"Are Republicans really trying to redefine rape? Seriously?" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackblog

Are Republicans really trying to redefine rape? Seriously?

The news exploded today that a Republican senatorial candidate in Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin, has declared that women can't get pregnant from "legitimate rapes." This idiot was defending his anti-abortion stance (including rape and incest, of course):

“It seems to me, first of all, what I understand from doctors is that’s really where—if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

and:

“Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something,” Akin said. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Clearly, every woman who has ever gotten pregnant from a rape is lying about it being rape, according to this fool's logic.

Much has been made so far this year about the "war on women"—from Rush Limbaugh's horrendous attacks on Sandra Fluke to many Republicans supporting all sorts of anti-women regulation including outlawing in vitro and birth-control pills.

This latest affront to women—1 in 6 are sexually assaulted before age 18 as I was—is where we must say "ENOUGH"! We must demand that all of our elected officials disavow Akin's remarks. More importantly, we must demand pro-women and actual pro-family legislation from our elected officials, including right here in Mississippi. Women have the power to stop these attacks on us and our rights, if we only will.

This is too much, and it's time we decide what kind of nation we're going to be in the future. Speak up, women and men. An attack on one woman's rights and self-respect is an attack on us all.

In response to:

Tease photo Editor's Note

Yes, It Was That Bad

"I've alluded to it here and there, but it wasn't until this year, when we decided to focus the Chick Ball on sexual assault, that I knew it was my ...

Comments

tstauffer 5 years, 3 months ago

Rep. Akin is now, among many (many, many) other things, the poster child for comprehensive sex education.

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goldeneagle97 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice that Romney/Ryan spoke out against this statement, but it still doesn't hide the fact they they have wanted to ban abortions for all instances, including rape.

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brjohn9 5 years, 3 months ago

There is a stampede away from Akin among Republican candidates, unsurprisingly. What does surprise me is that some of them are urging Akin to withdraw. That suggests they now consider him a weak candidate. Could Akin allow McCaskill to survive? And would that ensure Democratic control of the Senate? It brings to mind the extraordinarily weak candidates the tea party put forward in Colorado, Delaware, and Nevada in 2010. Had Republicans run moderate candidates in those races, they would probably control the Senate now.

That aside, Akin certainly demonstrates why we shouldn't allow politicians to meddle in a woman's medical decisions, as Obama noted:

“Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me,” Mr. Obama said. He said Mr. Akin’s comments showed “why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

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donnaladd 5 years, 3 months ago

I hope he stays in. It will keep women's issues front and center nationally, especially if we all ensure that it does.

Excellent Obama quotes.

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donnaladd 5 years, 3 months ago

Also, we can't give others -- such as Ryan and Nunnelee -- a break on this even as Republicans distance from Akin and try to throw him under the bus. They're all on the same bus on these issues; he said today that meant "forcible rape" instead of "legitimate rape," but it's the very same point they've all been pushing since all of them tried to pass a law making it more difficult for teen girls to get abortions after being raped. They all agree on it.

They want to draw a distinction so that they can try to get around concerns that even conservatives have about forcing women to give birth to babies resulting from rape. But they also have a logical and moral problem: How can they argue those babies have less a right to be born than unwanted children from non-rape situations? Or that only non-rape situations result in "murder"? So they're trying to parse the language -- and somehow assure parents that if their daughter is raped by a scary stranger that she can get an abortion. Meantime, they're trying to give an out for statutory rape, or acquaintance rape--the teens would have to carry those to term. Because none of this is actually about the young woman and her needs.

The worst part, of course, is how discriminatory all this is. Nunnelee knows full well that his well-to-do friends can arrange abortions in doctor's offices: services many poor women cannot afford.

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goldeneagle97 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm hoping Akin stays in the race too, so that the spotlight can be kept on him and the GOP's war on women. I think he meant what he said. Huckabee gave Akin an out. Even though the calls for Akin to quit are mounting, if I were him, I'd call out all of them for wanting to get rid of abortions too.

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brjohn9 5 years, 3 months ago

The theory behind the Akin-Ryan bill would be hilarious if it wasn't evil. The premise is that allowing federal funds to pay for "non-forcible" rape creates a huge loophole. Implicit in this premise is that a significant number of women are lying about being raped simply to get the government to pay for an abortion. Presumably, "non-forcible" rape is easier to fake because it may not produce physical injury. I believe that explains why Akin slipped up and used the word legitimate--because he actually believes that many claims of "non-forcible" rape are "illegitimate."

In any case, it is one of the ugliest, stupidest things I've ever heard. To state the obvious, there is no evidence that women falsely claim to have been "non-forcibly" raped to exploit some loophole. The very idea shows stunning contempt for women. The whackadoodle audacity of it would be laughable if the House of Representatives hadn't actually passed the bill with 173 Republican cosponsors. Every member of the Republican Party should take a position on this matter. If they really believe that women are so devious that they will lie about rape to secure a $400 incentive, they need to come right out and say so.

This problem is much bigger than Akin. He's just the one who was clumsy enough to be honest.

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donnaladd 5 years, 3 months ago

Amen, Brian. You really hit on it here:

. Implicit in this premise is that a significant number of women are lying about being raped simply to get the government to pay for an abortion.

And this is particular sick because so many women don't report sexual assault, leaving these criminals to walk free, because of these kinds of attitudes that blame the women. When Sandy Middleton and I talk about sexual assault in public, perfectly educated people often respond, "But don't women fake it, too?"

Seriously, people, this is a crime epidemic, and your first comment is whether some woman occasionally lies about being raped?!? For the love of God, start believing women and supporting them unlike these freaks in Congress.

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stprather 5 years, 3 months ago

There seems to have been an unusually high level of rape-related stories catching at least the social media spotlight this year: the Daniel Tosh joke, Julian Assange, now the Akin gaffe.

Hopefully all this will help shift the national conversation toward greater awareness of the severity of this issue and more sensitivity to our culture's ongoing misogyny.

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