Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For Republicans It Wasn't Any Sin

Over the weekend we had a Republican candidate for Missouri Senator, Todd Akin, make some damn idiotic statements about "legitimate rape" and general failure remembering any high school biology he apparently slept through:

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare," Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Let's get the problem he has with biology out of the way first.

Human women do NOT have a hormone or secretion that stops an unwanted pregnancy from happening.  Not from a forced rape.  Not under any circumstances.  If women DID have that ability, then abortion itself as a medical practice would never have been developed.  The birth control pill would cease to be.

Akin is basically repeating a sick old meme among anti-abortion Republican politicians dating back to 1988.  If not earlier.  These guys - and it's mostly idiot guys saying it - simply do not know human biology.  Worse, they prefer to live with their ignorance because it fits their worldview.

The other, more unsettling thing that Akin stated was that "legitimate rape" phrase.  Like as though there is a distinction between any kind of rape.  There may be stranger rape, date rape, statutory rape, but they all boil down to the same thing: RAPE.  And rape is a hideously vicious crime.  But Akin and his ilk want to make that distinction between what they consider "legitimate rape" (what they tried calling "forcible rape") and what they would consider "she was asking for it" sex.  Basically, their attempt at blaming the rape victims if those victims have the misfortune of "dressing inappropriately" or "being in a bad environment" or "getting pregnant when they should have used their hormones to protect their virginal selves."

But those two tidbits pale in comparison to the biggest problem of all.


From an article in Slate:

The statement was actually intended to soften Akin’s absolute opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. Why bother to have loopholes for such conditions when they’re going to be so rare, goes his thinking? As Talking Points Memo notes, the Congressman has long suspected that rape and abortion laws are less likely to protect women from abuse than to allow them to be abusive:
Akin’s past includes praising a militia group linked to anti-abortion extremism in the 1990s and voting against creating a sex-offender registry in 2005. Back in 1991, as a state legislator, Akin voted for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it might be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,” according to a May 1 article that year in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via LexisNexis).

From an article in Balloon Juice:

The Republican party officially takes the same position he has:
The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday. “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the draft platform declares. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
Akin’s real sin is letting people really understand how truly insane the Republican party is.

Just try to remember this: Akin is currently in the House, and alongside current wingnut heartthrob Paul Ryan they co-sponsored a 2011 bill called "The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act".  This was a major bill the Republican House wanted on the floor in a big hurry.  This is the same bill that attempted to redefine rape as "forcible rape", which would have narrowed down to exclude rape victims who simply didn't have a knife to their throats.  It wasn't that Ryan and Akin and the rest of the House GOP wanted to tighten the definition: they wanted to cut back the number of women who could get medical help and get abortions.

That's what's really important to these ignorant clueless guys.  The fetus.  They don't care about women who are raped, who suffer from incest, who may have a medical emergency of any kind that would force the painful choice.  They just don't want those fetuses aborted.  And you can't call these guys "pro-life" like they want to because if they really were pro-life, these guys would be the first to vote for more financial aid for poor families to raise all these extra newborns, they'd be funding more pre-school and public school programs to get those newborns educated.  But the GOP wants to cut back on all that kind of social community spending just so they can give billionaires more tax cuts.  They only care about the fetus: once you're out, they don't give a sh-t.  Unless you promise to vote for them, probably.

Like John Cole said, the biggest sin Akin committed was highlighting just how truly insane the Republicans are right now: how scientifically ignorant they are, how blase they are about the complexity of living in the real world, how vicious they aim to be in making people who don't travel within their circles suffer just so the elite can enjoy themselves.

For the LOVE OF GOD.  Do NOT vote Republican.

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