A U.S. Congressman points out that stress affects ovulation. But it's moot in rape discussion.
Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia, an obstetrician since 1975, appears to have woken up this morning and decided that his political career was going a little too smoothly. So he resurrected the watershed "legitimate rape" remarks of former Representative Todd Akin (RIP?) this morning at the Smyrna Area Council of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Indeed, breakfast.
[Akin] 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. ... 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?
The answer is that there are as many as 32,000 cases of rape-related pregnancy annually in the United States. And that is pretty much the beginning and end of this discussion.
Continuing to dissect Akin's comments to see if we can find a semblance of reason in them -- whether he was "partially right" -- is of no practical consequence. Whether the unconscionable physiologic stress of having endured rape does lead to some traumatic response that results in miscarriages (or lack of conception) in some instances -- how does that help us in any way?