Todd Akin's 'Legitimate' Pain
It always amuses me when conservatives, who rail relentlessly against "political correctness" when it comes from the left, turn against one of their own like Rep.
No, it doesn't, according to overwhelming scientific evidence. As Dr.
And Akin's language could hardly have been less elegant. Instead of "legitimate" rape, he later clarified that he meant to say "forcible." But that wasn't much of an improvement. Akin's semantic hair-splitting only seemed to underscore the insidious notion that a woman can't get pregnant from rape -- or even worse: If you are pregnant, you must not have been raped.
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks," said Akin in his initial statement of apology, "it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year." I think he meant "sympathy," not empathy, which is the ability to put oneself in another person's shoes. His concern for the unborn is admirable, but it is also insulting and downright dangerous when it devalues the right of women to make crucial choices about their own bodies.
As a result, he added weight to long-standing Democratic charges of a "Republican war against women." His concern for the unborn was expressed as a stunning indifference to women who endured rape and now, according to him, should be legally required to bring the rapist's baby to term.
No wonder leading Republicans want him out -- and a lot of Democrats want him to stay. As the presidential race heats up and both parties are reaching out to moderate swing voters, Akin offers Democrats, including his opponent Sen.
Words matter. "Forcible rape," for example, is a term that conservatives used in their push to narrow the exception that allows
The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which passed the
The "Sanctity of Life Act," or personhood bill, which affirms that from the moment of fertilization, "every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood," raises other disturbing questions, opponents pointed out. Could it outlaw in vitro fertilization, since the procedure typically involves the destruction of embryos? Could the bill even enable a rapist to sue his victim if she decided to abort their baby? Stranger things have happened and the law, like most radical laws, did not offer clear answers.
Yet, Akin enthusiastically co-sponsored both bills along with other lawmakers who included Rep.
At a time when both parties traditionally show off how mainstream they are, Akin spotlights how far off the right-wing edge the
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Todd Akin's 'Legitimate' Pain | Politics
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