians.

    If I were rich I would be promoting the hell out of that book. I wish every progressive/atheist/low RWA on the planet would read it.

    It explains so much and really solidifies how dire our situation is considering the way the RWA and “double-highs” mesh, and how far down the rabbit hole the right has gone in that direction.

    The worst part is how active and unrelenting they are. A small group can create a large change, and when they are in force, like now… well, fuck.

    Just, fuck.

  37. truthspeaker says

    scottplumer
    20 August 2012 at 11:39 am

    The point that everyone seems to be missing is that whether or not rape pregnancies are common or not is irrelevant. And if they are uncommon, that is less reason to make abortions because of rape illegal. Why make it illegal if it is so rare?

    They’re addressing the problem of uppity women who lie about being raped so they can get an abortion. They’ve already addressed the ones who make up health problems and mental distress.

    Those feminists are crafty. They’ll come up with all kinds of excuses for having an abortion. That’s why politicians have to keep a tight rein on those vaginas.

  38. dianne says

    Akin has six children. He thinks that women who are raped can’t get pregnant. He doesn’t believe in marital rape. Why do I feel like this adds up to a rapist trying to excuse himself?

  39. butterflyfish says

    There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape.

    Oh, really? Why don’t you tell that to a woman who’s been forced to carry a dead fetus to term, because of forced-birth laws? Why don’t you tell that to Trayvon Martin’s mother?

  40. dianne says

    But when laws are passed (like in Arizona) that make it legal for doctors to lie to you about your health, when that health happens to include a pregnancy,

    In many places (including, IIRC, Arizona) not just allowed to lie, but required to lie to you about your health, when pregnancy is involved.

  41. says

    The slime mold is advancing. Todd Akin’s comments are being defended from various quarters.

    Janine noted in a past thread that Politico usually leans toward right wing nuttery. Here’s proof: Dave Catanese’s Twitter defenses of Akin.

    So maybe. Just maybe, @ToddAkin didn’t really mean ‘legitimate.’ Perhaps he meant if ‘someone IS really raped’ or ‘a rape really occurs’”

    Right. I’m sure that is what Akin meant.

    From Salon:

    As a prophylactic against criticism for invoking the “lying slut” stereotype, Catanese followed up…
    So perhaps some can agree that all rapes that are reported are not actually rapes? Or are we gonna really deny that for PC sake?”

    Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association put it more bluntly: “What Akin meant by “legitimate rape:” actual forcible rape, not consensual sex that later gets called rape. Come on, people.”

    …The widespread belief that women lie so frequently about rape has serious effects. The arrest rate for rape is 25 percent, compared to 79 percent for murder and 51 percent for aggravated assault. That’s just counting the reported rapes; many rape victims don’t bother to report at all out of reluctance to deal with being accused of lying sluttitude….

  42. jmst says

    I’m surprised no-one has brought up the connection to lousy Evolutionary Psychology yet. While Todd Akin’s argument is of course a bad distortion even of the distortion of a science that calls itself EvoPsy, I’m pretty positive that his doctor’s claim can ultimately be traced to Davis&Gallup(2006), or some similar just-so story. That’s a paper that claims that pre-eclampsia, a common immune misfunction leading to complications where continued exposure to the fathers semen (i.e. desensitisation to the antigens the father and the fetus share) is known to reduce the risk is an adapted mechanism – in their words:

    A mechanism (i.e. a preeclampsia trigger) that could distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar semen as a means of differentiating between committed and uncommitted males could have had considerable adaptive significance.

    I kid you not. Fuck parsimony if we can contrive an “explanation” involving parental investment strategies. So what if the possibility of an overreaction almost follows from having an immune system? What if that risk is almost by necessity more severe in humans merely due to the increased nutritional needs of overly large and brainy fetuses requiring a tighter integration of the placenta into the uterus, which enhances the chance of leaks? What if the condition is actually one of the most common causes of maternal mortality worldwide? What if similar effects are described in mice, where the argument doesn’t work due to a general lack of paternal involvement in breeding? What if one of the papers we cite (written by actual neonatologists, gynaecologists, immunologists) has already tentatively linked pre-enclampsia, but coming to the exact reverse conclusions, namely that, while itself being what you unfortunatly get from combining a vertebrate immune system with the human fetus’s special nutritional need, may have triggered behavioural adaptations as avoidance mechanisms? (We don’t have to refer to that part of the paper, let’s just pull some epidemiological figures from it and leave it at that.)

