Why Todd Akin Warned of Doctors Who Perform Abortions on Women Who Aren’t Even Pregnant

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Todd Akin, expert in all things lady-related, has apparently been saying puzzling things about abortion for quite some time. Yesterday, Slate dug up a video of Akin on the House floor in 2008, railing against "terrorist" abortion doctors, who perform inherently evil acts in the most evil manner possible:

One of the good pieces of news why we're winning this war is because there are not enough heartless doctors being graduated from medical schools. There's a real shortage of abortionists. Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit. You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all of that information is available for America.

Giving abortions to women who aren't pregnant? That actually sounds like it takes some real skill, and possibly wizardry.

The accusation may seem bizarre, but we think we know what Akin is alluding to: There probably have been some abortion doctors who tell patients that they are pregnant just so they can make some money off of a phony abortion. A little Googling finds this 1989 Chicago Tribune story about Arnold Bickham, for example:

The license revocation was the second time Bickham had lost his license for wrongdoing. In 1979, the state suspended his license for 18 months after charging that he performed abortions on women who were not pregnant and sometimes not fully under anesthesia.

So, there. It has happened. Just like your other doctors may prescribe you medications you don't necessarily need or offer expensive procedures you could do without. Hell, just like your mechanic might tell you might need a new "Johnson rod" when that doesn't even exist.

This hardly means that Akin was right. Such treachery is rare and far from "common practice," as Akin puts it. And the so-called abortion "culture of death" doesn't lead to law-breaking; law-breaking is found in every field and industry. Congress — a culture of law-makingincluded. In other words, Akin's argument here is not very, well, legitimate.