By Christie Wilcox, Scientific American, January 14, 2013
It seems like every time a male republican tries to talk about women, he somehow says something stupid and misogynistic. Last year, Missouri candidate Todd Akin was torn apart for his negligent comment that, when a woman is raped, she needn’t worry about pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Akin was vilified by his own party and lost the election. But then, just when we think republicans might have learned their lesson, former OB/GYN and current congressman from Georgia Phil Gingrey makes an even more careless blunder, calling Akin’s remark “partially right.” He cites his experience as a doctor trying to aid struggling couples, and how he told them “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.’”
I don’t care that Gingrey has since come out with a statement saying he did not mean to say he agrees with or supports Akin’s comment. That’s exactly what he did. Citing his authority as a physician, Gingrey made the dangerous and erroneous claim that rape victims are less likely to get pregnant. When you reference science using your education to create an air of authority, you don’t have the luxury of saying ‘oops’. You get no excuse….