Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Dominic Pedulla, MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh

8/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

To punish the unborn child through abortion, he said, is to create a second victim.

Not only did Akin attempt to sensitively answer the delicate question about allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest, and not only did he thoroughly answer the question, but above all he probably had the science right.If we can't bring ourselves to condemn all acts of violence against innocents -- I mean all, everywhere, without exception -- then we are saying that some victims just don't count, and that we care more about our own political agendas than about real victimization.

Highlights

By Dr. Dominic Pedulla, MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Dominic Pedulla, Edith Stein Foundation, Congressman Akin, abortion, rape, incest, pro-life movement


EDMOND, OKLAHOMA (Catholic Online) - When the Congressman Todd Akin story first surfaced, I regret to admit that I jumped on the growing bandwagon criticizing his statement from both the feminist and scientific perspectives. I said that he was wrong to say that pregnancy from rape is rare, or that it does not really happen.

As the controversy exploded, I began to realize that I was probably wrong on this.

He didn't exactly mean that pregnancy from rape is rare, or that is does not really happen.  

What he did attempt to say was that pregnancy resulting from rape was not the pressing issue that abortion promoters tendentiously pretend it is (so that they can press their case for the deceptive "rape and incest" exemption). He meant to say that these pregnancies are comparatively rare, and this due to the fact that there actually were physiological factors that diminish the chance of pregnancy during rape, so that pregnancy is less likely in these cases than with consensual acts.

He didn't mean that it never happens.

And even though he used the unfortunate phrase "legitimate rape,"  he seemed by this to mean "actual rape," "forcible rape"; i.e., truly non-consensual acts -- a distinction of physiological and scientific significance --  rather than denying that rape is something atrocious and heinous in itself, which of course it is. He was characterizing as "legitimate" not rape itself, but rather an act's classification as rape. This seems, well, legitimate, and should not have been shamelessly exploited to mean something otherwise.

Not only did Akin attempt to sensitively answer the delicate question about allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest, and not only did he thoroughly answer the question, but above all he probably had the science right.

As Tara Brelinsky correctly points out this week on a Catholic Online article, it is well known among professional fertility awareness educators that stress will interfere with ovulation, making pregnancy difficult if not impossible.

The science of this is established both in human and mammalian non-human reproductive biology. Cortisol is released at times of acute stress, as for example violent acts, and is acutely inhibitory of ovulation at the level of the pituitary gland so that luteinizing hormone -- the ovulation hormone -- is suppressed. (Reprod Biomed Online. 2012 Aug;25(2):180-9. Epub 2012 Apr 3, and Gynecol Endocrinol. 2012 Mar;28 Suppl 1:9-13.)

And then there is the growing body of scientific evidence among specialists in so-called "assisted reproductive techniques," to the effect that stress can uniquely handicap the achievement and maintenance of pregnancy during IVF cycles.  (Fertil Steril. 2011 Aug;96(2):404-8. Epub 2011 Jun 30; Arch Womens Ment Health. 2012 Jul 6.

It is more than clear that an acute act of violence would easily seem to be just the kind of stressor uniquely capable of interfering with ovulation or even implantation, in the event conception occurred.

Anthropologically and teleologically speaking and apart from empirical data, a mechanism selecting against pregnancies from rape would also be of unique value to species, woman, and child, as a survival advantage is conferred on pregnancies free of this type of violence.

Perhaps most importantly, although the 1996 paper often cited by proponents of the abortion for rape and incest "exemption" did report a 5% incidence of pregnancy from acts of rape (Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Aug;175(2):320-4; discussion 324-5.), this is very likely a gross overestimate, as the authors themselves imply that they might well have significantly underestimated the number of individual rapes because of the common problem of rape under-reporting, thereby overestimating the pregnancy rates.

Moreover, the authors may have conflated some statutory, volitionally consensual rapes (presumably lower stress instances) with strictly nonconsensual ones (violent or higher stress instances; i.e., Akin's "legitimate rapes"), again leading to pregnancy overestimates.

A staggeringly high percentage of the reported pregnancies from rape and incest occur in adolescent women, where predation and victimization are often chronic and repetitive, and the perpetrators are often familiar to the victim (involving dysfunctional and violence-prone broken homes), so that for every reported pregnancy there often already has been a repetitive pattern of predatory acts.

Finally, more recent and updated data suggest a much lower incidence of pregnancy after rape, on the order of 1 to 2% (J Med Assoc Thai. 2009 Jul;92(7):885-90).

