In a shocking report being touted like the gospel, an obstetrics professor who heads the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction at a private Roman Catholic university in Omaha, has announced that — in support of Congressman Todd Akin‘s offensive comments — women rarely get pregnant from rape.
“Dr. Thomas Hilgers, a Creighton University obstetrics professor and director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, has revealed that statistics show women are less likely to become pregnant when they are raped than when they engage in consensual intercourse,” Catholic Culture reports:
Noting that “the emotional impact of rape often clouds a legitimate and truthful discussion,” Dr. Hilgers said that a study of rape victims in Nebraska found that only 1.6% became pregnant, whereas a random sample would have found 2-4% of all women pregnant after an act of intercourse. He concluded that “complex mechanisms of human ovulation and its interaction with stress” could explain the discrepancy.
Dr. Hilgers also stressed that pregnancies resulting from rape account for only a tiny proportion of all pregnancies, and for less than 0.01% of all abortions. He added: “Furthermore, of those rape victims, 98.4% of them will not be helped in any fashion by abortion; and, for those who are aborted, they are then potentially confronted with a double dose of psychological trauma.”
It is truly shocking that the Roman Catholic Church and a Catholic University would continue this absurd and paternalistic approach to women’s health and control of their bodies.
Also absurd is the “methodology” Dr. Hilgers used to conduct his flawed “study.”
“According to Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist who directs a reproductive ultrasound center that specializes in the study of naturally-occurring ovulation events at the National Center for Women’s Health in Omaha, Nebraska, ‘the question of rape always stirs the emotions whenever it is introduced into the abortion debate. Unfortunately, the emotional impact of rape often clouds a legitimate and truthful discussion’,” a statement on Hilger’s website notes:
“In the State of Nebraska from the years 2005 through 2011, there were 26,521 abortions reported to the Nebraska Health & Human Services Division. Of those abortions, 65 were performed for the indication of “sexual assault.” This is a rate of 0.2% of all the abortions performed. Hilgers says, ‘In other words, 99.8% of all the abortions performed in the State of Nebraska (and this would be relatively representative of other states as well) are performed for reasons other than rape. It should also be pointed out that, during the same period of time, the abortions performed for the indication of ‘incest’ numbered two and the incidence was 0.01%’.”
Clearly, Hilger is living inside a box.
Like incidents of sexual harassment, women (and men) often do not report incidents of rape, sexual assault — often because of the response they inevitably fear: Comments like the GOP’s idea of “legitimate” rape.
Todd Akin’s infamous words, “If the rape is legitimate…”
“During this period of time, there were 4,111 forcible rapes and sexual assaults reported in the State of Nebraska for those 65 abortions,” Hilger’s statement continues:
“Presuming that all of the forcible rapes have been reported, this is a pregnancy rate of 1.6%, which is considerably lower than one would expect for a random act of intercourse, the pregnancy rate of which should range from 2% to 4%,” said Hilgers. “This concurs with recent statements that the pregnancy rate from forcible rape and sexual assault is lower than it is in normal fertility. Furthermore, of those rape victims, 98.4% of them will not be helped in any fashion by abortion; and, for those who are aborted, they are then potentially confronted with a double dose of psychological trauma.”
“Presuming that all of the forcible rapes have been reported.” Well, it’s an asinine assumption — and Hilgers, presumably a man of science, should have stopped before he was ahead.
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