Male Republican Congressman Just Won’t Let ‘Legitimate Rape’ Go

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Now that election season is over, Republicans are doing some soul-searching and trying to figure out exactly where things went wrong. Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia has some ideas, which he expressed over breakfast yesterday with his local chamber of commerce. "Part of the reason the Dems still control the Senate is because of comments made in Missouri by Todd Akin and Indiana by [Richard Mourdock] were considered a little bit over the top," he said, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. He is partially right about that! Then he kept talking.

"'Mourdock basically said 'Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that's still a child, and it's a child of God, essentially,'" Gingrey went on. "Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election." Easy does it now, sir.

"And in Missouri, Todd Akin … " — and here's where he revs up — "was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, 'Look, in a legitimate rape situation' — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that's pretty tough and might on some occasion say, 'Hey, I was raped.' That's what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don't find anything so horrible about that." Deep breath.

"But then he went on and 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." While doctors have roundly disagreed, Gingrey reminded everyone he has been an ob-gyn since 1975:

“And 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? But the fact that a woman may have already ovulated 12 hours before she is raped, you’re not going to prevent a pregnancy there by a woman’s body shutting anything down because the horse has already left the barn, so to speak. And yet the media took that and tore it apart.”

The media — can you believe our nerve? We never learn.