For once, I totally agree with U.S. President Barack Obama for describing Rep. Todd Akin’s remarks about rape “offensive.
For the first time in ages, I was watching the news on TV when the president said, “Rape is rape” at a White House press briefing on Monday (August 20). He called the comments by Akin, a Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri, “way out there.”
Defining rape, Obama said, “doesn't make sense to the American people and doesn't make sense to me.”
“What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of which are men, making decisions that affect health of women,” he added.
I also watched, openmouthed, the American Senator say in the interview with a local Fox affiliate, the St. Louis-area station KTVI, released on Sunday that, in cases of “legitimate rape,” pregnancy is rare because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Although both GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) rebuked Akin and sought to distance themselves from the remarks, the Obama campaign said Ryan supported a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion in all instances, including in the case of rape. It also said Ryan, who opposes abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, had worked with Akin on tough anti-abortion rights legislation.
“The underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their healthcare decisions... that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party,” Obama said at the White House briefing, although he did not go as far as to say Romney and Ryan were associated with Akin’s comment.
“I don’t think they would agree with the representative from Missouri, which was way out there. [Akin] was nominated by the Republicans in Missouri, so I’ll let them deal with that.”
Romney distanced himself from Akin in a statement issued Sunday through his campaign and in a Monday interview with National Review Online, in which he called the comment "insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong."
Meanwhile, Akin is hanging on. The candidate for Senate in Missouri offered a controversial explanation for why he is against abortion in an interview posted Sunday. He said in he believed pregnancy from rape was rare because of biological reactions to "legitimate rape."
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," he said.
He added that if pregnancy did occur, there should be repercussions for the rapist, but not the unborn fetus. "Let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment. But the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
His campaign released a statement in which Akin said he "misspoke," but stood by his opposition to abortion.
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, 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," he said.
"I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action."
He was trying to justify his view that abortion should be banned in nearly all cases -- no exception for rape, incest and life of the mother.
As he is an elected representative, the burden now rests on those who have the choice and the power to vote him in or out of office – the American public.
It takes balls, but out the rapists! -- August 2, 2012
Lebanon to protest rape law -- January 8, 2012