In the literal sense of the word, meaning “too extraordinary and improbable to be believed”, this story is truly incredible. Missouri representative Todd Akin, currently running for a seat in the United States Senate, has asserted that victims of “legitimate rape”1 almost never get pregnant. The congressman apparently believes women’s bodies have some sort of way to, in his words, “try to shut that whole thing down”.

Sickeningly, though Akin is a member of the House Science Committee, it appears he’s never even read a basic biology textbook. The truth, of course, is that women do not have superpowers which enable them to decide not to get pregnant. A 1996 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology study showed that approximately 5% of rapes result in pregnancy in women of reproductive age, which means that tens of thousands of women are getting pregnant each year due to rapists. Being ignorant on this sort of thing is simply inexcusable for someone seeking high office.

Donations to Mr. Akin’s opponent Claire McCaskill can be made right here. All American citizens, as well as green card holders, are eligible to donate up to $2500.

You may also wish to read Akin’s non-retraction apology. While stating that he “misspoke”, Akin never identifies exactly what he was wrong about, nor does he retract the idea of women being able to prevent pregnancy through sheer force of will. Still, he did have this to say:

[Rape] victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.

That’s nice, at least. After all, those victims will likely be unable to find the time to seek out justice on their own, as they’ll be a bit busy raising the children who were physically forced upon them.


  1. I have no goddamned clue what that phrase is supposed to mean, nor do I have any idea what an “illegitimate rape” would be. ↩︎