    Of course, Akin’s claim that rape practically never results in pregnancy is the product of his own mathematical illiteracy – a significantly increased rate of 3rd trimester spontanuous miscarriages does not equal “practically no pregnancies” by any stretch of imagination. But, credit where credit is due, the idea that women have a physiological defense mechanism against being impregnated through rape is the product of faulty Evolutionary “fuck parsimony if we can explain it as a parental investment strategy” Psychology.

  43. says

    butterflyfish,

    Oh, really? Why don’t you tell that to a woman who’s been forced to carry a dead fetus to term, because of forced-birth laws? Why don’t you tell that to Trayvon Martin’s mother?

    Yes. Let’s make it a competition. That’s the important thing here. Correcting that is what to focus on here.

    Yes.

  44. Loqi says

    Anyone else get the feeling these people honestly believe that women sit around plotting ways to have abortions? It’s like they think it’s an enjoyable experience.

    “I know! I’ll get him drunk and take him home, have sex, get pregnant, then claim I was raped so I can go get an abortion!”

    …incoherence setting in.

    Then you’re in perfect position to communicate with the fundies! Could you please translate this message into fundy speak and deliver it for me?

    “Get out.”

  45. truthspeaker says

    Loqi
    20 August 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Anyone else get the feeling these people honestly believe that women sit around plotting ways to have abortions?

    Yes. I’m pretty sure that’s what they believe. No, I don’t understand why.

  46. Janine: Fucking Dyke Of Rage Mountain says

    Yes. I’m pretty sure that’s what they believe. No, I don’t understand why.

    They do. I have not listened to R*sh L*mb**gh in about seventeen but I recall him saying that feminists, er, feminazis, celebrate every abortion that they can inspire.

  47. ChasCPeterson says

    What if one of the papers we cite (written by actual neonatologists, gynaecologists, immunologists)

    Are you reading this thread? Why should such folks be given any credit at all for their opinions about human evolution? That abstract is nothing but a string of just-so stories from top to bottom. (I haven’t read Davis and Gallup and I’ll take your word that it’s crap.)

  48. jmst says

    Are you reading this thread? Why should such folks be given any credit at all for their opinions about human evolution? That abstract is nothing but a string of just-so stories from top to bottom. (I haven’t read Davis and Gallup and I’ll take your word that it’s crap.)

    I’m not taking their word for it. I’m saying that if there is a causal link between pre-eclampsia and human mating patterns, their story – that the imminent threat of pre-eclampsia triggered behavioural adaptations – is at least more plausible than Davis and Gallup’s story about how female bodies kill themselves to avoid giving birth to bastards (they mention in passing that pre-eclampsia sometimes kills the mother too but claim without argument that the cost is outweighed by the benefit of not having to raise a child alone – have they never heard of infanticide?).

  49. Joey Maloney says

    @56, remember how they all fell for the Onion story about the $8 billion Kansas Abortionplex?

  50. jefrir says

    There’s some interesting maths in that article – apparently, the fact that the average couple takes 5-10 months to conceive (presumably when actively trying to do so, but who knows) is entirely unrelated to rates of male infertility, menstual cycle timing issues and miscariage rates, and should be factored in separately in your calculations of how many lying sluts may not atually be lying on this occasion.
    Also, apparently 3 + 1.5 + 0.5 = 6. Either that or rather a lot fetuses are spontaneously vanishing and so don’t feature in those totally unsourced figures.
    And apparently there is a minimum age at which one can be raped.

  51. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    This all goes back to fundies’ views on women: rape is the illegal “use” of a woman. A husband cannot rape his wife, she belongs to him. Likewise, a slut (defined as a woman who has ever had sexual feelings for any man other than her her husband, or a woman who inspires sexual feelings in any man other than her husband) cannot be raped, she is fair game. And God decides when a woman is going to get pregnant – any person attempting to interfere with this is sinning (and God can override this anyway). Ergo, if a woman gets pregnant, then God must have decided that she should get pregnant. And since God is good and doesn’t do shitty things to good people, a woman who gets pregnant as a result of rape wasn’t actually raped, because either the man was her husband and thus entitled to her body, or she was a bad woman who exists in a state of constant consent.

  52. RFW says

    The very name “Physicians for Life” is doubly suspicious.

    Over at the Joe.My.God. blog, we regularly read about the squawks of outrage from an outfit that styles itself “One Million Moms”. It’s pretty clear that the membership is far from one million, and some suspect it’s just a front for another old fat homophobic white guy. IOW, that pluralizing “s” in “Physicians” may very well be fraudulent.

