A mother and daughter from Redmond, Oregon serving as Republican National Convention delegates told a radio reporter yesterday that Missouri Rep. Todd Akin was right that women getting pregnant from rape is "so completely rare."
Toni and Emily Jarms were in Tampa this week supporting Rick Santorum. But when Public Radio International reporter
Todd Zwillich John Hockenberry asked them about Akin's comments, 36-year-old Emily Jarms said the embattled Congressman was right.
"I actually think that a woman conceiving during rape is so completely rare that, I mean, it almost doesn't happen," Emily Jarms said.
Her mother Toni, 65, agreed, noting that she spent "many years teaching and counseling on human sexuality and reproductive physiology."
According to other reports from Tampa, Toni Jarms owns Cookies and Cream Bakery in Redmond.
State records also show Toni Jarms is president and Emily Jarms is secretary of Most Sacred Heart, Roman Catholic Chapel in Redmond, a Cascade mountain town 145 miles southeast of Portland.
Toni Jarms is listed among the Oregon Republican Party's convention delegates. Emily is an alternate. They are two of four state delegates pledged to Santorum.
You can listen to the interview here. It is also transcribed below.
Emily Jarms: I think as far as Congressman Akin, perhaps what he said, he might have said it in a different way. But I actually agree with him, and I find it unfortunate that so many in our party were ready to throw him overboard.
John Hockenberry: When you say you agree with him—you agree with the concept that a woman's body is capable of rejecting a fertilization in rape?
Emily Jarms: I actually think that is true. I'm not a doctor. But I do know that it can be difficult for a woman to conceive in a stressful situation. And so I actually think that a woman conceiving during rape is so completely rare that, I mean, it almost doesn't happen.
Hockenberry: Now, do you understand that some people might interpret from that view the idea that if a woman gets pregnant from a rape, she must have brought it on herself? You know what I'm saying?
Emily Jarms: That is a misinterpretation, and I don't see how anyone could interpret that from what I just said. Of course I would never say that a woman brought a rape on herself. That's not what I said. I said that pregnancy so rarely occurs from rape.
Hockenberry: Toni, do you agree with your daughter?
Toni Jarms: Yes. Actually, one of the things that you should know is that I did spend many years teaching and counseling on human sexuality and reproductive physiology. And so I have a lot of information—lot of study, lot of research—sitting on some really wonderful boards and faculties and workshops. So it is really a fact that pregnancy rarely results [from] a stressful situation. I think you could ask women who have difficulty conceiving about that. And they have to usually go to extremes.
Also, interestingly enough, often when a woman has a hard time conceiving, she and her husband will adopt—and almost immediately afterwards, she does become pregnant. So there's great, great evidence that indicates that a woman under stress does have a hard time conceiving, and I don't think there's anything more stressful than being raped. I mean, I can't even imagine what that would be like.
Hockenberry: All right. Understood. But to be clear, both you and your daughter oppose, as Congressman Akin does, abortion in cases of rape.
Toni Jarms: Yes. No exceptions.
Hockenberry: But you wouldn't say that those children who are conceived during rape are conceived out of some lack of resistance on the part of the mother? Is that kind of what you're saying?
Toni Jarms: No, of course not. You know, we just believe that abortion in any circumstance is wrong. It's just wrong. So there's no exceptions. Violence done against a woman doesn't give anybody the right to turn around and do violence against somebody else.