Thursday, June 13, 2013

You Know Who Else Put Faith In Nazi Scientists... **Updated**

Okay, I know I'm opening with something that violates Godwin's Law here, but COME ON PEOPLE.

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, argued against an exception for rape and incest victims from a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He said, “Before, when my friends on the left side of the aisle here tried to make rape and incest the subject—because, you know, the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” He is of course following in the footsteps of former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who said that women can stave off pregnancy after a “legitimate rape.” (He apologized but that didn’t save him from losing his next election.)These claims are false, of course, or as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists puts it, “medically inaccurate, offensive, and dangerous.” That is not all that’s wrong with the claims. They originate with Nazi experiments on women in concentration camps.

...“In the aftermath of Akin’s statement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a 1972 essay by an obstetrician named Fred Mecklenburg, who cited a Nazi experiment in which women were told they were on their way to die in the gas chambers—and then were allowed to live, so that doctors could check whether they would still ovulate. Since few did, Mecklenburg claimed that women exposed to the emotional trauma of rape wouldn’t be able to become pregnant, either. 

Most OB-GYNs say that it's just as likely to get pregnant from rape as from consensual sex, but Republicans seem to think it's important enough to dispute that that they'll quote Nazi science. Obviously nobody is Pro-Rape; but they're desperate to avoid a loophole in their anti-abortion position. I suppose also they'd prefer that rape is treated like any other violent assault, which they feel has enough laws on the books already. It's like hate crime. They're not pro-hate, they're against extra laws.

I can see that point of view; but for pete's sake, why make it easier for violent criminals to avoid further prosecution? Does society have no incentive to discourage prejudice? Most people think it does.

**Update** see further up the timeline for a kind of correction - Meckleberg was wrong, the Nazis never even did the experiment.

No comments: