NBC‘s Law & Order franchise warns onscreen that the story it’s about to tell “is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event”, but it’s known for plotlines that are taken straight from news headlines of the day. Wednesday’s Law & Order: SVU episode is titled “Legitimate Rape”, a reference to controversial remarks made last year by former Rep. Todd Akin. A promo for the episode begins “ripped from the headlines — words that set off a national controversy”. It features a man in a suit and tie with a flag lapel pin who appears as a court witness saying “It’s nearly impossible for a victim of legitimate rape to become pregnant”. Akin created a firestorm when he stated during his 2012 Senate race that women who are victims of what he called “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant. The comment followed with widespread calls for him to withdraw from the campaign. He apologized but remained in the race, eventually losing to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill in the general election. The upcoming Law & Order: SVU episode caught McCaskill’s attention, Politico reports, who tweeted in response: Now this is surreal. Law & Order: SVU recently tackled the subject of domestic abuse in another “ripped from the headlines” episode titled “Funny Valentine” that was based on the relationship of Chris Brown and Rihanna.
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