I’ve already stated that I’m a Christian minister who works in the church and happens to be a pro-life Democrat, which is quite a rarity these days but I digress. Todd Akin’s statements about a pregnancy not likely to occur during “legitimate rape” was appalling. When used to justify pro-life legislation, it discredits the pro-life movement.
The term “legitimate rape” is significant, because House Republicans, including Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, signed onto an act that originally would have allowed for taxpayer funding of abortion in cases of danger to the life of the mother, incest, and “forcible rape.”
And that’s what Akin has pushed for in the House of Representatives. He was among the 227 co-sponsors of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)
That legislation, as initially written, who have prohibited federal funding for abortion except in cases of incest or “forcible rape.” That last term quickly-turned heads: It had the potential to significantly curtail Medicaid’s ability to pay for an abortion for certain rape victims. Those who faced a statutory rape, where one party was too young to consent, could be left out.
That language was, much like Akin’s Sunday remarks, walked back in the face of public outcry. The legislation was revised within days to include an exception for all rape victims.
So what exactly is “legitimate rape”? Some Republicans try to defend their actions by saying that women use accusations of rape as a weapon in divorce proceedings or other disputes. That is extremely disrespectful to women and relegates them to second class status. Are Republicans talking about “marital rape” that has been outlawed? Frighteningly enough, there are conservative activists and conservative legislators who still exist and think this is okay and can’t understand that rape is rape and it is wrong no matter how you define it.
Scary stuff indeed.