Last Sunday, Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin said during an interview while discussing the issue of abortion “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Besides the fact that this is scientifically false, one of the most shocking aspects of this outlandish quote is that it’s far from the first time a Republican representative has said such a thing.
In 1995, Representative Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations committee: “The facts show that people who are raped – who are truly raped –the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”
Pennsylvania Republican Representative Steve Friend once said “Rape, obviously, is a traumatic experience. When that traumatic experience is undergone, a woman secretes a certain secretion, which has a tendency to kill sperm.”
Ladies, these are the men pursuing the legislation against your bodies. They seemingly deal in theories pulled from a Cracker Jack box rather than a biology book.
President Obama was quick to respond, “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.” The President added that remarks like Akin’s are “why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”
The GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney called for Akin to drop out of the Senate race, which Missouri’s very own Dr. Oz has refused to do.
Akin announced his intention to remain in the race during a radio interview with Fox News host Mike Huckabee, explaining “It’s also appropriate to recognize a creator God, whose blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the very source of American freedom.” Akin added, “And that part of the message, I feel, is missing. And I think that’s something that we need to encourage people and to let people remember in their hearts what it is that makes America such a great nation. And life is very much a part of that whole thing.”
During the same interview, Huckabee was sure to inform his listeners as to what I can only decipher as Huckabee’s upside to rape, that gospel singer Ethel Waters and Christian leader James Robison were the products of rape, or as the Fox News host referred to it “forcible rape,” (not to be confused with loving rape). This guy actually ran for president.
Between Akin delivering God’s message and God choosing Michele Bachmann to run for president, you have to wonder if God is simply just fucking with the modern-day Republican Party at this point.
I disagree (shocking, I know) with Akin’s message. What makes this country great is choice. If the GOP has their way, a complete gender of people will lose one of theirs.
On Tuesday, it was revealed the Republican Party will be adding a constitutional ban on ALL abortions to their party platform. Even though the Romney/Ryan ticket currently claims there will be exemptions for cases of rape in regards to abortion under their administration that will not be the case under the party platform.
The platform not only plans to set the clock back on women’s healthcare, but on science as well by banning federally funded embryonic stem cell research. This means you can say goodbye to potential cures and treatments for such ailments as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and diabetes among others.
This seems to be the norm now for the modern-day Republican Party, doubling down on truly shit policies. Take trickle-down economics for example: the Romney/Ryan ticket guarantees a spot for the failed policy in their administration via the extension of the Bush tax cuts, Romney’s own tax plan and Ryan’s budget plan.
The GOP’s platform has made it into the public spotlight just days after a 16 year-old girl died from leukemia after an abortion ban in the Dominican Republic delayed her chemo treatment for fear of harming the fetus. The girl was thirteen weeks pregnant, while her mother, Rosa Hernandez pleaded with the government to make an exception to the ban to save her daughter’s life saying “My daughter’s life is first. I know that (abortion) is a sin and that it goes against the law… but my daughter’s health is first.”
Rosa Hernandez’s daughter died last Friday.
The GOP’s views on women’s health care have become more twisted and hateful as this election season has gone on, which is why I don’t believe in the crocodile tears by members of this party in regards to Akin’s comments. They are not upset or offended by what this man said; they are pissed because he essentially lost the Republican Party a Senate seat during an election year.
Keep in mind, this is a party that has stood by while:
- Rick Santorum has told female victims of rape rather than get an abortion, should “make the best of a bad situation.”
- The Republican controlled House continues on a crusade to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides HIV screening and counseling, cancer screenings, menopause treatments, STD awareness, contraception (which accounts for 35% of all services) and abortion (3% of all services) among other services.
- The GOP members of the House seek to defund Title X, a program began under Republican Richard Nixon that funds preventative health services (including birth control) for 5 million lower-income earners.
- Supported the Blunt Amendment, giving any employer the right to not provide contraceptive coverage to female employees if they find it morally objectionable.
- Multiple candidates signed the Susan B. Anthony pledge to abolish abortion and defund Planned Parenthood. Signees include Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
- The House passed the Protect Life Act, allowing hospitals to turn away women in need of an emergency abortion (co-sponsored by current Republican VP candidate, Paul Ryan).
- The Republican Louisiana governor signed a bill forcing women undergoing an abortion to listen to the unborn baby’s heartbeat (in addition to legislation that forces women in the same situation to look at an ultrasound).
- The Virginia state Legislature passed a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound via transvaginal probe before an abortion.
As mentioned by Representative Akin (and on multiple occasions by Santorum) this is all stemming from a religious viewpoint, against which the founding fathers protected us with the establishing clause in the First Amendment. It declares our government would not identify a national religion, nor would one religion receive preference over another. Let’s show these chuckleheads we remember that in November.
I love the image of the Cracker Jack box. I just read that this delicious brand of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts has been around for more than 100 years. That’s longer than women in all of the United States have had the right to vote (1920) and longer than discrimination in the workplace based on sex has been prohibited by law (1964). But you know, there is nothing like 100-year-old crunchy goodness to help me forget how hard women have had to fight to be treated as equals in this country, or how hard we still have to fight. In fact, I think I’ll munch on some Cracker Jack right now. Maybe this time my box will contain a “certain secretion” prize and my fear of losing more rights by way of the Republican Party’s caramel-coated shenanigans will just stop functioning. (Fingers crossed!)