Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin Still Has No Understanding of Biology

The news: Todd "legitimate rape" Akin is still opening his big, dumb mouth, and he's still proving he's a big, dumb idiot. Earlier this month he took back his apology for claiming that "legitimate" rape victims were biologically unable to get pregnant during his 2012 senatorial campaign. More recently, on a Thursday appearance on MSNBC, Akin suggested that Democrats had unfairly smeared his remarks and said that liberals use sex as a "weapon" against truth-tellers like himself. He also continued insisting he was taken out of context.


"Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term. And it's abbreviation for legitimate case of rape," said Akin, complete with a smug grin on his face.

He later added that "If I had been choosing my words better, I should have said legitimate case of rape. And I have acknowledged that it is a poor choice of words."

"I never said that a woman can't get pregnant who is raped," he continued. "I was simply talking about the fact that stress affects the statistics of people becoming pregnant."

"This is something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes," Akin continued. He also stressed that he was "not presenting myself as a doctor" but doubled down on his original remarks, saying six "recent studies" proved his comments were accurate.

Akin is lying. His original remarks were pretty clear, and the media accurately conveyed the context in which they were made.

Here's the full quote from Akin infamous appearance on St. Louis' KTVI-TV, in response to whether he would support a woman's right to get an abortion if the child was conceived during a rape:

"Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, 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 that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

There's really no misreading this. Akin was arguing against the right for women to terminate pregnancies originating from rape, and he used the argument that the female body has natural defense mechanisms that would automatically try to "shut down" an unwanted pregnancy. By now everyone knows that idea borders on the farcical; the female body has no way of distinguishing whose sperm is fertilizing an egg. In fact, thousands of pregnancies result every year from rape, while the incidence of rape-induced pregnancies could be as high as 5-6.4%. What's more, Akin's little slip gave the impression he thinks at least some pregnant rape victims are lying about it to get an abortion.

Akin is also still making up other lies, like calling "legitimate rape" a "law enforcement term." TIME interviewed two experts on crime, both of whom said they had "never" heard of the term in a law enforcement context.

Why is this idiot still around? Akin is selling a religious conservative-targeted book complaining about how everyone was way too mean to him called Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom. It's perfect for the kind of bigoted right-winger who thinks being called out for ignorance is victimization, because it is also full of lies.

Hell, even its blurb has lies. You can see the book over at Amazon, where its description portrays Akin as a truth-telling hero thrown under the bus by the terrified GOP establishment. "Not one of them explained what it was about Akin's remarks that so deeply offended them," reads the description. I guess if you can believe that, Akin's God-awful book and you deserve each other. Just make sure to stay home reading it on election day.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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