U.S. Congressman (R-MO) Todd Akin is the GOP candidate to challenge U.S. Senator Clare McCaskill.
On Sunday Akin told a reporter, “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 maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist,” continued GOP Congressman Akin.
Ironically, he sits on the Science Committee of the House of Representatives.
Akin, is clearly not a scientist and appears to have never spoken with any qualified medical professional in his entire life – at least when it comes to how a woman’s body works.
Akin’s opponent, Senator McCaskill, who actually believes in medically accurate information about women and is a former prosecutor who has dealt with rape cases responded. She said, “I think if you’ve never been afraid of being raped, if it is never been anything you’ve worried about, then maybe you just don’t think clearly about it. If you have any sense of how women’s anatomy works, it would be hard to justify the ignorance he showed by claiming that a doctor told him that.”
Akin also shared with the interviewer that he feels the so called “morning after pill” is abortion. Specifically, he said: “I think that’s a form of abortion, and I don’t support it.”
By his definition the birth control pill and other forms of birth control are also abortion and a large number of women during their child bearing age have, on a daily basis, had abortions.
It is one thing to be opposed to birth control, for whatever your reason. But it is not legitimate to redefine what an abortion is and what birth control is.
What an arrogant, elitist thing to believe that you should have the ability to redefine what is scientific.
First Akin said that he misspoke, without elaborating on which words he said were misstatements.
However, his arrogance reached a new level today: Congressman Akin compared himself to a 9/11 first responder – doubling down on his contention that rape victims are not important and that they should be compelled by the federal government to deliver a child born of rape or incest (statutory rape that he would define as not rape because it was not “forcible”).
Of course in Mr. Akin’s world more children would be conceived by rape because he would block women from haven taken contraception in the first place.
While Congressman Akin owns the words that came from his mouth, the sentiment and his policy goals are shared by both W. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
He and Ryan co-sponsored legislation that attempted to redefine rape.
Romney gave a full-throated endorsement to personhood legislation and Ryan was a co-sponsor with Mr. Akin of a federal law that would have made a rape victim a criminal for using a morning after pill or seeking an abortion.
Personhood legislation gives the full rights of personhood to a fertilized egg. It criminalizes many forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization and gives no exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
It is estimated that there are over 30,000 reported pregnancies from rape each year. Given the rate at which women report rape, that number is no doubt higher.
W. Mitt Romney took a day to respond to Akin’s statement. First, he had a spokesperson release a statement under the spokespersons name, not Mr. Romney’s. It took Romney a day to say anything himself.
He is the leader of the Republican Party – not some staffer – yet he is so afraid of the GOP base that he cannot immediately call out an outrageous and untrue statement.
Perhaps he had to clear it with Rush Limbaugh first.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.