So Todd Akin, a six-term Congressman running for the Senate in Missouri, defended his belief that abortion should not be allowed for rape. He told the TV interviewer that pregnancy from rape is very rare and went on to cite a bit of lore that the very trauma of rape makes pregnancy less likely, saying in a “legitimate rape” “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
This comment has produced a huge amount of outrage. He is saying there can be a “legitimate rape”! Rape is a means of birth control! Rape isn’t so bad!
Now he didn’t mean any of that, and he hastened to explain, to take back his clumsy comment, to apologize for seeming insensitive. He was probably completely wrong about the effect of trauma upon conception, but that would surely be a mistake of fact, rather than a pro-rape, anti-woman conviction.
But the statement played into the media narrative of the Republican “war on women.” Then the Democrats pounced. Jumping from what Rep. Akins said to what all Republicans supposedly believe, Democrats have been saying that Republicans are anti-woman.
Whereupon Republicans turned against their own candidate! The Republican National Committee stopped funding Rep. Akin’s campaign. Republican leaders are pressuring him to step down. Mitt Romney is leading the charge.
Republicans really need a Senate victory in Missouri if they want to win a majority in that governing body. And the Romney campaign is scared of the fallout. The Republican platform endorses the Human Life Amendment which would prohibit abortion, saying nothing about exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. Liberal pundits are now calling that the “Akin amendment.” The pro-life conviction that since life begins at conception, the child should not be executed for the father’s crime, is twisted and ridiculed.
So what do you think about this? Is Akin being treated unfairly, or is what he said evidence of an anti-woman ideology? Is the Republican Party feckless in not defending him and in trying to throw him under the bus? Or does Akin need to be sacrificed for the good of the party? Or what?