7 Other Great Ideas From Todd Akin's (Real) Expert Source
One of the major sources for Todd Akin's claim that a woman's body somehow prevents pregnancy from rape appears to be Dr. John Willke, a prominent anti-abortion general practitioner. He also has views on slavery, teen pregnancy, and a Dutch euthanasia epidemic that the lamestream media is too scared to tell you about.
Doctors who perform abortions will also let babies die in the delivery room.
In one of his Life Jewels, one-minute radio broadcasts on abortion and other issues, (this one titled "Your Doctor, An Abortionist?") Willke said:
Most abortionists ply their grisly trade full time. But some also maintain a private practice.
All women have a right to know if their doctor does abortions. Do you really think that doctor is going to have the dedication and put forth the needed effort to save the life of your child at delivery — if that same day he's being paid to kill some other woman's baby?
Teen pregnancy may be safer than adult pregnancy.
Willke said that "a teenage girl, bearing and delivering a child, should have no more physical complications than a more mature woman," and "in fact, the odds for a normal delivery might even be more favorable." He added, "If the girl's body is mature enough to great pregnant, her body is mature enough to carry a baby to term and deliver normally."
The NIH says teen mothers are at higher risk than older moms of premature delivery, low birth weight, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Abortion is like slavery.
In 1994, Willke published a book making this claim, titled Abortion and Slavery, History Repeats. And in a 2000 interview, he said that abortion-rights groups were like pro-slavery forces in the South in 1850, around the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. He explained, "If pro-slavery had cleaned up its act, we would have had slavery for several more decades. But they had to get more compulsive and evil.” He said abortion-rights activists were getting more evil as well.
Abortion causes breast cancer.
In another Life Jewel, Willke said, "studies are showing that if [a woman] has an abortion, particularly if before her first full-term pregnancy, she increases her chance in later life for breast cancer by upwards of 50%. This looks more and more like a definite cause-and-effect relationship. I, for one, am now convinced it's real."
This is a common claim by anti-abortion advocates, but the National Cancer Institute says the scientific evidence does not support a link between abortion and breast cancer.
In the Netherlands, doctors euthanize 12,000 people a year without their consent.
In a 2000 article for the group University Faculty for Life, Wilke wrote,
A little more than 130,000 people die in the Netherlands every year. Twenty-five thousand is the number that [anti-abortion advocate Dr. Karl Gunning] says are killed by doctors. Worse yet, half of these are killed without the patient’s knowledge or consent.
He also called Nazi extermination of disabled Germans "the first major field trial of euthanasia."
Rick Santorum made a similar claim about the Netherlands earlier this year. The Washington Post fact-checked it and reported that about 2.3% of deaths in the Netherlands occur as a result of euthanasia (that would be about 3,000 people in 2010), and only 0.4% take place without explicit request of the patient.
The goal of US foreign aid is to encourage abortion overseas.
In another of the Life Jewels from 1997, he says, "I travel extensively overseas and see it again and again. Walk into a health clinic subsidized by funds from the USAID. The shelves will be loaded with condoms and contraceptive pills. but no penicillin." He added, "our government has a single-minded purpose — to prevent [people in developing countries] from having children, to abort those who are conceived, and then, only too often, not to help keep them alive after they are born."
In the 1990s, USAID actually phased out [PDF] much contraceptive funding, at least in Latin America. The Mexico City Policy, in effect during the Reagan and second Bush administrations, also prohibited any US funding for groups abroad that performed abortions or offered abortion counseling.
Banning abortion is good for women's health.
In an 2000 article for the group University Faculty for Life, Willke wrote, "During the Russian occupation, Poland with its almost 40 million people, had been aborting 160 to 180 thousand babies a year. Last year, it was 250. Wow!" He added that, "in the case of Poland we have a Western nation of almost 40 million people that had a 44-year history of abortion-on-demand. Poland then passed a law to stop abortion. It did stop it and the health of their women has improved."
Human Rights Watch says that the number of recorded abortions in Poland is indeed low (Poland bans abortion except in cases of rape, health risk to the mother, or fetal deformity), but it estimates the actual yearly number at between 40,000 and 200,000. The World Health Organization says eastern European countries, including Poland, have some of the highest abortion rates in the world, and that in eastern Europe and central Asia, as many as 30% of maternal deaths are caused by unsafe abortions. The WHO also notes that when abortion was illegal in Romania, maternal mortality was 20 times higher than it is now.