Now, in addition to being unbelievably offensive for implying that there's such a thing as rape that's not "legitimate rape", Todd Akin also seems to be quite wrong on the science. The most recent study (admittedly slightly at odds with previous studies on the subject) found rape victims are twice as likely to become pregnant as women having consensual unprotected sex.
But this "'actual' rape victims don't get pregnant" idea has a long, long history in the GOP.
- U.S. Senator Dewey Bartlett (R-Oklahoma), 1975: "A person who is raped very seldom becomes pregnant. Statistics show it's very rare."
- State Representative Steven Freind (R-Pennsylvania), 1988: "The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to 'secrete a certain secretion' that tends to kill sperm."
- State Senator and U.S. Senate candidate Fay Boozman(R-Arkansas), 1998: "An adrenalin rush triggered by fear causes hormonal changes that block a woman's ability to conceive during a violent attack, Republican state Sen. Fay Boozman said Thursday. He denied a newspaper report that he had attributed the phenomenon to 'God's little protective shield.'"
- State Representative Henry Alridge (R-North Carolina), 1995: "The facts show that people who are raped -- who are truly raped -- the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant"
- Georgia State Senator Don Thomas (R-Dalton), who apparently is/was a physician, 2003: "[Senator Thomas] argued against exempting rape victims from the law; he said rape victims are unlikely to become pregnant because their bodies are not prepared for intercourse. "
It has also shown up in letters to the editor