“It’s like regular birth control, except as imagined by crazy people.” A parody video mocks the concept of ‘legitimate rape’ made famous (and infamous) by US Representative and Missouri Republican Senatorial candidate Todd Akin.
The fake pharmaceutical ad has become a viral sensation online. In it, “legitimate rape” is mocked as the ultimate form of contraception: “Do you suffer from Sexually Liberated Uterine Tendencies [SLUT]? Now there's a treatment that can help: Legitimate rape,” the ad begins.
“Side effects of legitimate rape may include depression, nausea, insomnia, bruising and accusations that you’re just being hysterical,” the parody said. “Legitimate rape isn’t for everyone. To find out if it is right for you ask your doctor.” The ad then shows the narrator getting punched in the head, and she says: “Ask your congressman.”
In the notorious statement made by Akin during a recent interview with the KTVI television station, Akin suggested that “legitimate rape” rarely produces pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
And the video pulls no punches when it comes to Akin’s statement: “It’s like regular birth control, except as imagined by crazy people,” the ad says, referring to Akin.
Akin backed his statement by claiming that it was based in medical science. Doctors, however, disagree: They say it’s impossible that the trauma of rape would prevent a woman from getting pregnant.
“From the biological standpoint, a woman is at risk for pregnancy if she’s at a vulnerable point in her menstrual cycle when the rape occurs,” Dr. Barbara Levy, Vice President for Health Policy at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told NBC News.
Akin’s comment sparked immediate national outrage. Even Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s candidate for the presidency, was forced to distance himself from Akin.
Nicole Silvestri, President of Missouri University’s Feminist Student Union, said she was shocked by Akin’s statement: “His comment shows the blatant ignorance and misinformation running rampant in our society. … This lack of fundamental knowledge is terrifying when those who run this country’s policies do not possess it.”
In the wake of the eruption of outrage, Akin apologized for his statement.
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview, and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year," Akin said.
But he refused to walk back his ardently anti-abortion stance, even for rape victims, saying that he “does not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action."
His apology spurred another round of online mockery. In another parody video, an actor speaking as Akin says: “My heart-mouth has been in an argument with my mouth-mouth ever since.” The song in the video, asking viewers to listen to “Todd Akin’s breaking heart” goes on: “But if you do get raped, legitimately raped, I still believe that parenthood was planned.”
Akin is currently running for the Missouri’s US Senate seat, and has consistently been ranked as one of the most conservative Representatives in Congress since he assumed office in 2001.