American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Statement on Rape and Pregnancy

Ken AshfordWomen's IssuesLeave a Comment

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a statement on Todd Akin’s insane counter-factual claim that women who are raped can secrete a special vagina venom to terminate “legitimate rape” sperm: ACOG – Statement on Rape and Pregnancy.

Washington, DC — Recent remarks by a member of the US House of Representatives suggesting that “women who are victims of ‘legitimate rape’ rarely get pregnant” are medically inaccurate, offensive, and dangerous.

Each year in the US, 10,000–15,000 abortions occur among women whose pregnancies are a result of reported rape or incest. An unknown number of pregnancies resulting from rape are carried to term. There is absolutely no veracity to the claim that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” A woman who is raped has no control over ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg (ie, pregnancy). To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.  

Any person forced to submit to sexual intercourse against his or her will is the victim of rape, a heinous crime. There are no varying degrees of rape. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and insulting and minimizes the serious physical and psychological repercussions for all victims of rape.

To suggest otherwise is also the position of the Republican Party, which has sponsored bills in many states and in Congress to redefine rape as “forcible rape” in order to criminalize abortion for rape victims.