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Rape, Myth or Fact?

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By Anissa Stewart

Controversy between democrats and republicans has been raging for years over the topic of abortion and rape; however, it has come to a head in recent weeks because of Missouri representative, Todd Akin. During a KTVI-TV interview in St. Louis, Missouri in mid-August, Akin stated, “women who are victims of ‘legitimate rape’ rarely get pregnant.”

The statement fueled many pro-choice congressmen and women into action and even caused Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to disassociate themselves from his beliefs, although Ryan has voted for bills that would make abortion illegal for cases of rape and incest. For the last few years states have battled with pro-life vs. pro-choice legislation. Many states such as Arizona, Michigan and Louisiana have issued bill after bill to fight abortion. Within the state of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer has signed an anti-abortion bill that states that pregnancy begins the first day of the last menstrual period. Thus pregnancy could begin two weeks before conception. Governor Jan Brewer stated that, “This legislation is consistent with my strong track record of supporting common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population–the unborn.”

Statistically, one out of every six women who reside in the US have been victim to a completed or attempted rape. That is over 17.7 million women. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) concluded, with the help of the U.S. Department of Justice, in a 2005 National Crime Victimization Survey that 64,080 women were raped during 2004-2005. With this data, medical reports state that after having unprotected sex one time, the chances of getting pregnant is a staggering 5%. Now, by applying this percentage to the recorded number of rape victims during the previously stated time period medical professionals would estimate that 3,204 potential pregnancies were had.

Despite personal beliefs, this comment has stirred up a whirlwind of discussion in the political sphere. If you have a comment on this topic, feel free to submit a letter to the editor at any time.