Ryan, "Quick, everyone. Look at Akin!"

Another case of Republican misdirection.

Just about everyone is familiar with the recent foolish statement about rape.

On Sunday, August 19, 2012, Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (Republican) actually said that “legitimate rape” does not often lead to pregnancy because, he claimed,“the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Here's what few remember.

In 2011 Akin joined with the now GOP vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, as a cosponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”. This was the bill that introduced the phrase “forcible rape.” Apparently they were of the belief that sometimes a rape is a consenual thing, and only certain ones were actually committed without the consent of the raped.

Even though Federal law prevents Medicaid funds from paying for abortions, it does contain an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” may be terminated.

The adjective “forcible” separated those rapes that obviously involved some form of violence from those that might result from raping a victim without use of violence because they were first subdued by drugs or alchohol consumed with or without the victim’s knowledge.

Considering that most Medicaid recipients would not be able to afford an abortion on their own, this would have resulted in forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term.

Before this bill passed the GOP-controlled House, the term“forcible rape” was removed due to widespread public outcry.

However, Paul Ryan believes that the “forcible rape” language does not actually go far enough to force women to carry their rapist’s baby. He believes abortion should be illegal in all cases except for those “in which a doctor deems an abortion necessary to save the mother’s life.”

But according to Representative Akin rape survivors probably won’t get pregnant anyway provided their rape was a “legitimate" one.

The Romney-Ryan campaign did release a statement distancing itself from the Akin-Ryan position on abortion in the case of rape: “Gov. Romney and Cong. Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”

Perhaps when Paul Ryan heard his thoughts coming out of someone else’s mouth, he heard how foolish his thoughts were. Or, he is simply having a convenient case of situational ethics. He does, after all, want to get elected.

As far as Akin, though, it certainly is a good thing that storks bring babies, and without a stork around a rape can’t end in pregnancy.

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