Romney-Ryan respond to Akin on ‘legitimate rape…’


Remember Missouri Congressman Todd Akin? He’s the Republican opposing Democrat Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate in the Show Me State. Just to recap: my esteemed colleague Steve Benen points out:

“The congressman believes the very existence of the federal student-loan program is a “stage-three cancer of socialism.” He’s also eager to eliminate the minimum wage, believes liberalism is based on “a hatred of God,” believes the Bible should be a “blueprint” for American government; and wants to impeach President Obama because, in his mind, the president is “a complete menace to our civilization.”  

If all that seems obnoxious, and it does, get a load of what Congressman Akin told KTVI-TV Saturday:

  “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Take a deep breath – exhale slowly. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is example #5784 why men shouldn’t opine against – must less try to legislate away – women’s right to make their own decisions. Today Akin released a statement in which he said that he misspoke and that his comment “does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.” So he feels bad for them; he’s still against them having a say.

Akin’s remarks made such a stir that the Romney campaign issued a response today. “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” a campaign spokeswoman said. Except that, as we’ve been reporting, Mitt Romney said he would have supported a personhood amendment in Massachusetts, which would ban all abortions, and Paul Ryan co-sponsored the federal version of that amendment.

Todd Akin, Reproductive Rights and Missouri

Romney-Ryan respond to Akin on 'legitimate rape...'