Dear Representative Todd Akin,
Rape is rape. Regardless of whether or not a woman gets pregnant when she is raped, rape is still rape. Pregnancy can and does result from rape. When a woman is sexually assaulted without the use of a condom (which is usually the case when a woman is raped), the same pregnancy that occurs through consensual sex can occur in those instances. The female body does not “shut down,” instead the female body has the same biological reaction that it does when sperm enters the uterus, fertilizing an egg: pregnancy.
Rape is a traumatic experience that can haunt you for years. Although I’ve never been sexually assaulted, many of my friends and family members have, and it’s a scar and burden that they carry, even years later. Your declaration of “legitimate rape” effectively erases the traumatic experiences that many women, the world over, have endured for centuries. Your words only add salt to the wounds that occur from having been sexually assaulted.
I am ashamed that a man such as you is seeking to represent women, men, and children from your district. It saddens me that our country has reached a point where anyone could say words as harmful as those that came from your mouth.
I ask any woman, female-bodied person, or friend/loved one of anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to fight back against Representative Todd Akin’s ignorant and extremely inaccurate words. Your experience IS a legitimate one.
Latest News from the National Network of Abortion Funds: Feed
July 11th, 2012
For the third consecutive year, the international abortion fund Abortion Support Network (ASN) in England will see requests for abortion funding from Irish women double.
As ASN director Mara Clarke (pictured at left) tells The Guardian, "The continued economic crisis is making it even more of a struggle for women and families to keep their heads above water and Ireland's severe abortion restrictions make it even harder for women in financial distress."
Ireland's abortion laws are among the strictest in the world, and abortion is illegal in virtually all circumstances. A woman who needs an abortion is forced to leave the country to find help at her own expense; every year thousands of women leave Ireland in search of a safe abortion. ASN volunteers give women a place to sleep, meals, and fare for local transportation to help defray the high cost of travel.
"We don’t think it’s fair that, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, women in Ireland with money can access a safe and legal abortion and women without money cannot. As long as there are women facing an unwanted pregnancy who are unable to afford the costs of travelling to England and paying privately for an abortion, ASN will continue to do our best to help them," says Clark.