Peterr noted some of the developments in the Todd Akin story. The deadline for easily withdrawing from the Missouri Senate race has come and gone, and Akin remains “in it to win it,” defying even a call by the presumptive Vice-Presidential nominee (and a friend from the House Budget Committee, as well as a partner in anti-abortion politics), Paul Ryan. Akin attacked “party bosses” for trying to force him out of the race, overriding the will of Missouri Republicans. He did leave the door open a crack by saying that “I’m never going to say everything that can possibly happen — I don’t know the future,” but he was largely defiant today on Good Morning America.
But on his apology tour, Akin actually went further in his comments about abortion and rape, something that should not be overlooked. He actually dug a bigger hole.
On Dana Loesch’s radio show (and let’s just pause for a moment to marvel at the fact that Dana Loesch has a RADIO SHOW), Akin made this statement:
AKIN: You know, Dr. Willke has just released a statement and part of his letter, I think he just stated it very clearly. He said, of course Akin never used the word legitimate to refer to the rapist, but to false claims like those made in Roe v. Wade and I think that simplifies it….. There isn’t any legitimate rapist…. [I was] making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those that basically created Roe v. Wade.
The reference to Roe v. Wade concerns Norma McCorvey’s rape claim at the time of the Supreme Court ruling, allegedly to strengthen the case for abortion. But in the current context, Akin is basically intimating that women pretend to be raped so that they can receive an exception to the ban on federal funding for abortion, or an exception to getting an abortion in the event that Roe gets overturned.
This is the “in-person voter fraud” of the forced birth lobby. The actual claim being made here is that “legitimate rape” should be distinguished from false claims of rape that try to scam the federal government into paying for abortions. That’s essentially why there shouldn’t be an exception for rape, as there isn’t in the GOP platform.
This has gotten a little bit of coverage, but not nearly enough. In the midst of apologizing and calling rape “an evil act,” Akin called into question the veracity of rape claims, to make a point against allowing abortions.
This is fast becoming an enormous problem for the Republican Party, beyond the immediate issue of a Senate seat in Missouri, on the eve of their national convention (which Akin has been banned from, incidentally). They really don’t want to talk about abortion during a national election; they know their position is way outside the mainstream. All of a sudden, there’s an entryway to talk about the fact that there have been more anti-abortion bills in the House than jobs bills over the past two years, that the GOP platform bans all abortions, that there is this undercurrent of branding rape victims as liars and junk science behind the policy priorities.
Paul Ryan was asked on a local television interview today about the rape exception and he couldn’t bring himself to support it:
In the same KDKA interview, Ryan was asked if he thought abortions should be available to rape victims.
“Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress,” Ryan said. “It’s something I’m proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
That’s a classic non-answer. The Vice Presidential nominee could not bring himself to say that a woman who has been made pregnant through rape should not be forced to carry the baby to term. This is far bigger now than Todd Akin.