Some American pro-life activists claim that pregnancy is less likely or does not result from rape, which is false.  This idea originated with Fred Mecklenburg in 1972.  While serving as assistant clinical professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Mecklenburg published an article entitled, “The Indications for Induced Abortion: A Physician’s Perspective”.  In the article he claimed that pregnancy resulting from rape is “extremely rare, “contending that during the act of rape sexual intercourse is not always successfully completed, that the probability of rape coinciding with a woman’s ovulation period is low, and that rape-induced trauma impedes ovulation.

Although it is false, the idea that trauma might function as a form of birth control has been advanced by anti-abortion activists attempting to secure an unqualified ban on abortion.  For example, the former President of the National Right to Life Committee and physician John C. Willke, supporting his own personal agenda, argued in a 1985 text that the female body, when undergoing rape, can physiologically prevent conception.

 Revisiting the claim in a 1999 article, published in the Life Issues Connector, Willke stated,

“When pro-lifers speak of rape pregnancies, we should commonly use the phrase “forcible rape” or “assault rape,” for that specifies what we’re talking about.  Rape can also be statutory.  Depending upon your state law, statutory rape can be consensual, but we’re not addressing that here.   Assault rape pregnancies are extremely rare.”

“…. What is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that’s physical trauma.  Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle.  To get and stay pregnant, a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones.  Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions.  There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape.  This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation, and even nurturing of a pregnancy.  So, what further percentage reductions in pregnancy will this cause?  No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.”

Willke, whose 1999 article has been posted on a pro-life website, opinioned in August 2012 that rape, “is a traumatic thing” and women undergoing rape are: “frightened, tight and so on.  And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize because the tubes are spastic.

This belief is continually promoted by conservative male politicians, who have no medical background and present no medical data to support their claim.  The average rate for conception after normal intercourse is supposedly around 2.25 percent, each time.  But, no one keeps records of couples comparing attempts, to rates of success, so, this statistic is nothing more than guess work.  In fact, there has been information released to suggest that rape victim are twice as likely to get pregnant as none victims.

I find it interesting that anyone can make an unqualified assumption with no supporting documented evidence proving its accuracy and yet, you have large numbers of people believing and supporting said assumptions, because it supports their hidden agenda.

To me, the issue is not whether a woman has a small chance of resulting pregnancies after the horrible act of rape and thus should not be a viable exception in the law, concerning the use of abortion, but more of a question of decency.  It should not be a question of chance of pregnancy, but rather, what if she becomes pregnant.  It’s bad enough that she has to experience the trauma of the act of rape, but now we are expecting her to carry this unwanted fetus to full-term.

Regardless, of which side of the abortion debate, you agree with, to take away this right of choice is wrong.  If as pro-life activists contend, that the act of rape truly results in small numbers of pregnancies, and then, why not concede the right to choose to those women, who must face this choice.  There appears to be no more compromise, when it comes to political agendas.  It has all come down to the belief that “you are either with me or against me.”

I find it troubling that while the Republican majority in the North Dakota legislature thumbed their collective noses at the Democratic minority and pushed through laws that heavily  favored conservative agendas; we have people, who support Republican ideals, wanting to form their own state, because they are opposed to the laws passed by the Democratic majority in the Colorado legislature.  So much, for working together for the betterment of this country, the bottom line, is neither party, is willing to change or cooperate with each other.

So the abortion debate and resulting legislative laws will continue and some people will continue to play “God” with their sanctimonious belief in their “right” regardless of the pain and continuing suffering of others.  For those who agree with the principle of “no abortions, no matter what,” I pray to God that these victims are never part of your family and are forced to continue to live with this reminder of an unspeakable act.  The most unconscionable thing that I have ever heard was when a conservative politician implied that if a woman becomes pregnant …she was probably not truly a victim of rape.   So much for living a Christian lifestyle.