Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Republican party tries to focus on economy amid inflammatory comments about abortion

If you haven't kept your eyes or ears on the news this week, you may not have seen this nonsensical phrase from a Republican congressman -- "Legitimate rape."
In the throes of a presidential campaign and election season for congressional incumbents, politics are operating as usual in the divisive ways we are familiar with. The campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan are carrying on ads attacking each other's experience and the visions they have for America. Now, Rep. Todd Akin's inflammatory comments on abortion have stolen the spotlight.

To bring you up to speed on what exactly Akin said, during a television interview on Sunday, he said that a woman's body could prevent pregnancy in a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Yeah. It's something so off the cuff that not even members of the Republican party can imagine one of their own openly expressing that. Todd Akin is a representative for Missouri's 2nd District, serving since 2001, and is a staunch opponent of abortion for any reason. For instance, Rep. Akin and Rep. Ryan have co-sponsored at least 33 bills that attempted to restrict abortion rights excluding cases of rape and incest, define "forcible" rape, include attempts to prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion rights for women living in Washington, D.C., a proposal to define human life as beginning at the point of fertilization and so on. In the midst of all this, members of the Republican party have asked - better yet, demanded - Akin to step aside from his campaign. But, Akin is steadfast and will not quit running for his seat and apologized, blaming the "liberal media" for the backlash.

The GOP is trying to keep their campaign focused on more important issues like the national budget, unemployment numbers, and cutting trillions of dollars from safety net programs like food stamps and Medicare/Medicaid. Party leaders are saying that Akin will not win. As for Romney's stance on abortion, a USA Today story says that as a Massachusetts Senate candidate in 1994, Romney supported abortion rights. He later reversed his position when he was the governor and opposes abortion rights now except in the cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at risk. 

Just for laughs...

What President Obama said in response to Akin's remarks echoes how countless American women feel: "Rape is rape. ... So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn't have a bunch of politicians, majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women."

Let the church say, "Amen!" How do you feel about this? Speak!

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