Quote of the Day: Akin said abortions are given “to women who are not actually pregnant”

This summer, when Rep. Todd Akin expressed his belief that a woman cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down,” it seemed unlikely that anyone could top such a stunning display of ignorance about how women, their bodies, and pregnancy works. And yet! Here’s Todd Akin in 2008 revealing that he’s a bit iffy on how an abortion works too. Video via ThinkProgress:


Come again, Todd?

“You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other lawbreaking. The not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things. The misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all that information is available for America.”

This sounds ridiculous because, well, I don’t think I need to explain that. But as Robin Marty notes, the fear of a greedy abortion industry performing “abortions” on non-pregnant women is actually a common trope for the anti-choice movement. So for the record, I am also opposed to abortions for non-pregnant women. They’re expensive and uncomfortable and, um, unnecessary. I am pro-life except in cases of pregnancy. And here we thought common ground in the abortion wars was becoming impossible!

In other news, Akin, who still believes he is qualified to be a US representative, is currently up by one point in the polls against his “unladylike” opponent Claire McCaskill.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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