    Moreover, are they (or, is he) actually physicians (or, a physician)? Very possibly not. I wouldn’t be surprised that domain ownership records would reveal that PfL is just another tentacle of some other anti-abortion outfit.

  53. says

    Todd Akin has been trying to extricate himself from this mess all day. He tweeted half-assed and clueless apologies, and then he commented on Mike Huckabee’s radio show.

    Excerpt from Maddow Blog.

    Appearing on Mike Huckabee’s radio show this afternoon, Akin said he “used the wrong word,” and “was referring to forcible rape,” instead of “legitimate rape.”

    Akin, in other words, doesn’t fully understand why there’s a scandal. Apparently he thinks he’d be fine if only he’d said, “If it’s a forcible rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”…

  54. TonyJ says

    I thought I detected the unmistakable stench of a Liars-for-Jesus claim in Todd Akin’s verbal diarrhea.

  55. KG says

    some suspect it’s just a front for another old fat homophobic white guy – RFW

    Of course it would be quite different if it were a front for a young slim homophobic black guy.

    Oh, wait. No, it wouldn’t.

  56. TonyJ says

    if you haven’t read it, and since I haven’t posted the link… today…

    http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

    it’s free.

    if you want to understand what is happening in America, you NEED TO READ THIS.

    I’ve read it, and it’s pretty fucking depressing. I still recommend it though.

  57. says

    As noted up-thread, Akin sits on the House Science Committee, specifically, on the Aeeronautics, and Energy and Environment subcommittees. It’s that last subcommittee that gives us an opportunity to add to the list of Akin’s how-does-this-guy-tie-his-shoes traits.

    The Energy and Environment subcommittee has jurisdiction over climate science. You can see where this is going.

    “In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that’s a good climate change. I don’t want to stop that climate change you know. Who in the world wants to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways?” — Todd Akin, 2009

    Akin believes the EPA and the Department of Energy should be eliminated.

    Akin finds global warming science to be “highly suspect.”

    In a meeting yesterday with Central Missouri tea party activists, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin said he has doubts about the constitutionality of Medicare and thinks global warming “is highly suspect.”

    Akin in September, 2011

  58. robro says

    According to the Washington Post, Akin’s is refusing to withdraw from his Senate campaign despite Republicans withdrawing funding support and harsh criticism from other Republican candidates.

    Of course, if the GOP extended that retribution to other Republican candidates of a similar mind, they might have to stop funding the Romney/Ryan campaign. Ryan was among the 173 sponsors of the 2011 “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which contains language about “forcible rape.” Ryan was not alone…most of the 173 were Republicans.

    Akin has acknowledged making a “serious” error. Of course, the error isn’t his ideas about women, rape, and abortion, but expressing them publicly. Others in the party are smart enough to know better than that, even though they may hold similar views.

    Despite all the criticism from other Republican candidates about Akin’s remarks, they are set to include an anti-abortion plank in the party platform next week.

  59. says

    Lynna:
    So… Akin thinks we haven’t figured out what he was talking about? That only one kind of rape really “counts” and everything else is just those slutty slut slut sluts regretting the night before &/or not willing to “take responsibility for their actions” (raising a kid), right?

    *headdesk!* Either way, he’s still wrong about conception.

  60. jmst says

    Are you reading this thread? Why should such folks be given any credit at all for their opinions about human evolution? That abstract is nothing but a string of just-so stories from top to bottom. (I haven’t read Davis and Gallup and I’ll take your word that it’s crap.)

    (partial answer continued)

    If forced to pick, as a general rule I would in fact rather trust a neonatologist on whether a given complication’s prevalence and severity are sufficient to hypothesise that there might have been a significant selective pressure towards avoiding it than I would trust a psychologist to enlighten me about the causes of an immune disorder. That said, both are just so stories and I never claimed otherwise. Given, though, that Davis&Gallup have decided to move onto the empirically thin ice of hypothesising about causal links between preenclampsia and human sexual behaviour, the honest thing to do would be to acknowledge conflicting hypotheses to that effect and make clear why they think they can dismiss those. Claiming ignorance doesn’t work when you’re quoting the relevant paper three times in your own work.

