Look, I’ve got to correct something, out of respect for the memory of the late Dr. Fay Boozman, a good if sometimes misapprehending man.
I’ve corrected it before. Now I’ll do it again.
What’s happened the last few hours is that some tea party nut running for something in Missouri pronounced that we needn’t worry about exceptions for abortions in cases of rape because women don’t get pregnant from rape.
This nonsense has reminded people of Boozman in 1998, when he is alleged, inaccurately, to have said women are protected from impregnation via rape by “God’s little protective shield.”
He didn’t say that. I did.
What happened was that I got a tip well-after-the-fact that Boozman, speaking to the Conway Kiwanis Club that year as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, had dismissed great concern about pregnancy from rape because women seldom get impregnated by rape because of hormonal effects of fright.
I reconstructed in a column what happened as best I could though Boozman wouldn’t talk to me about it and there was no available recording or local newspaper account.
So, in my inimitable way, I scoffed as what I termed “God’s little protective shield.”
Those were my words. I had no direct quotes from Boozman, having neither heard his speech nor talked to him about it.
The next day, Boozman participated in a debate and denied saying “God’s little protective shield,” but went on to otherwise confirm precisely what I’d written — which was that he was talking about an adrenaline surge from the horror of experiencing rape that stopped the pregnancy prospects in most such cases.
So Fay said the nonsensical and politically fatal thing. He just didn’t term it “God’s little protective shield.” A smart-aleck pundit did that.