2012 was the year for politicians to make ridiculous remarks about pregnancy conceived from rape. Here are the top four stomach-churning moments:
1. Former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) – “Victims of ‘legitimate rape’ do not get pregnant.”
In an interview, Akin was asked if he supports abortion in the case of rape. "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," Akin responded.
2. Former Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock – “Pregnancy conceived by rape is something God intended.”
When stating his stance on abortion, Mourdock said he is against it in all cases, except if it saves the life of the mother. On the subject of rape, he explained, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
3. Former senate candidate Tom Smith – “A baby conceived out of wedlock is similar to a baby conceived from rape.”
The senate candidate from Pennsylvania, when asked by a reporter how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant after she was raped, replied his family had already encountered a situation similar to this. “She chose life, and I commend her for that," Smith stated. “She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn't have to ... she chose the way I thought. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't rape."
A reporter asked then Smith to clarify, and he responded, "Having a baby out of wedlock. Put yourself in a father's position. Yes, it is similar."
4. Former congressional candidate John Koster – “That rape thing.”
During his campaign to represent Washington in Congress earlier this year, Koster was asked if he supports abortion to save the mother’s life. He replied, "Incest is so rare, I mean, it's so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption, and she doesn't regret it."
He continued, "On the rape thing, it's like, how does putting more violence onto a woman's body and taking the life of an innocent child that's a consequence of this crime - how does that make it better? You know what I mean?"
Each of these politicians made these remarks during their campaigns for office. Each candidate tried to explain their comments and said their words were twisted. All of them lost or, in Koster’s case, are about to lose. Male politicians are clearly uneducated about a woman’s body, which is why they are indeed politicians and not doctors. And telling a woman what she must do after already being violated is further victimizing the rape victim – a victim the leaders in office are supposed to protect.
To all male politicians, please, PLEASE stop talking about rape.