Oddly enough, the “medical science” the right wing is trumpeting as proof that women who are “legitimately raped” can’t get pregnant originated not with John Willke’s 1999 article, but much farther back in history and in another country. Germany, to be exact. Nazi Germany. In 1972, Dr. Fred Mecklenburg published an article entitled The Indications for Induced Abortions: A Physician’s Perspective. Mecklenburg wrote about a number of theories, from some rapes not resulting in complete intercourse to the unlikelihood that all rape victims are assaulted during the time when they are ovulating and can more easily become pregnant.
It was Mecklenburg’s assertion that a traumatized rape victim will not ovulate, even when she is supposed or “scheduled to,” that Akin and Bryan Fischer and the rest of these wankers seem to referencing in their latest attempt to qualify rape and bolster their belief in making abortion illegal again. Here’s the catch. To support his conclusions, Dr. Mecklenburg cited experiments allegedly conducted at Nazi concentration camps. Nazis would choose women who were about to ovulate and send them into a gas chamber, presumably to their death. The Nazis would pull the women out after a “mock killing,” to see what, if any effect this trauma had on the women’s ovulation. According to the research from the Nazis, regurgitated in Mecklenburg’s article, an extremely high percentage of these women did not ovulate.
None of this is scientific. None. But, Bryan Fischer decided to support Todd Akin with more recent science. On his radio program this week, Fischer read a few snippets from an article in The Daily Mail about research that shows stress can cause infertility. Let’s clarify that, okay? The chemical the article is referring to is cortisol. Long term build up of cortisol can in fact interfere with a woman’s menses and her ovulation pattern. Long term. The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians already addressed this “instant hormone/chemical/magic secretion” myth on their website, and you can find their entire statement in an article I wrote earlier this week. But since those doctors don’t back up the NAZI science the right wing is latched onto, Fisher doesn’t consider their science plausible.
Finally, we travel to New Hampshire, where a local businessman with no law enforcement experience is running for sheriff. Frank Szabo told a local news station during an interview that he believes it is right and duty as a sheriff to kill abortion providers. His quote:
“I would respond specifically by saying that if someone is under threat, a full-grown human being, if they’re under threat, what should the sheriff do? Everything in their power to prevent them from being harmed.”
A full-grown human being. Really. The interview continued:
When pressed about what he would do if he learned that a doctor was about to perform an elective abortion, Szabo replied he would do what it took to prevent that from happening.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Well, I would hope that it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped.”
According to The Bedford Patch, Szabo has had to do what so many on the right have had to do this week-retract his statements. A portion of Szabo’s statement from The Bedford Patch:
“I want to be clear to the people of New Hampshire that I made several comments about the use of deadly force against abortion doctors that I regret, that I apologize for and that I fully retract,” said Szabo. “Clearly, I feel very strongly about life beginning at conception, and that will not change. But, in making comments yesterday, I let my passionate stance against abortion get the better of me.
“What I said was inexcusable, and as sheriff, I would not use lethal force against an abortion doctor,” he continued. “To explain my misstatement, however, I want to point out that for someone as adamantly pro-life as me, walking in on an abortion is the equivalent of walking in on someone who is in the process of stabbing someone else.”
Szabo said he was caught off guard with a question about the use of lethal force to prevent an abortion.
“While I maintain that abortion is unlawful because it strips the right to life from a helpless unborn child, I recognize it is legal, and for that reason deadly force against an abortion doctor is not justifiable,” he said. “As someone who has such a passionate respect for life, I also respect the life of abortion doctors, even if I don’t respect what they do.
Uh huh. I’ve always wondered something. If at 4 days after sperm meets egg, that’s a person, why is it not claimed on taxes? Why do people say “We have 2 kids and one on the way?” Why is it not given a social security number and counted on the census? Why is a newborn baby “hours old?” Shouldn’t a brand spanking new baby be 9 months and 15 seconds old? (Tip of the hat to George Carlin for my inspiration.)
I have dealt with this week by creating a Facebook page for survivors of sexual assault, venting, telling my husband about my rape at the age of 15, crying, not sleeping or eating and swearing. But at some point, yesterday, I believe, I realized I have to pull my head out of my ass and fight. Fight with words, with deeds, with truth and yes, with snark, because that’s who I am. And that’s exactly what I will do.
How do you describe this week? Let us know in the comments section.
Thanks to Daily Kos, Raw Story, Wikipedia and The Bedford Patch for contributions to this story.