A video from 2008 has surfaced in which Representative Todd Akin alleges that malpractice from doctors who perform abortions is “common place.”
New York Magazine reports on Akin’s comments, which can serve as prelude to his explosive comments from earlier this year in which he said women cannot become pregnant from “legitimate rape,” as their bodies will block a pregnancy in that circumstance.
In the 2008 video, Akin tells Congress: “One of the good pieces of news why we're winning this war is because there are not enough heartless doctors being graduated from medical schools. There's a real shortage of abortionists. Who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain of the medical profession? And what sort of places do these bottom-of-the-food-chain doctors work in? Places that are really a pit.
“You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things, misuse of anesthetics so that people die or almost die. All of these things are common practice, and all of that information is available for America.”
While the Akin assertion that doctors performing abortions on women who are not in fact pregnant is “bizarre,” as New York Magazine writes, there are actually reported instances of it happening.
A 1989 Chicago Tribune story about Arnold Bickham, for example, explained: “The license revocation was the second time Bickham had lost his license for wrongdoing. In 1979, the state suspended his license for 18 months after charging that he performed abortions on women who were not pregnant and sometimes not fully under anesthesia.”
However, this one recorded instance of such “malpractice” occurring far from supports Akin’s assertion that it is “common place.”
The 2008 video, which was discovered by Slate, made news just as it was revealed that Akin may have been making a bounce back from his August “legitimate rape” comments in his race against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill for a Missouri Senate seat.