The Romney/Ryan ticket may have been the first to strongly denounce Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s remark that abortion isn’t necessary in cases of rape because “legitimate” rape victims rarely get pregnant, but they are by no means the only Republican politicians to do so. As more lawmakers vocally oppose Akin, it becomes clear which candidates see their election campaigns as vulnerable.
Virginia Republican George Allen is already distancing himself from Akin in an attempt to ensure he receives no blowback from the other senate candidate’s misogyny.
While Congressman Akin may have addressed his statement, like many men and women I strongly disapprove of his original comments — and the sentiments behind them. Having served on a Rape Crisis Board many years ago, I saw how both physically and emotionally harmful rape is for its victims, and this is why I believe there should be an exception for rape. As Governor I took those experiences from my time on the Board as well as other experiences and made establishing truth in sentencing and abolition of lenient, dangerous parole a top priority to crack down on rapists and other violent offenders. Regardless of party, we all have a responsibility to unite against any leniency on crimes against women and turn our focus to the solutions that make America stronger and safer.
The issue is also becoming a big one in the highly contested Massachusetts senate race, where Democrat Elizabeth Warren has denounced Akin’s comment as another sign of the “dangerous” policies of the right. She must have touched a nerve with Republican Senator Scott Brown, who is now calling on Akin to exit the Missouri senate race.
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Is this really the moment that could set the course for who controls the senate after the election? It very well may be, and if more vulnerable GOP candidates come out rebuking Akin we will know that Republicans are very aware of how their extremism regarding women is playing nationally.
Meanwhile, the GOP ticket has decided that it needs to be even more adamant that it disagrees with Akin’s statement, now telling the public that “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong. Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.” It’s not clear if the “we” still refers to Ryan, who may or may not share Romney’s view on rape exceptions in cases of rape.
Democratic congresswomen are telling Akin that if he doesn’t “understand biology, don’t legislate” their bodies