  61. loopyj says

    So, if I’m raped and I conceive (which means that I ovulated prior to the rape), it’s because I wasn’t sufficiently tramatized so that hormone signals would go from my brain to my reproductive tract, sealing up my cervix (because women can make their cervix allow only pre-approved sperm to enter the uterus and fallopian tubes), toughening the cell wall of my ova to prevent fertilization, or making the endometrium impervious to implantation?

    I can understand that male, right-wing Republicans politicians might not fully understand how women’s bodies work, but medical professionals promoting this kind of douchebaggery is simply unforgivable.

  62. PatrickG says

    I do like that the pushback against this has been so … rapid. Even the Republicans feel compelled to run like hell! Glass-half-full thinking, maybe, but I’ll take what I can get.

    robro beat me to the WaPo link and the Ryan commentary, but I particularly liked this line from Obama:

    Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.

    * I’m sure Akin will pick up all sorts of untraceable 501(c)(4) money to make up the difference. Probably from the same donors who gave to the RNC.

  63. says

    Thanks for clearing up the complete lack of evidence. When I read Akin’s actual statements it sounded entirely like one of those made-up things (not just stupid and crude). I figured it was some FoxFacts but perhaps he picked it up from this source. In news or blog articles on the Net, if there is a link to a more original source, that source is often quite different, as I found with this article about charity and political position: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79888.html?hp=r5 Politico somewhat sensationalizes what the actual study shows but does link to original source.

    So this guys think they can get away with their lies since no one fact checks.

  64. TGAP Dad says

    Does anyone have any what doctors are part of this organization? Their own website (a treasure trove of misinformation) has no provision to find participating doctors.

  65. truthspeaker says

    dailydouq
    20 August 2012 at 3:17 pm

    So this guys think they can get away with their lies since no one fact checks.

    Well it usually works. Was it anyone in the press who pointed out that Akin was mistaken about the facts, or was it a spokesperson for a pro-choice organization?

  66. says

    That’s a paper that claims that pre-eclampsia, a common immune misfunction leading to complications where continued exposure to the fathers semen

    ah, I remember that one. Or specifically, another EP paper that cited this, which I was going to take apart on my blog, but gave up in disgust at “women are more scared of stranger rape than acquaintance rape, therefore stranger rape must have been more common throughout human history”.

  67. KG says

    Two people have beaten me to bringing up The Authoritarians. – tkreacher

    It was Ichthyic who kept linking to it whenever relevant until I finally read it!

  68. David Marjanović says

    “women are more scared of stranger rape than acquaintance rape, therefore stranger rape must have been more common throughout human history”

    *headdesk*

    Are all fears 100 % innate now?!?

    *headdesk*

  69. David Marjanović says

    Yes. I’m pretty sure that’s what they believe. No, I don’t understand why.

    They think that’s simply what evil people do. For Teh Evulz!!1!1!

    “Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, doing whatever a Spider-Pig does”…

    I can understand that male, right-wing Republicans politicians might not fully understand how women’s bodies work, but medical professionals promoting this kind of douchebaggery is simply unforgivable.

    Yep. Away with their doctorates… if they have any.

  70. says

    *headdesk*

    Are all fears 100 % innate now?!?

    *headdesk*

    and that wasn’t really the worst part of the paper. i phrased my last comment wrong. it’s more that this was the spot at which i couldn’t take the offensive stupid anymore, and gave up reading.

  71. says

    KG,

    It really is enlightening. And I think I’ll follow Ichthyic’s lead and link it more often, even at the risk of being a little repetitive. I know I didn’t read it the first time I saw it mentioned. (Hell, I think it was Ichthyic who linked it when I first decided to actually check it out)

  72. says

    Connie Mackey of the Family Research Council defends Todd Akin:

    This is another case of ‘gotcha politics’ against a conservative leader. Todd Akin has a long and distinguished record of defending women, children and families. He has fought against forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which is the bedrock of Claire McCaskill’s base of support. When speaking about the issue of rape, let’s not forget the cover-up of statutory rape by Planned Parenthood, which to my knowledge has not been addressed by Senator McCaskill.

    “Throughout his twelve years in Congress, Todd Akin has supported legislation that honors all human life. He has opposed the commodification of women in contrast to his opponent, Claire McCaskill, who has a long record of promoting the abortion industry while ignoring how abortion harms women. We know Todd Akin, and FRC Action PAC enthusiastically endorses his candidacy.

    I don’t know wtf that reference to covering up statutory rape is supposed to mean. Another conspiracy theory with which I am unfamiliar.
    Link for Mackey quote.

