Political Animal


January 11, 2013 12:58 PM Please Just Shut Up

By Ed Kilgore

From the “They Just Can’t Help Themselves” file, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s intrepid Jim Galloway informs us that U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), an OB-GYN, went out of his way in a local speaking appearance to express sympathy for the “legitimate rape” comments of his former colleague Todd Akin:

And 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.

Well, thanks, Phil, for that valuable expert validation of the perspective that many rape victims are actually liars and thus we shouldn’t be reluctant to force them to carry pregnancies they claim are the product of rape to term.

Now please just shut up.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on January 11, 2013 1:11 PM:

    Keep talking, Republicans.

    Just keep on talkin'.

    Keep reminding everyone for the next two years about what you think, or rather, feel, about women's issues.

    Maybe your gerrymandering won't even save you, if enough Ms. Jerri Manders decide to go and vote.

  • beejeez on January 11, 2013 1:22 PM:

    Thanks for clearing up that Akin only meant to say that it's OK to force scared 15-year-old girls to carry their new unintended pregnancies to term!

  • Bokonon on January 11, 2013 1:24 PM:

    Yeah, DARN that media! Darn that liberal media for taking those statements up and ripping them apart!

    Gingrey seems to also be saying to his audience "watch your message discipline ... we all know what we believe, but we don't want it getting media attention, because the critical coverage will kill us. You have to punk the media, and talk in platitudes, and say you love babies!!!"

  • martin on January 11, 2013 1:28 PM:

    He's telling his right wing, Bible thumpin',hardcore Bapist voters to drink a glass of wine?!?! He thinks God needs help from demon alcohol to make babies????

    He's got some grovelin to do this Sunday.

  • boatboy_srq on January 11, 2013 1:36 PM:

    Teahadist villages do seem to breed their own special kind of idiot.

    Either that, or the Xtians are succeeding in teaching their adherents that the last thousand or so years of cultural development never happened. One wonders how they can handle demonic devices like television, personal computers and cellphones.

    Follow-on questions for Rep. Gingrey ought to have included his usage of leeches and other modern medical procedures in his practice. "Drink a glass of wine"? Really? Not that there's anything wrong with alcohol in moderation, or with a physician recommending small quantities (disclosure: my grandfather, a surgeon, prescribed 1 oz of alcohol per day for all his patients) - just the idea of suggesting that a woman drink so she can relax and get pregnant is brimming with potential ugliness.

  • MuddyLee on January 11, 2013 1:37 PM:

    Looking forward this year to hearing conservatives define "legitimate" government spending, "legitimate" taxes, "legitimate" regulations, "legitimate" voters, "legitimate" Presidential appointments.....And since when does delivering babies make you an expert on rape?

  • Josef K on January 11, 2013 1:50 PM:

    U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), an OB-GYN

    Board certified, or just another quack?

    In any case, my faith in humanity just sank a little lower. Much further and it'll be dining in China.

  • esaud on January 11, 2013 1:56 PM:

    Not to mention the fact that fetal acohol syndrome happens when pregnant women drink. What a putz.

    (I'm old enough to remember when doctors thought smoking was good to help relax).

  • boatboy_srq on January 11, 2013 2:05 PM:

    @esaud: Gingrey didn't (in this case) say he advised already-pregnant women to drink. He said he advised women to drink in order to become pregnant.

    That doesn't merit "putz" - it merits rape apologist. Among other things.

  • Anonymous on January 11, 2013 2:07 PM:

    "And I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. ... “Just relax. Drink a glass of wine....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"

    This guy has an MD OB-GYN? Holy shit, from where? Crackerjack University or is he self-licensed?

    Sperm last up to three days to fertilize an egg. Three freaking days. Before ovulation or after ovulation. A woman doesn't need to get hammered so she can ovulate during sex to get pregnant you moron.

    I'm going to take a wild guess and say this "doctor" isn't board certified. I would warn every woman I care about to stay more than a mile away of this clown.

  • Peter C on January 11, 2013 2:08 PM:

    Perhaps we'll progress, in this society, to the point where the idea of 'legitimate rape' becomes just as much of a deadly 'third rail' as cuts to medicare and social security.

    In the courts, in order to challenge a law, the party bringing the lawsuit must have 'standing'. I wish, that for questions of women's reproductive health, we'd agree that the ONLY people with 'standing' to make decisions were those of us with a uterus.

  • Peter C on January 11, 2013 2:14 PM:

    Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive."

    In the same way, at best 'partly right' would still be 'mostly wrong'.

  • caduceus on January 11, 2013 2:24 PM:

    There are interesting - not to say disturbing - psychological studies on doctors.
    Among other things noted is the fact that some, perhaps many depending on the study,
    male OB-Gyns don't like women. They chose the specialty in order to exercise control over them, often using/ recommending less than optimal treatments or imposing their own beliefs on
    patients. Let us hope that Rep. Gingrey is not only not in direct patient care
    now, but that he will not be in the future.

  • Decatur Dem on January 11, 2013 2:35 PM:

    Caduceus, I've never heard of the studies of which you speak, and I'm skeptical. References, please?

  • bigtuna on January 11, 2013 6:47 PM:

    Didn't Karen Hughes say:

    " if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue. The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of “legitimate rape.”" ?????

    and, hey, by the way in many states, depending on the age differences between the girl and the perp, sex with a 15 yr old girl is rape.

    What utter assholes.

  • Decatur Dem on January 11, 2013 8:49 PM:

    Yes, Karen Hughes, that notorious feminazi agitator... Wait, what? George Who?

    Never mind.