I have always supported Dr. and U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) and have always believed good things about him. My late mother worked as an RN on the OB/GYN floor of Kennestone Hospital for the better part of 23 years or so and she believed in his impeccable character, so I know there is truth to him being a good person. It would have certainly been my preference that he not comment on Todd Akin’s ludicrous comments on rape. However, Dr. Gingrey was trying to expand on what was said.
First of all, “legitimate” rape should never be uttered or repeated or defended. There is no such thing. If it is two teens who are crazy about each other, there is nothing about that that is rape. But there are occasions of teen rape; and that should not be forgotten. It should not be assumed that it is not rape if it involves teens. But on the flip side of the coin, it should not be assumed that an unexpected teen pregnancy is caused by rape. It wholly depends on each situation.
The biggest fear I have is when Dr. Gingrey made the statements in agreement that a woman or girl’s body can shut down and prevent pregnancy when raped. A woman who reads comments like that could think her body could really shut down if she is raped and will prevent pregnancy because it is possible that it could shut down. The body might indeed be in shock and shut down: but it should be treated as unlikely and the girl/woman should always err on the side of caution and get to the ER as soon as possible to do what they call a “rape kit” which gathers evidence; but also the area is scraped in order to prevent pregnancy if it has occurred or is on its way to occur.
Dr. Gingrey did make the point that if she had already ovulated before the rape then it is a moot point, by using the barn and horse metaphor, which was perfectly appropriate even if the Democrats did poke fun at it. He wasn’t referring to the woman as a horse, as they guffawed about at their breakfast, he was using it to illustrate a point.
I would not have been disturbed about any of this if he had reiterated the fact that the shutdown of a woman’s body during and after rape is possible, not probable. Not stressing that fact really concerns me.
The other thing I had concern about is that infertile couples might need to drink wine to relax in order to conceive if they are uptight. I thought the medical associations had determined that it is best to not drink alcohol even before one knows of pregnancy if people are actively trying. I respect his long practice and I certainly know he knows more than I. But I think doctors really need to be careful in telling people to use alcohol to relax in any situation, especially if they are trying to conceive.
The public knows as well as I do that people make mistakes and sometimes things come out wrong when they are said. Politicians, especially Republicans, need to be ever mindful of this, since from the get-go conservatives are not treated fairly in the media spotlight.
Nancy Cheatham Brock