Posted Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at 11:49 AM ET
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) said he doesn’t “find anything so horrible” about making the distinction between “legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape”
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican of Georgia, knows that comments about rape have cost fellow Republicans their seats in Congress. But that didn’t stop him from wading deep into controversial territory during a breakfast meeting in his home state, reports the Marietta Daily Journal. The lawmaker talked mostly about gun control but then opened the floor up for questions and was asked about abortion. And that’s when Gingrey, who made sure to point out he has been an OB-GYN since 1975, mentioned controversial comments about rape and pregnancy made by former Reps. Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, that many say contributed to their electoral losses last year. This is the Journal’s account of what Gingrey said next:
“In Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that.”…
“And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”
I tried to post my letter in response on their board but I suspect the censors were displeased with my answer:
Have you learned nothing from Todd Akin? Have you failed to understand no matter what stupid ideas you present, the only person you are hurting is yourselves (and by proxy, your constituents)? To be fair, you are either, not representing them well at all, or worse you are, and this is a statement as to the capabilities of the folk in your districts. But I choose to believe you hid your ignorance well, under a fine suit, with honeyed words, with promises of pork-barrel largess if you were elected. Who knew beneath all of that refinement and Southern charm, lurked the heart of an ignorant, barely-civilized, misogynistic bigot. Now I don’t mean you, I mean your behavior, is that of a bigot. You may be a fine upstanding citizen who only sounds like a bigot.
All things considered I want to say, perhaps Mr. Gingrey, you simply don’t know of what you speak. You are, after all, a product of the American education system, not currently known for its excellence. You may have gotten a degree from a university which may have cut science and human biology which may explain your inexcusable ignorance of the human condition regarding sexuality AND rape. Since you are not a woman, I will even try to excuse your lack of understanding of female physiology because let’s face it, even women have difficulties understanding their bodies at times. Oh wait, you were supposedly involved in the medical industry at some point. An OB/GYN? That might make you the worst practitioner ever. I pity your former clients.
What I cannot excuse is your inability to, when in the presence of the media, speak on things you know absolutely nothing about? I thought you were supposed to be a politician, a person who is supposed to be leading and guiding the nation into making good decisions around issues of the PUBLIC good. If you are going to be a rape advocate, meaning you are going to tell women they should understand “rape happens” and if it happens “they won’t get pregnant” because their mystical vaginal powers of “seminal extermination” will resolve the issue, then, sir, you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, of both your ignorance of the human condition, of which you are supposed to be advocating for, the state of women in this nation and across the world who are raped, sold into sexual slavery, abused, and murdered for the sake of men with minds similar to yours.
You are a disgrace to the idea of Republican ideals (not the current madness, the Neo-Republicans are espousing, another totally different can of worms) of decency, personal fortitude, and social responsibility. Your beliefs (which should not be part of how you are supposed to govern) are Medieval and parochial, at best, and would be quite at home in the 12th Century. But this is the 21st Century and you have an obligation to represent your constituents with intelligence, compassion, a concern for their lives, especially if they are different than your own.
Perhaps we should define this condition of yours and Mr. Todd Akin as its own particular brand of psychological instability. If we called it “Akin-Gingrey Syndrome” we might have to help people recognize it’s symptoms:
1. A complete lack of scientific understanding regarding human anatomy and physiology even if you went to school to study it.
2. Further ignorance of female reproduction and biological operation (even if you practiced medicine on women)
3. An inability to recognize women as human beings deserving of respect
4. An inability to recognize the statistics revolving around rape and pregnancy in the US. (32,000 rape victims per year become pregnant, not so rare)
5. A pathological inability to not seek out media attention to espouse such ridiculous ideas whenever possible.
6. An inescapable need to run for office to show as many people as possible just how ignorant you can be, in public.
7. The overwhelming urge to embarrass as many actual good Christians who don’t believe your particular brand of madness as possible.
8. A complete inability to know when to shut the fuck up and retire to one’s personal lair of insanity.
It is in my non-medical opinion, which so far is as good as your medical one, you suffer from ‘Akin-Gingrey Syndrome’ and from what I understand about the condition, there is no cure. Perhaps you should retire to your plantation in Georgia, drink tall frosty drinks, discuss your days in office with fondness, and never bother respectable folk again with your brand of complete ignorance and barely-contained sociopathic behavior.
Yours in disgust,
Thaddeus Howze @ebonstorm – (Acting MD, for the purposes of this article only)