Back in 1995, Rep. Henry Aldridge insisted that “women do not get pregnant when raped,” ignoring medical science

September 7, 2014

Women's Health

Henry Aldridge.jpg

Women do not get pregnant when raped because “the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work

– Henry Aldridge, dentist and Republican member of the North Carolina House of Representatives during a speech in 1995

When asked to apologize for his offensive comment, Aldridge replied:

To get pregnant, it takes a little cooperation. And there ain’t much cooperation in a rape,” he said.”

Todd Akin’s inaccurate understanding of rape is nothing new among politicians in the US. Needless to say, Aldridge’s understanding of rape is absurd and has no basis in medical science. Pregnancy from rape is unfortunately completely possible, and causes thousands of unwanted pregnancies every year. Cooperation from both partners is not required.

The problem with this scientifically inaccurate assertion is that it also implies that women who became pregnant during sexual assault either did not resist enough, or enjoyed the traumatic experience, which is extremely degrading and offensive towards victims of sexual violence.

Being a dentist does not make you an authority on gynecology. The same goes for being a politician. Rather, you have a responsibility to educate yourself and learn from people who can share their expertise.

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About jslachman381

I'm a Yale graduate who majored in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

View all posts by jslachman381


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One Comment on “Back in 1995, Rep. Henry Aldridge insisted that “women do not get pregnant when raped,” ignoring medical science”

  1. elizabetcetera Says:

    I’m supposed this guy didn’t say that you can’t get pregnant after hysterectomy … at least he would have been right in that case!

    These gynoticians … what would we do without them? 😉



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