A lot of attention has been paid to Rep. Todd Akin’s asinine assertion that “legitimate rape” can’t result in pregnancy, and Republicans have been backpedaling left and right to distance themselves from such idiocy. Take, for instance, Republican Senate candidate Tom Smith (mentioned in Jill’s post), who knows full well that rape, “legitimate” or not, can result in pregnancy. For instance, his daughter had sex out of wedlock, and she got pregnant, and it’s pretty much the same thing.
He was kind enough to say that into a reporter’s microphone at a Pennsylvania press club luncheon.
MARK SCOLFORO, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, how would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Is that something that you would–do you have a way to explain that?
SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to… She chose they way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.
SCOLFORO: Similar how?
SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock. You know.
SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?
SMITH: No, no, no, but… Put yourself in a father’s position, yes. I mean, it is similar. This was a–But, come back to the original–I’m pro-life, period.
Now, he did not say that a woman having a baby out of wedlock is like rape. He only said that to a father, if your daughter gets pregnant out of wedlock, it’s as good as if she were raped. It’s a very difficult time for him.
REPORTER. Mr. Smith, can I just ask your to clarify one more time the question that Mark asked you. Did I just hear you say that having a child out of wedlock is analogous to rape?
SMITH. No, I did not say that.
REPORTER. You did say that.
SMITH. I said I went through a situation.
SCOLFORO. With your daughter. With a daughter.
SMITH. And it’s very, very difficult. But do I condone rape? Absolutely not. Do I propose life? Yes, I’m pro-life, period.
Does Smith condone rape? Of course he doesn’t condone rape! It’s like stealing! Or damaging property! If someone keys your car, you can get it repainted until the scratch is well-nigh invisible, but the value has decreased forever. If someone rapes your daughter, even once she’s physically recovered, she remains tainted and impure and cheapened. How could a father possible condone that?
But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if someone keys your car or if you scrape it against the mailbox yourself–your paint job has been violated. Even when the scratches are gone, you’ll still know it’s been defiled. So whether your daughter has consensual sex or is raped, the effect is the same: She’s scratched and dented, and you’ll never get full resale for her. And that’s the real tragedy of rape.