Tonight’s ‘Law & Order’ on NBC to Exploit Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment

Tonight’s episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will showcase failed Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s infamous remark that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” so the woman would not get pregnant.

NBC’s promo for the March 27 episode touts a storyline “ripped from the headlines” with “words that set off a national controversy.” In the promo run at the end of last week’s show, a man on a witness stand, who is sporting a flag lapel pin, declares: “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant.” [UPDATED with a summary of what aired]

The network is at least -- seemingly -- not portraying a conservative politician as the one defending a rapist, changing the circumstances, in the series set in New York City, to an expert witness defending a man on trial for attacking a TV sports reporter.

[UPDATE: The witness who argues a woman cannot become pregnant from rape is identified as a “Congressman” and “obstetrician” who “tried to criminalize abortion after rape because it’s tampering with evidence.” A detective charges: “The clown’s a crackpot.” The defendant is found not guilty after a female juror, another juror reports, “bought the legitimate rape argument.”]

The plot summary for the March 27 episode, titled “Legitimate Rape,” which will air at 9 PM EDT/PDT, 8 PM CDT, the second hour of prime time:

A popular sports reporter (Lauren Cohan) accuses a cameraman (David Marciano) of rape and stalking; when the victim learns she is pregnant as a result of the rape, the defense employs controversial tactics in hope of gaining favor with the jury.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center