During a televised interview, Missouri Representative Todd Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill, was asked about his position on abortion. Rep. Akin favors a complete ban, with no exception for rape or incest. He explained that an exception for rape was unnecessary, since victims of legitimate rape don’t get pregnant. The woman’s body “has a way to deal with that.”
Leaving aside the question of what constitutes “legitimate” rape, the more important questions are how this moron has managed to get elected, and how he won a statewide Republican primary. (He evidently serves on the House Subcommittee on Science, no less–a terrifying prospect.)
According to various reports, Akin sponsored legislation that would redefine rape in federal law to limit funding for abortion providers, and has a long track record of uninformed and extreme views about women’s health. He has a consistently radical voting record on women’s issues, wants to ban the morning-after pill, and–my personal favorite– has expressed concern that criminalizing marital rape gives women “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” during a divorce.
This guy is a real piece of work.
But before we laugh too hard at the people who actually voted to place this man in a position of authority, perhaps we should look at one of the men we have sent to Congress. Not only sent to Congress, but are likely to elevate to the top position in the state.
Google–as I did–Pence and Akin. You’ll find that they have co-sponsored several measures–one that would have distinguished between “forcible” and “other” rapes, one to de-fund Planned Parenthood, one to get rid of the Department of Energy, another to make English America’s “official” language….In fact, when I searched for “Pence Akin co-sponsor,” I got 1,730,000 hits. Obviously, hundreds if not thousands were duplicates, and thousands of others were perfectly innocuous… still, it became clear scrolling through them that Akin and Pence are cut from the same (poorly woven) cloth.
The only difference is that Mike Pence understands–as Akin clearly does not–that he needs to reinvent himself as someone who actually cares about Indiana’s economy and job creation, rather than the social issues which have been his major focus as a congressperson.
Unlike Akin, he realizes he needs to soft-pedal the crazy.