Akin flunked Biology 101


It’s not unreasonable to wonder whether Todd Akin is some kind of liberal performance artist, making a statement about the absurdities of modern conservatism.

In this clip, first reported yesterday by Slate’s Amanda Marcotte, Akin begins by equating abortion with slavery and terrorism, before arguing that medical professionals who terminate pregnancies are dirty criminals. “You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things,” Akin said.

Now, I haven’t seen any evidence that doctors who perform abortions cheat on their taxes and oversee unsanitary medical facilities. I have a hunch Akin was making this up, but let’s put that aside.

The more meaningful problem here is that Akin believes some doctors are “giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant.” I don’t know what that means. I’d like to, but I don’t.

Indeed, while I don’t claim to have a background in medicine, I have a rudimentary understanding of Biology 101. I know, for example, that women who are impregnated by rapists don’t have magical abilities to “shut that whole thing down.” I also know that women who aren’t actually pregnant don’t – and can’t – get abortions.

Did I mention that House Republicans made Akin a member of the House Science Committee?

For context, let’s also not forget that this is the same Republican Senate candidate who believes wage discrimination against women in the workplace should be legal, and considers himself an arbiter of who is and isn’t “ladylike.”