Todd Akin’s recent apology just shows that he truly doesn’t understand why his comments were offensive.
He has apologized for the word “legitimate” because of course no rape is legitimate which misses the point.
Putting any qualifier in front of rape, whether it is “legitimate” or “assault” as Physicians for Life does, or “forcible” as legislation sponsored by Akin and Paul Ryan did, is an attempt to differentiate between “real” rape — the stranger in the alley, preferably with the victim near death from fighting — and just unwanted sex. All unwanted sex is rape. Any qualifier is an attempt to shift blame from the rapist to the victim. The ridiculous notion that “real” rape victims don’t get pregnant is comforting delusion for those who can’t really think of a good reason a woman should be forced to risk life and health to give birth to her rapist’s child, but want to insist she must do so. From the protection and sanity of California, it is tempting to ignore craziness in Missouri, If not for the fact that the Republican VP nominee, Paul Ryan, also wants to make women bear rapists’ children. And God only knows what Romney’s real position is.