Stand your ground, Republicans!
Missouri Republican, Todd Akin's anti-abortion stance garnered a lot of local coverage last week. Monday the Daily Republic headlines said his remark "reveals ignorance." Tuesday, he was fighting "to save GOP Senate bid." Wednesday, he "defies GOP leaders to stay in race." Thursday, he was causing a "GOP upheaval." And by Friday, the Daily Republic reported that Akin's abortion debate had spilled-over into California politics. If you didn't know, Akin had announced that, when a woman is raped, "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." The implication is that if a rape victim gets pregnant, it wasn't a "legitimate" rape and none of t he annual 3,200 reported pregnant rape victims in the U.S. should be allowed to have an abortion. Following this "logic," there should be no prosecution of the perpetrators either. This "science" is the same caliber as the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690's where, if the suspected witch drowned, she was exonerated and given a Christian burial to make things right.
But while many high-ranking Republicans rushed to publicly condemn Todd Akin, behind the scenes at the Republican convention, they have just hammered-down the "Todd Akin Anti-Abortion Plank," to the Republican platform, refusing to allow abortions for rape or incest. Just like their 2008 and 2004 Republican platforms. And contrary to all their current hoopla and attempts to distance themselves from Todd Akin, mainstream Republicans nationwide have continually and repeatedly attempted to pass anti-abortion legislation that deny a woman's ability to receive remedial treatment even in cases of rape and incest. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Todd Akin actually co-sponsored eight anti-abortion bills in just this session of Congress, including that one requiring a woman to submit to a "vaginal ultrasound probe."
Voters should know that the "science" Todd Akin is quoting comes from Doctor John Willke and it has been endlessly repeated in anti-abortion literature. This "you can't get pregnant from rape" myth has so pervaded the American consciousness that Planned Parenthood has that on its "Frequently Asked Questions" page. Mitt Romney, himself, embraced the support of Dr. Willke in his last presidential campaign saying: "I look forward to working with Dr. Willke and welcome him to Romney for President." Romney has also previously stated that he would be "delighted" to sign a bill to outlaw all abortions and that he supports a "personhood" amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give full rights to a fertilized egg, criminalizing all abortions.
While Republican politicians seeking re-election condemn Representative Todd Akins, he actually personifies Republican anti-intellectualism that has stymied American progress in many areas, for years. A s informed Daily Republic readers know, Republicans have been leading the backwards "anti-science" parade for years. We are all familiar with the Republican positions on teaching Creationism and abstinence-only birth control in schools; climate change; stem-cell research; voting rights; gun control; healthcare; voodoo economics; oil, tobacco, and banking regulations; and environmental and consumer protections. Unfortunately, there exists a significant percentage of the voting public who appreciate that bizarre mix of mythology, misogyny, pseudo-science, and religion that these Republicans bring to political discussions. It allows them to hold their treasured, good-old-days fantasy worldviews decade after decade, no matter what the evidence to the contrary. The self-righteous mind-set of the fringe right requires that "stand-your-ground" stability that ever-changing reality refuses to provide.