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Akin’s Comments on Breast Milk, ‘Legitimate Rape’ Ridiculous

Todd Akin's recent remarks offended many. | DonkeyHotey/Flickr

As the election draws near, more and more politicians are being placed under the spotlight. We listen to them and watch them closely, just waiting for something to go wrong that may either aid or hurt our party. With news so easily available online and Twitter trendings available in just minutes, it’s almost impossible to cover up any statement made public. Finally it happened. A crack in the Republican Party brought on by Missouri Senate candidate, Todd Akins.

He caused quite a stir when he claimed that legitimate rape cannot cause pregnancy in his argument against abortion. When asked in an interview with The Jaco Report, Akins stated, “From what I understand from doctors, that is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” To say that this comment was offensive is an understatement. He made claims for a very controversial issue in which he has never actually come up with the scientific research to back it up.

In fact, the majority of doctors have come to the conclusion that there is no accurate way to prove that at this point in time. Dr. Grimes, a clinical professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina stated in an interview that, “to suggest that there’s some biological reason why women couldn’t get pregnant during a rape is absurd.”

After having funds pulled from his campaign by various Republican supporters as well as receiving much backlash from the general public, Akins has apologized for his comments. However, within the next week Akins would dig himself into an even deeper hole with his claim that homosexuality can be cured by breast milk. Akins told a reporter for Cape Girardeau’s KBSI 23 News that breast milk, “when fed directly to an adult homosexual male daily for at least four weeks – has a 94 percent chance of permanently curing homosexuals.”

This statement leaves me with many questions. Does the breast milk have to be at a certain temperature? If we told a gay man that he was drinking breast milk when it was actually cow milk would it have some sort of placebo effect? If you only drank breast milk for two weeks would that make you bisexual? And lastly, where can I buy some of this magical breast milk? I’m also awfully curious where this research is coming from. Perhaps U.S. Representative Akins tested out this theory with his family at home.

With these two absurd claims, Romney and Ryan are both backing away in shock, treating his idiotic statements as such a surprise from a representative of the Republican Party. However, this isn’t the only time Akins has made some ridiculous comment. In June 2011, NBC omitted the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance during a segment on U.S. Open winner, Rory McIlroy. This angered many right wing spectators and Akins argued that NBC has had a long history of being liberal and said in an interview with Family Research Council that “The heart of liberalism is really a hatred for God.”

The fact that Liberals strongly believe church and state should be separate in no way means they hate God. Perhaps they are right in believing this because it seems religion is what might have clouded Akins’ judgment with these rather emotionally charged rants. Akins received criticism for this, but mostly from Liberal clergy members. If the backlash would have been greater, maybe Romney and Ryan would have stepped away earlier and spoken out against Akins. Instead, they let this one slide only to be embarrassed by the uneducated arguments he would pose in the future.

Todd Akins has definitely put a stain on the Republican Party. Will it affect the polls? We will most likely have to wait and see once we reach election time. Until then we can keep tuning into the medical discoveries of Todd Akins. Rumor has it that his next findings focus on using fairy dust to end global warming.

Vanessa Righeimer can be reached at vanessa.righeimer@spartans.ut.edu

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