Conservatives this election cycle couldn’t seem to keep their mouths shut when talking about rape and women’s reproductive health—and women made their political costs known at the polls. Yes, the following are all real quotes, from actual elected officials and notable characters within the Republican Party. No, we are not making this up.
Todd Akin, confused by human biology, defies all logic and finds a way to determine the legitimacy of a particular rape based on whether or not the victim becomes pregnant.
“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, uh, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Wealthy GOP backer Foster Friess offers a 19th century birth control remedy on national television:
“Back in my days, they [woman] used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives… The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock claims rape is all a part of God’s master plan:
“I struggled with it for a long time but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Rush Limbaugh calls a complete stranger a “slut” and a “prostitute”:
“What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”
Mitt Romney mansplains:
“And—and so we—we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of—of women.”
And the women fought back. National exit polls showed Romney trailed Obama by 11 points among women and captured just 44% of their vote. Akin was completely eviscerated in his Senate race against Claire McCaskill, losing by 16 points. Only 36% of women voted for Akin, compared to 58% for McCaskill. Mourdock did slightly better in his Indiana Senate race, losing among women by just 12 points.
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