Who knew what powers we women had? We can shut off a pregnancy with a special sperm zapper. Better not let the anti-choice people hear about that or they’ll be wanting to make it illegal.
Oh, that’s right. This new finding came from their side, in what has become the latest sideshow in the War on Women. For a while it was interesting to imagine the possibilities. Think of the money spent on birth control and fertility treatments we could save if women just used our natural shut down and turn off pregnancy buttons during sex.
Of course, Congressman Todd Akin, the rape expert from Missouri, was speaking of non-consensual sex and pregnancy. Make that only certain kinds of non-consensual sex, what Akin called “legitimate rape.” As opposed to cry wolf rape or my skirt was too short rape or I need an excuse for an abortion rape. Questioning the credibility of a rape victim by redefining rape is a favorite tactic of abortion foes who would then offer only limited compassion and health services to those deemed to be acceptable rape victims.
In stating that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” the congressman managed to one-up the nincompoop talk of big money Republican backer Foster Friess who famously chuckled that in his day women just put an aspirin between their knees for contraception.
But Akin is different. The man not only believes there’s such a thing as an anti-pregnancy rape guard, he thought others would go for it, too. He trusted that the political climate was so sympathetic to men being the boss of women’s bodies that his bizarre notion would endear him to voters. And then they would put him in office so he could have even more power to put laws on women’s bodies.
This pseudo rape expert may slink off but there are plenty others even more threatening who trust that a War on Women is a winnable political position in 2012. Who believe that the one of the most important things they can do for this country is take away a woman’s power to decide what’s best for her body, her health and her family.
Paul Ryan, the vice presidential hopeful, boasts that he’s “as pro life as a person gets,” although the quack talk out of Missouri was too much for even him. But there’s plenty left on Ryan’s Men Know Best agenda. He co-sponsored a personhood bill that states life begins at conception and would make abortion and some forms of birth control murder. Mitt Romney used to be for choice but now he calls himself solidly pro-life. Both Romney and Ryan have vowed to march into Washington and cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood.
Next week at its convention the Republican Party will call for a constitutional ban on all abortions, including women impregnated by rape or incest. And, to make sure that children grow up knowing nothing more than those who believe in the sperm-zapping powers of lady parts the party will endorse abstinence-only sex education.
Remember when some people were scoffing that the War on Women is phony. No thinking Republican is seriously going to try to undo women’s rights.
Really? Well, we better hold on to whatever magic powers we can muster. If these guys hear the old stories about how if a woman plays sports, her uterus falls out or a menstruating woman attracts bears, watch out.