Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.
Leave it to the uber religious, far right to say the absolutely most repulsive things and then claim that they “misspoke.” This week we discuss the furor surrounding Republican Rep. Todd Akin from Missouri. If you haven’t been following the news, perhaps because you’ve been buried under laser blasted rocks on Mars, when asked about the topic of abortion, particularly in cases of rape and incest, Rep. Akin made the claim that, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”
Now you might be thinking, “what the f#*k?” But this claim isn’t something which is just pulled out of thin air, it has a long and persistent history—800 years to be exact. That’s right, this is thirteenth century thought! We all knew that the right wing religionists in this country were stuck in the past but it would shock most to think it was this far back. The claim shows up in the 13th century English legal work Fleta, which stated that “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”
This idea has persisted even into the modern era through scientific ignorance and motivated reasoning. It isn’t just Rep. Akin which buys this load of garbage, just after the broadcast today we found out that the American Family Association backs Akin’s stance on rape 100%.
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