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.