Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), in his second attempt to wash away his use of the words “legitimate rape” released an ad saying “I used the wrong words in the wrong way.”
In the wrong way? Is there a right way?
The truth of the matter is that Akin used the “Right” words. The FAR RIGHT words, as evidenced by their voting records. Akin may be Enlightened today, however, he truly believed what he said yesterday (“I meant ‘forcible’ rape”), and what he’s believed his entire life. His views are in lock step with Paul Ryan and a majority of the Republican Party. He apologized for his words, not his core beliefs.
Todd Akin and Paul Ryan co-sponsored two bills, the “Sanctity of Life Act” and the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” that would have banned all abortions (even in the case of rape and incest) and narrowed the definition of what “rape” is – “forcible rape.” The later passed the House by a vote of 251 to 175, but the Democratic-controlled Senate never took it up. That’s 251 Members in the House of Representatives that hold the same views as Ryan and Akin.
Rep. Akin’s “junk science” is the new Republican norm. The head of Arkansas Right to Life, Judge James Leon Holmes, wrote in 1980 that pregnancies by rape are as rare as “snowfall in Miami.” He believed, like Akin, that women’s bodies excrete chemicals that decrease the likelihood of pregnancy, and therefore anti-abortion laws need not make exceptions for the victims of rape and incest. He received a lifetime appointment to the bench under Pres. George W. Bush.
In 1988, Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind, (R-Delaware County) said in a radio interview that the odds are “one in millions and millions and millions” that a woman could get pregnant from rape because the trauma of rape causes a woman’s body to “secrete a certain secretion” that allegedly kills sperm.
North Carolina Republican state legislator Henry Aldridge made similar remarks in 1995. In cases of rape, he said, “the juices don’t flow.” To get pregnant requires “a little cooperation.”
These examples are the kind of junk science, all of it from Republicans who use their personal, ill informed and dangerous beliefs, as a reason to deny women abortions and health care. These viewpoints are not Republican opinions. It’s their philosophy.
The so-called “fetal personhood” laws, which outlaw all abortion and ultimately some forms of birth control, are an extension of this philosophy. Seven states, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Virginia, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Indiana have passed laws that aggressively strip away rights that victims of rape and incest previously had under the law.
H.R.3, the third bill passed by the newly elected Republican-majority Congress in 2011 not only targeted the rights of rape and incest survivors, but sought to narrow the concept of rape to only include so-called “forcible rape,” a law that Rep. Paul Ryan helped co-write. Ryan was also the author and co-sponsor of a national “personhood” measure.
The Republican Party is set to adopt their official platform that calls for “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would not allow abortion even in the case of rape. CNN obtained draft language of the Republican platform that includes a constitutional abortion ban without any exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother.
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the draft says. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
The draft contains a “salute” to state “informed consent” laws that force women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. An unnecessary, unwanted, ultrasound; Even if her doctor believes it’s unnecessary. It doesn’t matter what the woman wants…or what her doctor believes is in her best interest…it’s what the Government wants/demands. Government forced ultrasounds. How’s that for “small government?”
Similar official platforms were adopted by Republicans in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain tried unsuccessfully in 2008 to include an exception to allow abortions in cases where the mother’s life was at risk.
The GOP obsession with women’s bodies and their never-ending attempts at controlling women – whether it’s their paycheck or their health decisions – is so deeply seeped into the Republican Party that we have state after state issuing new laws that have absolutely nothing to do with the economy and creating jobs and everything to do with controlling women.
Akin can apologize all he wants for “using the wrong words,” but it’s not going to change what he truly believes.
UPDATED JULY 2014
In an interview for The Daily Rundown, with Chuck Todd, former congressman Todd Akin decided to once again “change his words,” but stand by his argument that rape rarely causes pregnancy. In his pathetic attempt to defend his “legitimate rape” words, Akin decides to blame it on “law enforcement terminology,” along with the media for deliberately distorting what he actually says… even when what he says is on record.
“Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term. And it’s abbreviation for legitimate case of rape,” said Akin. The former congressman added, “If I had been choosing my words better, I should have said legitimate case of rape.
An abbreviation for WHAT? So if it’s a “legitimate case of rape” the woman wouldn’t get pregnant and all would be well?