I also didn't properly give Akin credit for exposing the major flaw behind the deceptive "abortion in cases of rape or incest" challenge, while making the pro-abortionists apoplectic.

Here again he is correct. 

To punish the unborn child through abortion, he said, is to create a second victim.

How does adding a second act of violence do any good?

The supposed rape and incest exception is deceiving because supporter of abortion know that if abortion is permissible once it is always permissible. If it is permissible for rape or incest, there really is no reason to condemn it ever, since the reason to condemn it is that it is an act of violence against an innocent, defenseless victim, something that is the same no matter how the unborn child came to be.

Akin is right. Rape, which is always and everywhere an atrocious, brutal and most heinous crime, is so precisely because it is a violent act perpetrated against an innocent victim.

But this also, it turns out, is a really good definition of abortion.

If we can't bring ourselves to condemn all acts of violence against innocents -- I mean all, everywhere, without exception -- then we are saying that some victims just don't count, and that we care more about our own political agendas than about real victimization.

Ironically then, it is only the true pro-lifer who is the coherent, consistent, and credible opponent of rape. 

-----

Dr. Dominic M. Pedulla MD, FACC, CNFPMC, ABVM, ACPh as the medical director of  The Oklahoma Vein and Endovascular Center is an Interventional Cardiologist, Endovascular Diplomate, Varicose Vein Specialist, Noncontraceptive Family Planning Consultant and a Family Planning Researcher.  He is also the Executive Director of The Edith Stein Foundation.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Marriage & Family

New breast cancer cases in the U.S. predicted to double by 2030 Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Recent government research projected an increase of new breast cancer cases up to 50 percent by 2030, as well as a change on its age distribution. The current statistic is one in every eight women will develop the disease during her lifetime. The surge will definitely ... continue reading


Elementary school under fire for transgender kindergarten lesson Watch

Image of Jazz Jennings grew up transgender and turned her story into a children's book.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Allowing young kids to read books about something controversial is considered by most as one aggressive move. Recently, in Mitchell Primary School, school officials publicly stated their apology for allowing kindergarten through third grade students to read a book ... continue reading


Inside the rebellious mind: MRI scans record teenagers' brain activity when trying to rebel and separate from parents Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study suggests that rebelliousness is triggered with teenagers' desire to separate from their parents in pursuing individuality. With the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), psychologists were able to track the brain activity of 22 teenagers responding to ... continue reading


Crazed father's attempt at suicide in hospital led to an unexpected 'miracle' Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A father went inside the hospital armed with a 9mm handgun with a plan to kill himself if his son died. George Pickering, 59, was going to commit suicide in order to die with his son, after the doctors told him he was already brain dead and would be pulled off life ... continue reading


Oldest women in the world expecting quadruplets sparks IVF debate Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

65-year old Annegret Raunighk, the oldest woman in the world expecting quadruplets, is being frowned upon by many and has sparked debates all over Germany for her in Vitro fertilization pregnancy, considered by politicians and medical experts as "irresponsible and ... continue reading


Parents credit God for successful all-girl quintuplets birth Watch

Image of The Busby family welcomes healthy all-girl quintuplets.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week, the United States first ever all-girl quintuplets were born to Danielle and Adam Busby. The babies were all born successfully without complications and were described as healthy, according to The Blaze. However, the Busby couple were allegedly advised to ... continue reading


Abuse victims cry out over horrific experience at St. Joseph orphanage in Australia Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Rockhampton is currently investigating child abuse accusations thrown at the people who have ran Neerkol St. Joseph's Orphanage. The victims of abuse at the questioned orphanage have revealed last ... continue reading


Pastor's wife arrested after allegedly trying to 'raise' 2-year-old 'possessed' child from death after a 25-day fast Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After reportedly holding a failed "rising ceremony" with other church members, Aracely Meza, a pastor's wife, is now in jail. The Iglesia Jesus El Rey member was charged with injury to a child by omission, according to The Blaze. The 2-year-old child, identified as ... continue reading


'Airwrecker,' 'Vejonica,' 'Mazen': Extremely bizarre baby names that actually exist Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In just about 24 hours, a Reddit thread was able to garner more than 18,000 comments, asking its users to submit the weirdest and most horrendous names they had ever known. Without much clarity as to why some parents choose them, there are testimonies posted in the ... continue reading


6 of the most important factors to consider before settling down Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Marriage is a wonderful thing that binds two people together, for better or for worse. Before taking your relationship to the next level, thanks to Crosswalk.com, here are a few factors you should think about and consider before getting married. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 7:51--8:1
51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:30-35
30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2015 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter