Proverbs 23:7 states “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
Matthew 12:34 states “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.”
Matthew 15: 19 states “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…”
Therefore Mr. Akin, your heartfelt beliefs were evident in your words. No further explanations or apologies needed! By chance, if any of you missed the recent gaffe of Missouri’s Republican nominee for US Senate, please allow me to recap this situation.
In a televised interview on a local St. Louis station, Representative Todd Akin said that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy. If you are like me, you are saying to yourself “Are you serious?” Can you really be that ignorant? And was this the type of idiotic rhetoric that he was debating in the House of Representatives on our behalf?
Obviously following the comments of this Tea Party backed conservative, I felt obliged to get the record straight regarding women and their reproductive rights. First of all, rape is rape! There is no such nonsense as “legitimate rape or forcible rape.” By definition, rape is the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. End of story!
Important Rape Facts
- Most female victims are raped before the age of 25, and almost half of female victims are under the age of 18. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010).
- Approximately 22 million women in US have been raped in lifetime. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)
- The FBI estimates only 37% of all rapes are reported to police.
- About 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 college women experience completed or attempted rape. (Fisher 2000).
- Somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes. (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) calculation based on 2000 National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice)
Please note that Mr. Akin is not alone in his pre-civil war beliefs regarding women. Our Republican legislators and their donors also need a little 21st century education regarding contraceptive management. Foster Friess, a mega donor to then Republican nominee Rick Santorum, said on national television that “You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.” That was too ridiculous to be true, right?
Important Contraception Facts
- In 3000 BC, the condom was invented in Egypt.
- The first birth control for women was invented in 1850 BC and it was some type of pessary. These pessaries were inserted inside the female and were made of crocodile dung, honey and sodium carbonate.
- Around 600 BC, Greek colonists discovered Silphion in North Africa. This herb grew in the area now known as Libya. Silphion was considered the first contraceptive, could not be cultivated, and was harvested to extinction.
- In 1844, rubber condoms were mass produced following Charles Goodyear’s patent of vulcanization of rubber. Present day condoms were meant to be used one time and thrown away. Condoms in the mid 1800’s were washed, covered in petroleum jelly, placed in a drawer and taken out for future use.
- From the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, there was much interest in developing a birth control pill. The women who are given credit for spear heading this project were Margaret Sanger and Katherine McCormick, wife of Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the mechanical harvester. As a side note, Ms. Sanger was that controversial woman who was interested in Eugenics, the applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population. Many have accused her of trying to limit the population of African Americans. In 1960, the first birth control pill was approved.
- The next 40 years saw major improvements in oral contraceptives, the introduction of more IUD’s, and other novel methods such as a patch, injection, or vaginal ring.
After studying the timeline of the development of contraception and reading about the numerous cases of women dying in childbirth, I was increasingly angrier with Mr. Akin and others. Women have overcome a tremendous amount of obstacles to get to our present day level of contraception options. Women have also made great gains in the fight to reduce the amount of rapes in our society. Therefore, our community needs to work diligently to guarantee that individuals with extreme ideologies such as Todd Akin not be allowed to represent us in Washington, D.C.
Yours in Service,
Denise Hooks-Anderson, M.D.
SLUCare Family Medicine