I’ve written before about how the myth that rape rarely causes pregnancy, trotted out most famously by former Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, originates with a claim about a Nazi experiment in a 1972 essay by the obstetrician Fred Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg was married to Marjory Mecklenburg, president of the National Right to Life Committee in the 1980s. In his essay, which appeared in a book financed by another anti-abortion group, Americans United for Life, Mecklenburg wrote that “the Nazis tested the hypothesis that stress inhibits ovulation by selecting women who were about to ovulate and sending them to the gas chambers, only to bring them back after their realistic mock killing, to see what effects this had on their ovulatory patterns. An extremely high percentage of these women did not ovulate.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the essay after the furor over Akin’s comment that women can stave off pregnancy after a “legitimate rape.” (Akin apologized but lost his next election.) Another former head of the National Right to Life Committee, Jack Wilke, had previously resurrected this canard, and stuck with it when the Los Angeles Times called to ask him about Akin last year.
For the rest of the story: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/07/26/myth_that_rape_rarely_causes_pregnancy_based_on_a_nazi_experiment_that_never.html