Thursday, July 24, 2014

Todd Akin Still Defends "Legitimate Rape" Comments

Former Republican Congressman Todd Akin doomed his 2012 Senate campaign by stating that pregnancy from rape is "really rare" and “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Speaking to MSNBC's Chuck Todd, Akin twisted himself into a pretzel trying to explain away his notorious comments, stating, “Legitimate rape is a law enforcement term and its abbreviation for legitimate case of rape ...this is something that was intentionally misunderstood and twisted for political purposes because it doesn’t make any sense to say a conservative is saying that rape is legitimate.” Got that? In addition, Akin believes that rape victims should be forced to bear their rapist's child. After he said that people conceived in rape helped his campaign, Todd pointed out that such people prove that rape doesn't "shut down" a woman's body. Actually, the only thing that's "shut down" is any sense of rationality to Akin's thought processes. Watch:


Michael J. Mand said...

I agree with two points Akin makes: it is most definitely common in politics to distort comments, often take out of context, for personal political gain. Unfortunately, couldn't just leave it at that. Once he tries to explain his comments, he re-inserts his foot into his mouth. It would have been sufficient to admit that he should have chosen his words more carefully, becuase he makes his second point rather well.

His question as to whether a child conceived in rape has the same right to life as a child conceived in love is at the center or the pro-life/pro-choice argument. Once you exempt rape or incest, you are no longer pro-life, but, in fact, you are what I call "pro-punishment". If a woman participated in intercourse against her will, she is allowed to termminate her pregnancy; if she was a willing partner, she must keep the child. Women who want to have sex are to be punished. The fetus is simply the vehicle for which to administer the punishment.

So I caution pro-choice advocates who attempt to show pro-lifers as cruel by pointing to their opponents and saying that he or she is against all abortion, "even in cases of rape or incest", as you have done in some of your previous posts. They categorize their opponents as insensitive; but they do so unfairly. Either it's about the child or it isn't! The circumstances surrounding the child's conception should be irrelevant to one who is truly pro-life. Akin is truly pro-life and I respect him for it. The only exception to his opposition to terminating a pregnancy is when the mother's life in in danger. In this case he is still pro-life, he simply makes the mother's life paramount.

I think you do Akin a disservice by focusing on his unfortunate choice of words. His mistake was in his explanation. I applaud Akin for the consistency of his position even though I disagree with that position.

I also applaud Todd for pointing to the contradiction in Akin's argument that a wonan's body can "shut down" in the aftermath of rape. On that point, there is no defense for Akin.

Jeff Tone said...

I agree that Akin is being consistent regarding abortion; I'm just pointing out that this ultimate logic of the pro-life position regarding rape is cruel and removes all autonomy from a woman.

Regarding "legitimate" rape," Akin made those comments and should only have followed them with an apology. Instead, he's attempting to rationalize them with arguments devoid of rationality. As for his "shut down" arguments, Akin would be best off shutting up.