  73. says

    Sarah Posner discusses Akin’s religion:

    …Akin is proud of how his religion, and in particular, the Presbyterian Church in America, the deeply conservative Calvinist denomination founded in 1973, influences his political views. Akin has a Masters in Divinity from the denomination’s flagship Covenant Theological Seminary. His campaign website notes, “Although most of his classmates went on to become pastors or missionaries, Todd took a different path. For several years he studied the founding of America and the principles which made this country great. His love of country and conviction that leaders must stand on principle led him to run for State Representative in 1988.” On abortion, the PCA is absolutist: opposing abortion in all cases, with no exceptions….

  74. kantalope says

    Looking for the origins of the consent baby myth. If publishers would just put out the kinds of books people would want to read – the book industry would be much healthier.

    Satan’s harvest home: Or the present state of whorecraft,adultery, fornication, procuring, pimping, sodomy, and the game at flatts, and other SATANIC WORKS, daily propagated in this good Protestant kingdom. (1749) London

  75. Pteryxx says

    Lynna: the statutory rape coverup accusation comes from a (heavily edited and slanted) undercover recording by members of an anti-abortion organization posing as patients.

    http://jezebel.com/5932715/god-use-me-in-whatever-way-meet-the-24+year+old-whos-willing-to-die-for-the-anti+abortion-movement

    Live Action proved its ability to inflict real damage on the pro-choice movement in February 2011, when Rose sent actors portraying a pimp and a prostitute seeking abortions for underage sex workers into seven Planned Parenthood clinics in four states. The activists struck gold in New Jersey when one clinic staffer encouraged them to lie to avoid mandatory reporting laws. Although the incident was clearly an anomaly, the (quickly fired) staffer who advised Live Action’s actors to “just kind of play along that they’re students” to “make it look as legit as possible” helped motivate anti-choice politicians to support laws that would defund Planned Parenthood of all federal taxpayer subsidies. “Every American should be shocked that an employee of the largest recipient of federal funds under Title X has been recorded aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking,” Indiana Rep. Mike Pence said in a statement encouraging Congress to move sooner on a bill that would cut taxpayer funding for the organization. “The time to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood is now.”

  76. says

    As far as I recall, the ancient Greeks believed that women must orgasm during intercourse in order to get pregnant, because both male and female “seeds” were necessary to make a baby. I suspect this is related to the no consent = no conception idea.

  77. says

    The national Republican platform has included language that makes abortion a criminal act since 1976. The Republican platform has also consistently provided no exceptions when it comes to abortion, that is, no exceptions even for rape or incest.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#48732520

    Now, it’s true that most of us, including a lot of Republicans, ignore their own platform. With Akin’s comments in the limelight, this year’s platform might receive more scrutiny.

    The platform is being written now, with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell at the helm. McDonnell is the infamous “Governor Forced Transvaginal Ultrasound.”

  78. says

    More news on the Republican platform now being written:

    First Read has confirmed a CNN report that the draft language on abortion in the Republican Party’s official platform calls for the “Human Life Amendment,” which would outlaw abortion in all circumstances (even in cases of rape or incest). An RNC official tells us that a full committee will vote on this draft language — which was THE SAME LANGUAGE in 2004 and 2008 — tomorrow, and the full convention will take it up on Monday.

    Link. Scroll down in this article to see platform language.

  79. says

    This just gets better and better. The Family Research Council is very pleased with the members of the committee writing the Republican platform. You know that can’t be a good sign, when Tony Perkins likes it, it’s bound to be bad.

    With a presence in the committee meetings, the FRC Action staff has been able to help delegates hold the line of social issues. Just this morning, our efforts made what was already a good document even better.
    Before this week, the GOP’s draft platform included solid language defending the family – and FRC Action, in tandem with Eagle Forum, made it even stronger. — Tony Perkins

    And, OMG, the mormon-dominated Eagle Forum.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/religious-righting-republican-platform

  80. says

    The Tampa Bay Times also reported on the “no exception for rape, incest in abortion plank” nuttery.

    http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/gop-platform-spoiler-alert-no-exception-rape-incest-abortion-plank

    The newspaper also lists several other planks, including language against affirmative action, hating on undocumented workers, lots of blather about “freedom” and the Ten Commandments … and no gay marriage.

    “We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

  81. says

    Did I mention no embryonic stem cell research? That’s a no-no in the Republican platform.

    And that Republicans want to write “Stand Your Ground” legislation at the federal level?

    “We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents.”